All of May on Sundays during worship time we are having a conversation reading and discussing selections from Change The World: The Message and Mission of Jesus: Rethink Church by Mike Slaughter. This coming Sunday we will be taking up the question: Are We Missional? (after first exploring the necessity of being and becoming missional as part of following Jesus). The key quote is from Alan Hirsch: "All great missionary movements begin at the fringes of the church, among the poor and the marginalized, and seldom, if ever, at the center."
Are we a people of the center? Or the fringe? In what ways yes and no? No matter how large a community, it is important to spend time and resources and energy focused on the fringes of the community, and with the fringes of the wider community. Does your leadership spend its energy on keeping those already in community happy and sustained and growing, or do you let them be the scouts out into the fringes where they can bring back the reports of what is needed, who is doing what exciting, who to partner with? How does our ethnicity, and where we live, and where we go to school, and where we shop and hang out, all reflect being a people rooted in the center of culture or on the fringes?
How to be missional and live on and with the fringes? Here Slaughter lifts up first the Great Requirement from Micah, then he links it with the Great Commandment in John's gospel that no greater love than to lay down your life for others (I would rather use for the Great Commandment Luke's commandment borrowing from Deuteronomy Shema to love God with all your heart, might, etc and added to love your neighbor as yourself which is then followed by the parable of the Samaritan so we really know who our neighbor is to be, the one on the fringes) and then Slaughter finishing his model with the Great Commission which will move into the next section which begins with the question of "Are We Inclusive?" which I will pick up next.
See more on our specific community at www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com
Hoping to get to a Change The World conference at his church in Ohio this coming October.