I am working with our congregation on mission. (To be honest, I think I’m always working with the congregation on mission.) But at this time we’re focussing quite a bit of energy into it. We are trying to see how God is at work in the world and then join along. In the past this has been problematic for the church because we equated the work of God with the world of the church. That severely limits God and also fails to see how our God is making all things new in other places of the world, outside of Church.
But, if we have a Kingdom-Way of looking at the world, seeing God’s inbreaking kingdom all around us, we can see that our God is active in the world…and not just in the church.
Some of what I read from Alan Hirsch today from Saturate gets at this:
Why all this church-Kingdom stuff? Well, because if we are to be effective agents of God’s Kingdom in this world, we need to be freed to see His Kingdom express itself everywhere and anyplace—as indeed it does. God turns up in places where we might least expect to see Him, but we need the eyes to see what He is doing if we are going to join Him in the redemption of the world. A complete association of the kingdom with the church locks up God’s activity and links it exclusively to organized church activities such as Sunday school, communal worship services, and the like. As wonderful and necessary as these are to Christian community, the diminished view of the kingdom that results from this will never get us beyond the four walls of the church so we might fulfill our mission of discipling the nations.
Our folks in our churches need to see how God is working and restoring outside of the church walls. And then, once we have discerned that, we can go join God.