Missional Field Notes

Quotes, Examples, and Ideas from My Missional Frontier

Neighborhood Rather than Church

Karina Kreminski

Once we make the shift from asking “What is God doing in my church?” to “What is God doing in my neighborhood?” radical change occurs in thinking about our purpose as God’s community on earth. This does not mean that we ignore the church, or that we stop investing in the church. Instead, we see the church as one very important part of the neighborhood ecosystem. We renounce the dualism that says sacred spaces exist in the church but not in our community, workplace and public places.  Rather than focusing on creeds, information and conferences as helpful as those things are, we refuse to endorse a disembodied faith that fails to put into practice what we believe. More and more I see churches that are taking seriously a theology of the neighborhood.

December 8, 2016

Scripture is a crosscultural book. It was written in cross-cultural contexts. Its full of cross-cultural encounters. It assumes cross-cultural movements. It ends with cross-cultural worship.

(Via Chris Woznicki)

November 19, 2016

How To “Saturate” Your Neighborhood—Quote from Mark Van Steenwyk from over at the Saturate Page

Once you move into the area (or if you already live in the area), spend time just observing. Don’t get frenetic. Don’t start doing things until you understand the ethos of the neighborhood. Let the spirit of the place make its impression. Fall in love with the little things. Get to know the people. If you start “doing your thing” before you are familiar with the place, then you’re forcing things too much. Ministry should fit with how God is already working in a place. If you start pushing your agenda before you start making friends with the neighbors and finding out about their lives, then you’re a salesman, not a minister of reconciliation. And throughout it all, pray. Pray for spiritual eyesight. It is the Spirit’s job to reveal Christ . . . not just to “them” but also to “you.” Pray that you can see Christ’s fingerprints in your neighborhood. Pray to see the face of Christ in the face of those who live around you. Pray for the Spirit to show you what is wrong in your area, and also what is right. Seek to understand.

September 2, 2016

I think our denomination should pay attention: “Although we often think of hospitality as a tame and pleasant practice, Christian hospitality has always had a subversive countercultural dimension. ‘Hospitality is resistance’. Especially when the larger society disregards or dishonours certain persons, small acts of respect and welcome are potent far beyond themselves. They point to …

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Oddly, the first step forward isn’t toward cutting edge strategies or culturally relevant events. It’s pressing into the gospel—the thing of first importance. The gospel is the good news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us. This is good news in the city and for the city. The city is where death, evil, and destruction is obvious to all. The affects of sin, whether it is acknowledged as sin or not, is exposed in every neighborhood. The city is where the abused gather together. It’s where the enslaved, broken, and downtrodden end up. It’s where schools fail to keep kids safe. It’s where injustice is present on almost every corner. It’s where isolation from community, family, and others is rampant. Cities are settling grounds for fugitives and refugees. They gather orphans. They are the last stop for vulnerable women. The city is also a place for hope. It’s where we hope in our humanity, ingenuity, non-profits, and creative solutions.

– Brad Watson

July 6, 2016