Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The First Commission

One of the current shifts in the Christian Church universe is the move from program centered to people centered.  Churches who are undergoing this shift have been dubbed "missional" churches.  But what exactly does this term mean?

Relatively short answer for a complex question:
"Jesus told us to go into all the world and be his ambassadors, but many churches today have inadvertently changed the "go and be" command to a "come and see" appeal. We have grown attached to buildings, programs, staff and a wide variety of goods and services designed to attract and entertain people.

"Missional is a helpful term used to describe what happens when you and I replace the "come to us" invitations with a "go to them" life. A life where "the way of Jesus" informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture. It speaks of the very nature of the Jesus follower."
---Rick Meigs
As Christians, we should all be familiar with the "Great Commission" in Mathew 28: 16-20.  Our command to "go therefore, and teach all nations..."  But the spirit of the missional movement starts at home. 

In Mark 5:1-20, we read the story of the Demoniac in the tombs of Gardarenes.  After Jesus had cast out the Legion, he commanded the man in verse 19 to:
"Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee."
This was a very missional statement.  Go home.  It has to start at home: with you, your spouse, your children.  Take responsibility for the spiritual well-being of your loved ones.  Men, lead your family!

From there, take responsibility for your neighbors and friends, be the example and do not pass on the opportunity to share the grace of God and the wonders He has worked in your life.  Pray for them daily and share their burdens.  Build a community around you of like-minded individuals, but not to the exclusion of the rest of the world.  While we are called to separate ourselves and be the "peculiar" people of God, we are never commanded to ignore the world around us and our spiritual responsibilities.

For more information on the "Missional Church," refer to Friends of Missional.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my inattention to your will.  Help me to reach those around me in a way meaningful to Your desires.  Help me start at home to be the man, husband, and father you desire.  Help me to care for and love my nieghbors and friends and demonstrate You to them.


  1. The community I am part of is a "missional" one -- with our mission to introduce youth to Jesus. We keep re-tooling how we work and how we reach out, trying to seek God's ways. Thank you for this post. I love the prayer at the end.

  2. I should say -- I do have to adapt that closing prayer, as I am a woman. But it still works..