Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Being Missional

When we talk about being missional as a church we talk about reaching those who do not know the gospel. While that is true, a part of being missional is contextualization. Three things that being contextual is not about:

1. It is not about hanging out with folks just like I am.
2. It is not about finding out who likes me and then appealing to them.
3. It is not about figuring out where the rich people live.

If we can't reach the poor with the gospel, what makes us think we can reach the rich. After Jesus' discussion with the rich man, when he said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," Mk 10:25, he implies that the poor don't have the same stumbling block to accept the gospel. I think some church planting efforts I have heard focus on the areas that most economically developed. While I see the business sense of such a move, I wonder the gospel sense.

Zeal for Truth has this quote in a book review on the Externally Focused Church:

Jesus seems to have had a special love for those people on the margins of society, and therefore externally focused churches do as well. These groups are often the people we can most serve. Specific groups identified in the book: the poor, children, the aged, widows and single parents, orphans, prisoners, the sick and disabled, and immigrants.

There is a review of the same book here by Joe Ellis.
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