I like to imagine what church could look like. With my ministry firmly planted in the traditional model (often painfully so), I catch glimpses of what could be if we broke free. It’s too bold, I think, to call this prophetic vision. Yet there are glimpses that come to me of what a truly incarnational ministry might look — if I could remove myself from the numbers game, the need to put “butts in the pews,” and the focus on Sunday worship as the predominant way to get people to attend.
Therefore I love it when other authors and church folks open up my world just a little bit and reveal to me what the church could look like if we took the incarnation and community and mission as seriously as I think we should take it…as I think I should take it. It’s like having a lid pulled off, just a little, to get a peek as possibility. Fresh Expressions helps with that:
Perhaps it would look like a joy-filled conversation at a local cafe that included passers-by and offered prayer for, and even with, the server.
Perhaps it would look like a game of pick up basketball at the local park with young men who would open up their hopes and fears to someone who was real with them and gave them more than just a sideways glance.
Perhaps it would look like a Bible study in a tattoo parlor, or a neighborhood chili cookoff in a local garage, or a prayer walk through a local community.
There is no end to the ways that we can become living signs of God’s love in the middle of the crossroads of everyday life in our communities.
There is “no end.” That’s true.
But sometimes there is no start either.