Monday, October 15, 2007

Missional Conversation at Our House

Standing around the island, my husband fixing himself a snack, while I cleaned up the pizza boxes that had accumulated over the weekend, we ended up on the topic of church and our church future once again.

This probably explains why we're stuck, or in a more positive light, still processing. I'm not implying that either of us are right or wrong. It's just where we are at, today.

We were talking about our current church situation when I said, "I read the other day that in any given situation, we always have at least 3 options."

"Oh really?"

"Yeah, so the way I see it, these are our 3 options:

1. We could host a gathering of believers that we enjoy being with. This would be fun and comfortable. Gathering for the purpose of encouraging one another is important."

"That might be fun. For awhile."

"2. We could find a missional purpose and allow community to develop around that."

"I already have a missional purpose."
"You do not."
"Yes, I do. I've always had a missional purpose."
"You have not."
"Yes, I have."
"Never mind."

"3. We could keep attending church."

"Yep, that's the one I pick. I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing."

"What are you doing?"

"Spending my time with people outside of church."

End of conversation, for today.

13 comments:

Jeff Greathouse said...

May your journey be rich and fruitful. BTW, I love the kitchen.

Jonathan Brink said...

Grace,

Can you shed some light on door #2?

dan h. said...

So, you could have made those pizzas from scratch (mess & lots of cleanup). You could order take-out and invite some others to join you at home (cozy yet small). Or you dine out and mingle with the general public (risky but with potential).

Probably not a good analogy, but it made me hungry too.

And on a random note... click on the pic of your kitchen and check out the reflection of the wine bottles and picture on your island top. Very cool!

Sarah said...

I'd love "churching it" in that kitchen any day!

Richard said...

I know that conversation. Why is option 2, just for a while? (I tend to think so also but for no rational reason.)

co_heir said...

How about a combination of #1 and #2?

grace said...

Thanks Jeff!

jonathan,
#2 could use some light. I am convinced that this is the key to seeing, doing, and being the church in a different way.

In fact, I believe the fact that church is not formed around a missional purpose is why our churches look the way they do today.

The question for me is how do we do this? how do I do this?

dan,
Friday night we did go out for pizza with friends. :)

Saturday and Sunday we brought pizza home.

Since my daughter works at a pizza place (family discount) it's cheaper to buy it there than make it at home.

I hadn't noticed the reflection in the picture. I take it you're not baptist?

sarah,
We've had some good seems-like-church gatherings in our kitchen.

richard,
It's number one that is for awhile, because I think after a while the group will eventually stagnate unless there is the fluidity of an influx of people, development of other groups, and an outward focus.

co-heir,
I agree with you, but as I said in my response to jonathan, I think that we start with #2 and end up with #1 in the process. It seems that if we start with #1, we rarely get to #2.

Thanks for your comments. We are obviously still processing this in our lives.

traveller said...

One of the things I have learned is that is very easy to process while waiting for some clear indication about what to do.

Generally, I am finding that it is better to start somewhere with some folks. The process does not end and it continues to take me places I never expected with people that are surprising but processing while doing provides practical perspective. Just be prepared for changes and adjustments.....

Particularly coming out of institutional settings it is easy to think we need to plan and organize everything instead of having a general idea of where we are headed while allowing the circumstances and the Holy Spirit teach us what step to take next. That living by faith instead of sight thing. I really like living by sight and saying I live by faith. :-)

travis said...

very comical and depressing at the same time. It is not an easy question, I also feel id wil not be answered with a easy answer! I will be praying for your family! Pray for us as we will have our home survey done on Saturday for adoption. Thank you again!

Volkmar said...

I think Traveler has good insight...


1. We could create a gathering of believers that we enjoy being with. This would be fun and comfortable. Gathering for the purpose of encouraging one another is important."

Instead of creating a gathering, just provide the place for it to happen and space for the Spirit to work. (Pizza would also come in handy.) It isn't necessary to "lead" it, rather, work at "being" it.

We've been doing this since June. I also have some concern about the "missional" thing, but a greater part of the mission is the BEING a body/community/ekklesia/koinonia of Christ.

Just DO IT!!!

That kitchen will be just right for your love feast.

Andy said...

I'm with traveler, I think. I'll add that there's no formula answer. If you have a passion, listen to God about and don't be afraid to go for it.

Personally, I'm trying to resist focusing on "gathering" and aim at knowing Jesus better. I confess, I'm feeling low on community. But I've lost a lot of religious weight, and I've made some great non-Christian friends. I haven't lost my hunger for community with other followers of Jesus, and I'm looking forward with anticipation. And I'm much less likely to manipulate and use others to make myself feel significant and worthy than I was five years ago. Peace.

co_heir said...

You're right. #2 is the place to start and move into a combo with #1 (sounds like I'm ordering Chinese food)

grace said...

traveller,
I hear you. We are trying to balance just doing what we know, meaning following each step as the Spirit directs versus not just doing what we know, meaning falling back into what is familiar. I appreciate the reminder that there will likely be many adjustments along the way.

travis,
Praying for you. The opportunity to adopt is such a blessing.

volkmar,
Yes, we aren't looking to "lead" anything. However, it will take some intentionality to initiate. We don't have a problem with opening our table. We just want to be listening for who open it to without necessarily lapsing to our personal preferences.

Andy,
I loved your phrase about having lost a lot of religious weight. I can certainly relate to that. We are still at a place where it would be easy to fill our schedule with other followers of Jesus.

I want to stretch our lives in a way that intersects more with non-christians. But it feels awkward and clumsy. As we aim at knowing Jesus better, I trust that He can help us change.

co-heir,
Would you like eggrolls with that combo? ;)