Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thoughts from Ed Stetzer, Day 1

I'm taking a class at Trinity this week with Ed Stetzer, so I'm going to blog on some take-aways from the class. The class is about moving the church from traditional to missional. Check out more on Ed Stetzer here. Note that the thoughts below are fairly unrefined, but they should still be helpful for advancing missional thinking.

March 8 Morning Sessions
  • As God sent Jesus to the world, and Jesus sent the Spirit, we have likewise been sent. God is a missionary (sending) God, and he calls us to be on mission with him. We are all missionaries, called to join Jesus on his mission of saving the world.
  • How do the concepts of kingdom and church interact? Jesus came announcing his kingdom and seeking to build his kingdom on earth. The church (God's kingdom people) on mission with God is the means of advancing Jesus' kingdom. So the kingdom is what Jesus is doing through the church. And the Gospel is the message the church uses to bring people into the kingdom.
  • Unless the church can see that we are God's means of advancing his kingdom (i.e. that we are all a part of sharing the Gospel so that people can join the kingdom of God), we will tend to be all about ourselves - what serves us, what we like, how much the church meets all my preferences. We will tend to be customers or consumers instead of missionaries.
  • We may need to give up what we love (our preferences, forms of church we like, comforts) in order to reach the people God has called us to love.
March 8 Afternoon Sessions
  • The prevailing way people think of their pastor: Superman. The pastor is an expert who teaches, leads, visits, prays, and "does ministry" while everyone else receives the benefit. To become missional the church must change this perception - shifting the culture to embracing everyone as ministers that teach, lead, visit, pray, etc. Pastors must still lead the charge and model missional living, but in order to be most effective they must be free to focus on training other leaders and engaging with the lost while the members of the church minister to each other and to the community.

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