This is from The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches are Transforming Mission, Discipleship, and Community by Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens, and Dwight J. Friesen. I’ve been enjoying the book as we think about mission and ministry in our little corner of the world.
…the incarnation of God demonstrates your missional calling to live into time and place. When God chose to enter the world, it was not in some ethereal generic manner but in a particular family, in a particular town, in a particular country with particular socio-religious practices. Just as Christ “became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 The Message), so also the people that comprise the local church in the parish are meant to be a tangible expression of God’s love in the everyday reality of life.
…The seeds of the gospel are really small. They’re really about meeting God at dinner tables and in living rooms and in little towns that may not be known by the rest of the world. But it seems like that’s exactly what happens when God moves into the neighborhood in Jesus. … It’s that which I think we’re invited into is to grow into a neighborhood, to plant ourselves somewhere and get to know people there, and to see the seeds of the kingdom grow there. (from Shane Claiborne)