The New Conspirators: Consider Moving Mission to the Center

28 09 2007

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Seed Story: Consider Moving Mission to the Center of Congregational Life

By Tom Sine, Mustard Seed Associates

While the emerging movement (that we looked at in our last e-zine) was really a grassroots movement that began with young, postmodern practitioners creating new expressions of the church in the UK, the missional movement began in the academy. In 1998, The Gospel and Culture Network, a group of theologians and scholars, published a book called The Missional Church, which really gave birth to the movement. The group was uniquely focused on the reflections and writings of Dr. Lesslie Newbigin, who longed to see mission at the center of the life of the church. Darrell Guder, a professor at Princeton and the editor for the book, said he was surprised by the enthusiastic response the book seemed to inspire.

Korean YouthOne of the Network’s newest books, Storm Front: The Good News of God, is particularly helpful in moving beyond scholarly concepts to a practical understanding of what a more mission-focused congregation looks like. This book makes it clear that missional churches at their best shift their focus from creating programs to meet the needs of those within the building to equipping members to address the needs of those outside the building through word and deed mission. The authors of this important book insist that this shift should be reflected in very practical things like the stewardship of time and money.

We decided to use the “Me Church” video as our Seed Smile because for too many of us faith has become simply another commodity to consume, whether we do it by attending worship on Sunday morning or turning to online resources. Too often in our hyper-individualistic society, the focus of churches is really is all about meeting our own needs and our kids’ needs.

Read the entire article here.

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