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Archive for the ‘Mission’ Category

Kent Shaffer and the Refuge

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I had planned to post a piece on John’s prologue and the missional Messiah but Kent Shaffer over at body slammed me with this confession:

“Stuff was holding us back in a variety of ways from being agile and ministering more biblically. And the comfortable suburban, Evangelical lifestyle was desensitizing me from living out the gospel as I knew I should yet never did. I used bad theology to make convenient excuses to justify my lifestyle. I was using complex yet comfortable systems to try to replace the simple yet uncomfortable mandates of Christ.”

Written by missional girl

August 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Mission

Isaiah 61 and the Missional God in Action

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That Jesus quoted this in Luke 4:18-19 and then claimed to be the fulfillment of that scripture later is a portent of His ministry and of the Church’s. Among the activities Isaiah 61 shares:

  • Anointed by the Spirit to proclaim the good news to the poor
  • Bind up the brokenhearted
  • Proclaim freedom for the captives
  • Release prisoners from the darkness
  • Proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God
  • Comfort all who mourn
  • Provide for the grieving
    • beauty for ashes
    • joy for mourning
    • praise for despair
  • Planted as mighty oaks by the LORD
  • Rebuild the ancient ruins
  • Restore the devastated places
  • Renew the ruined cities
  • The people of God will be called “priests of the Lord” and will be “ministers of our God”

Written by missional girl

August 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Kingdom of God, Mission

Part 2: The Missional God

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The Missional, Covenant-Keeping God

Mission Defined

God missional activity is geared toward redressing the Genesis 3:6 problem—the fall of humanity.

Covenant was God’s means of setting apart for Himself a people who would reflect His redemptive power. I also believe that covenant was God’s way of revealing Himself a given community who did not know Him or walk in His ways.

God’s Missional Activity

  • Abrahamic Covenant (IN-FOR-THROUGH)
    • God initiates the contact and the covenant with Abram.
    • God promises to make Abram a great nation and bless him. (FOR)
    • God then promises to make Abram’s name great and to make Abram a blessing. (IN)
    • God promises to treat those who come into contact with Abram according to their treatment of Abram (FOR)
    • God promises that all the families of the earth will be blessed through Abram (THROUGH)

God’s activity for much of the Old Testament echoes of this covenant. God wanted a people for Himself who would walk in His ways and be a light for the nations. The missional God works things FOR His people but also works IN His people that He could work THROUGH them in order to reach those who do not know Him. There are a number of notable “converts” who respond to God’s grace. One of the best examples is Ruth, a Moabitess whose life was forever changed by God. She would become the grandmother of King David and a descendent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Missional Implications

  • We as God’s people understand that whatever God chooses to do for us is not just about us but about what God will do THROUGH us to reach others.
  • We as God’s missional people lived set apart (sanctified) lives that shine the light on God’s righteousness and their need for Him.

Written by missional girl

August 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Mission

10 Things I Hated About Church As a Kid

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What bugged me as a young PK growing up in the eighties?

10. Deacons sitting in special chairs in chairs up front facing the congregation. Two words: worship police.
9. Hobby-horse sermons that always focused on the evils of girls wearing shorts-shorts. Do I really need to go there?
8. Ordination by association. I saw guys with unproven character get licensed and ordained like that just because they knew the right person. Wrong.
7. Women not being allowed into church in pants. I always use to think, “What if that’s all they have to wear to church? Would Jesus still tell them to stay home?” I don’t think so.
6. Discipleship gone wrong: Actually, there was little discipleship or spiritual information after a person received Christ. Teen discipleship? BTU, ushering, or the choir. Pfff!
5. Homogeneity: everybody in my church looked like me. I thought black churches were the norm until my teens. Not God’s plan at all for everyone in your church to look only like you.
4. “Yawn!”: Making Jesus boring is a grave sin. My then 3-year old brother would complain to me, “I’m bored!” Out of the mouth of babes….
3. Deacons in a smoky back room: I always got unnerved going to the back room where all the deacons sat, smoking and counting the offering. It felt more like a casino than the house of God.
2. Irrelevant Preaching and Teaching: This wasn’t the case every Sunday but it happened enough for me to write about it over 27 years later and pray to Jesus that I never commit the same egregious error. Preaching and teaching that is not Spirit-led leaves the spirit dead. Match. Point. Game.
1. High-level hypocrisy: I know for a fact that there was major moral compromise at the highest levels of leadership in my church. One major incident destroyed my family so I’m not blowing smoke here. Here’s the lesson: pastors will never deal with issues they themselves never deal with. And churches get strangled by this nonsense.

Tomorrow: 10 Awesome Things I Learned About Church As a Kid

Written by missional girl

September 3, 2010 at 2:23 am

Haiti, Suffering, and the Sovereignty of God

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Whenever a catastrophic tragedy occurs anywhere in the world, I can always count on two things: first, the body of Christ knows how to pray and mobilize for the good of the suffering in need and second, Pat Robertson will say something stupid that the media will magnify.

I won’t do their dirty work.

Many a book and dissertation have been written about the mystery of God’s sovereignty and how one explains suffering fits into the theological assertion that God is good and just. But in times like this, arguments over the issue won’t really address the immediate needs of the Haitian people.

What they need is us helping, serving, rescuing, comforting, and loving them. Theological grandstanding is a poor stand-in for the incarnational presence of the Lord Jesus Christ through His Church.

Written by missional girl

January 16, 2010 at 1:45 am

The Mandate of the Church

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Luke 4:18-19

Jesus’ prophetic proclamation of His purpose was not meant strictly for His time.  As His ambassadors, we must follow Him, doing only what He hear from the Spirit of the Lord.  We can glean some of the divine purposes that the Lord Jesus Christ has for His Church.

  1. We the Church must rely on the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.
  2. We the Church must understand that we have been anointed and appointed for a God-ordained task
  3. We must preach the gospel faithfully
  4. We must recognize the targets of God’s grace:

1.      The poor

2.      The brokenhearted

3.      The bound

4.      The oppressed

E.      We must recognize our responsibilities:

1.      To preach the Word

2.      To bring healing

3.      To bring liberation

4.      To be agents of recovery and restoration

5.      To bring a message of divine favor

Written by missional girl

December 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Of Grasshoppers and Crybabies

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I’ve been reading Numbers 13 and 14 and praying to God that I can be like Caleb and Joshua, a woman who will trust and believe God even when all of hell (and close family members) is against you.

The ten cry babies or spies who rejected God were bogged down by what they saw, ignoring the fruit they had gathered and embracing the lie of perceived circumstances—something I fight everyday NOT to do.

I love what the LORD said about Caleb in Numbers 14:20-24:

20 The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

God honored Caleb because Caleb honored God. I want to have that kind of heart toward God and the things He tells me to do. What are some marks of people like Caleb (and Joshua)?

1.) They saw opportunity, not obstacles (i.e. grasshoppers)
2.) They are totally devoted to God
3.) They are willing to go against the majority and with God
4.) They have broken and sensitive spirits
5.) They look to God to fight on their behalf
6.) They are willing to do whatever part gives them to fulfill God’s vision
7.) They are sure of their victory because of God’s power and presence, not their own strength

Written by missional girl

October 14, 2007 at 4:18 am