The REAL Gospel Transforms the DNA of a Local ChurchWednesday, March 17, 2010
It's all becoming more clear now. Our small local church at Church in the Boro must of necessity, become purposeful and public and clear about the missional DNA of the gospel. If being missional is in the DNA of the gospel, and if a local church is built on the gospel, then our local church(es) must pursue the following.
1. We must be missional in and about our vocation. God gives us work to glorify Him, make money, provide for our needs, and provide for the needs of others. But He also gives us work - as well as talents and skills - to purposefully influence and impact those around us toward becoming a disciple of Jesus with us. So to be a biblical church member is to determine from this day forth that you will use every ounce of energy and every atom of skill in your body and in your life to be counter-cultural at work, at school, at wherever, with the gospel. In other words, Jesus and our local church expect that you will use your skills and influence in your workplace or school for the mission, or give it up and find another one if the mission requires it.
2. We must become missional in and about our finances. God gives us money to meet needs. He gives it to us to meet our own needs, and He gives it in abundance to us to meet the needs of others. Money is the currency of the kingdom not of our national economy. And missional-money is a matter of fairness, according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 8. Those who have an abundance are given it by God to provide for those who have nothing. It's that simple. So to be a biblical church member is to determine from this day forth that you will use every dollar and cent in your possession and within your ability to earn, for the mission God has called us to. In other words, Jesus and our local church expects that you will give your money away for the mission as often as the mission requires it.
3. We must be missional in and about our homes. God gives us homes to evangelize the lost. The Bible calls it hospitality. And the original meaning of the word is to invite strangers into your home and encourage them, befriend them, and lead them to become disciples of Jesus with us. Our homes are not intendend to be safe-havens from crime and death, because Jesus has called us to take up our crosses and follow Him...to die. So to be a biblical church member is to determine from this day forth that you will either use your home as often as humanly possible as a hospitality suite for the lost, or that you will sell it and move into another home where you can engage in the mission in a deeper way. In other words, Jesus and our local church expects that you will sell your home and move somewhere else if the mission requires it.
4. We must be missional in and about our education. God gives us education to be smarter and exercise responsible dominion over His earth. God doesn't want His children to be dumb, ignorant, or stupid. He also expects, however, that His children will redeem learning and education so that it is brought into submission to His authority. This redemption necessarily takes place in spheres of learning where other people are learning along with us. This puts us in a strategic missional place to influence others to be disciples of Jesus. So to be a biblical church member is to determine from this day forth that you will redeem everything you learn for the glory of God by using what you learn to bring others to God. In other words, Jesus and our local church expects that you will use whatever you learn to influence others to become disciples of Jesus.
5. We must be missional in and about our friendships. God gives us friends to comfort and encourage us. But these friends need Jesus. And so do the enemies of God. Those who do not follow Jesus are called by this name. And yet look how Jesus befriended His Father's enemies! The enemies of God are not all Satan incarnate. They are people, just like you and me, made in the image of God, and made to enjoy God. So to be a biblical church member is to determine from this day forth that arguing, debating, and fighting with lost people is to become a forgotten past-time, and replaced with loving, valuing, and encouraging all people, regardless of religious-preference. In other words, Jesus and our local church expects that you will love all people in order to show them the love of the Father, which He showed at the cross, in order to woo them to becoming a disciple of Jesus.
These must become the five new tenets of church membership at Church in the Boro, as well as every local church whose purpose is to be biblical and God-glorifying.