January 26, 2008

Missional or Miserable!

Missional is the buzzword of the frontline church folks these days. I love the word because I love the world. The church is not an in-doors activity, you do it outdoors…outside of the weekly in-doors gatherings. Outside the doors is where the world is and consequently where the church must live.

Sure it’s a great thing to come inside for lemonade and cookies and especially for a hearty dinner, but as in my childhood, after a meal, it’s right back outside to experience life. On rainy days you played inside because you needed a safe place to stay dry. On sick days you played quietly in-doors because you needed a safe place to heal. But life happened outdoors where the imaginations of childhood were vividly recreated in forms of Robin Hood, GI Joe, Lone Ranger, and Superman.

The world is not waiting inside the church, the world is waiting outside our doors. So we gather in order to be filled up so we can be poured out. We gather to dream and imagine, so we can depart reenergized to build what could be. We were created for mission…it beats in our heart, and resounds in our imaginations.

My most miserable days were when I had a babysitter who wouldn’t let me outdoors. It was sunny and I was feeling fine and there were “Maid Marians” to be rescued, but thanks to an insecure babysitter I had to stay in-doors and she had to entertain me.

That’s like many pastors I know…they are insecure about letting the church outdoors to set captives free… “what if they end up getting involved with worldly people and aren’t as available to do church stuff?” With the church in-doors pastors must become entertainers instead of equippers. Every week…a better program, a softer chair, a new fad, or “egads”, the church might not stay in-doors as much.

My mom was an equipper…she would put my boots on me, my play chaps, my sheriff’s badge, my Mattel six shooter, and say no go outside and have fun. Boy would have I fun because I was living out my identity, my destiny, my dreams, and my mission.

The church is kind of miserable because it is not very missional. As for me? “Open the door, let me out! I am miserable unless I am missional!"

1 comment:

Rixmanns said...

What a good word. Thanks for the kick in the pants!