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what is our context?


so i’ve been thinking a bunch about our church and the context we find ourselves in, from a missional perspective.  and there’s sort of this tension. 


on one hand, my walks and drives around the neighborhoods remind me that the Gospel must be freed to reveal itself in a manner that brings life to these people.  and for our church to grow, we’ve got to be readers of not only Scripture but of the people eating, sleeping, driving, and working around us as well.  being a neighborhood church is not just about being either homely or idealist–it is about understanding where Jesus has planted us.


another part of this tension is that i see who is among us–the people in our congregation.  we think a certain way, dress a certain way, worship a certain way.  we have an affinity for one another and similar things.  we most readily understand the Gospel for ourselves and those like us.  mission literature tells us that therefore we are the best candidates to reach out to those just like us.


but there’s third leg to this tension (forgive the mixed metaphor).  and that is, God’s unapologetic prerogative toward the underdog, the ones pushed off to the margins of society.  in our society, which has been sectioned off into “markets” it seems that everyone has a place to belong now.  but i think there are those who still know that they’d best be silent among the masses and the powers.  i’m thinking of refugees, immigrants, the elderly, the working poor, the homeless, the illiterate, certain professions, certain races (depending on we’re situated), etc.  the scope of our mission must certainly, in love, include the voiceless among us, even if it costs us growth and status.


what is our context?  there’s a strong part of me that believes “all of the above” is the right answer.  but arrive at that conclusion so swiftly makes the answer seem trite.

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