Archive for the ‘Further Reflections on a Post’ Category

M. Scott Boren is a pastor and author who focuses on the idea of churches being “missional.” (More about Scott can be found here.) Missional is one of those words that is often used and while everyone seems to know how or when to use it, no one can quite put their finger on what it means exactly.

A definition offered by Reggie McNeal is: “The missional church is God’s people partnering with him in his redemptive mission in the world.” (Find out more in Reggie’s own words here.) More than a church that focuses on missions (think foreign missionaries) or one that seeks the lost (think door knocking campaigns or the like), it is a church that seeks to actively engage a lost world, rather than hoping that world might stumble into one of our Sunday morning times of worship. It is not just looking outward, but also realizing that everything the church does centers around a redemptive mission. As Erwin McManus has said: We often think the church is here for us. We ARE the church and we are here for the world.

In a recent post on missional prayer (I recommend his post – it can be found here), Scott says something which struck me:

We must cultivate friendships with people in our neighborhoods so that they can see into our lives and view our communion with God. We don’t do this with the intent of “winning” them to something. We do this because we are a people of love and we want to share life with them.

If we have cultivated our relationship with God in such a way that what we show those around us is the overflow of that communion (Scott leads off with this idea), it does us little good if we have not allowed others to see that communion. I have often wondered why people who have a deep passion for God seem to have such a negligible impact on those around them. Perhaps the only people who see them commune with God are those they join with in worship on a Sunday morning.

There are some powerful implications for small groups here.

If we intend to be groups that are actively seeking out neighbors, we must first ensure we have developed the type of relationships that allow neighbors in to see our overflow of communion with God. We may need to ditch “group time” to engage in a little “neighbor time.”

When we think of “outreach” to our neighbors, perhaps we need to think less of big impact outreach events, and instead spend time doing simple acts of love for those around us. My guess is that you and your group can come up with a dozen or so ideas in a matter of minutes. Go ahead and act on those!

If we intend to take seriously the call to minister to those who are both older and younger (and I think this applies to both neighbors and those who are a part of our congregation), we must understand that our group time may look different than you or I might want it to look. What if our lesson time was one that would fit better in Journeyland than in an adult class? It would seem that an attempt to show the overflow of our communion with God must be communicated in a manner consistent with those whom we have developed a relationship.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to read Scott’s post. What ways can you think of to apply both his ideas on prayer and his ideas of being missional to the life of your group?


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