Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An attitude towards Missions

I was reading this article recently in the Perspectives textbook. I broke up the paragraphs a little so that individual statements stand out.

-"Lack of interest in mission is not fundamentally caused by an absence of compassion or commitment, nor by a lack of information or exhortation.

-And lack of interest in mission is not remedied by more shocking statistics, more gruesome stories or more emotionally manipulative commands to obedience.

-It is best remedied by intensifying peoples' passion for Christ, so that the passions of his heart become the passions that propel our hearts. +/-


-Mission must never have first place in the Church's life. The Church is to have but one Lord-one passion-the One in whom all the fullness of God dwells...

-...It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world. Rather, the God of mission has a Church in the world."

-Dearborn, Tim. "Beyond Duty," 1997. From the Perspectives textbook (p. 70); used by permission of World Vision.

6 comments:

  1. not sure that I completlely aggree. Not Sure that I don't agree.
    In terms of all of our relitive positions to God, interms of personality. (Yes I understand the omni presesence of God), could it be that god has not weighed missions on ones heart as much as somthing else. I mean some one has to reach out to Xians that already beleive as well.

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  2. Josh, are you referring to the first part where it talks about why there's a lack of interest in missions? I think it is talking about church congregations, not individuals. I think you're right...if a person isn't interested in missions, it must just not be what God is calling him to do.

    If a church has 0 interest in missions, it might be an indication of an underlying problem. But on the other hand, I think that specific congregations are called to be more active in missions than others.

    Of course there are some individuals who will be pastors and teachers and reach out to those already a part of the flock. But it is also their job as leaders to help mobilize people for outreach to non-Christians. And this is where the article's suggestions come in. How do you stimulate motivation without any sort of emotional manipulation?

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  3. Liz did you know that it is physically impossible to make a decision w/ out emotion. the same part of the brain that does logical decision making is also the same part of the brain that controls primary emotions.
    That being said I would say that emotional manipulation is always there in some aspects, nad there is not a thing that we can do about it.
    I would say that presenting a case for anything, with out making the feel like less of a person should be a goal of a presenter. Are you saying 'here is what the bible says. Here is how I interpret it. Now make your own choice on what to believe" or are you saying her is what I say the bible says and if you disagree then your are wrong".
    They are extreme examples but real ones. The challenge for us is not to adopt and us/them mentality about people who believe differently from us.
    If a church does not involve it self in out reach then it (some how may not have been exposed). IF a church is a total bubble and wants to remain cut off from everybody, that send of red flags for me, but that's just me.
    Will a church that does not emphasis missions go the way of the buffalo? sure it will every thing needs new blood.
    Just look at the Orthodox church, in my (humble) opinion they understand worship better then most churches, the sites, the smells, the postures. Everything points towards reverence towards God. How ever not the most outgoing bunch.

    In the end as an Xian (or follower of The Way) I see the examples we have. Showing me that while all follower of X need to be available to show their faith, not all need it to be their primary motivation.

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  4. I agree about presentations. I think that it takes a certain amount of faith to stop short of using a lot of force, and trusting God to move the hearts of people whom He wants to call to action. At the same time, a good presentation can leave everyone in awe of God (which may involve emotions), regardless of whether or not a specific issue is relevant to them personally.

    I definitely think every church should be involved in "outreach," but it takes on different forms. For some it is a program or a "full-time ministry" position, whereas for others it is just their attitude at work.

    Again, I think we need to look at the gifts, such as teaching, preaching, evangelism, etc. Not everyone has the specific "gift" of evangelism, but it is still something that is a calling of the Church in a general sense. I think that is what you were trying to say.

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