Mission in Community

Laurie Barber, Pastor Emeritus, Kingsway Baptist Church

It’s tempting to close a local church when we think there are no longer enough people around to keep the ministry going. But Jesus started to build His Church with only twelve or so. A church engaged in local ‘mission’, not merely ‘survival’ mode, will find renewed vitality. The attractional model won’t work when we’re down to nubbins. Though still making wise use of our buildings as good stewards, can we also have passion for pre-Christians who will not yet gather? We need churches that help us raise the spiritual temperature on our streets, where we live, work or work-out. And yes, we’ll still gather to worship, train up new ones in life and faith, and share our experiences: the wounds and joys of missional engagement. 

As we go, we’re to make disciples. We need a ‘go’ strategy as well as a ‘come’ strategy, for we all touch the lives of people in various spheres of community. Showing up, missioners learned the language, culture, leaders of people. We can do this locally, too: building relationships, asking questions, discovering what’s needed and what God is doing there already.  

Three thousand believers were added at Pentecost, but such results were not usual when the apostles started new churches. Most of the twelve were killed in planting Gospel seeds as did Jesus as He offered Himself as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, giving Himself in love. As with the Suffering Servant, the satisfaction our souls seek will always be the fruit of sacrifice. Though difficult, costly even, we are to join in God’s reclamation mission. A church will come alive (again) when its members re-awaken to that mission: sharing with others the Good News about Jesus and His finished work of salvation for us on Calvary’s cross.

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