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Archive for the ‘Tangible Kingdom’ Category

In this season of life for our church, we’ve stated that we want to be missionaries living in community empowered by the gospel.

Here’s what keeps you and me from living this way: spiritual sterility that’s fueled by the fact that we breathe in the individualism, consumerism and materialism of our culture. None of us are immune to these challenges and we are predisposed to one or more of these in ways that keep us from relying on Jesus, building life around each other and doing ordinary life out in the world with gospel intentionality.

I’ve caught myself saying something lately that I don’t believe. As I talk about living this way, I am quick to talk about how hard it is – maybe to give me, you, or us an out for not lining up our lives with these values. But at the end of the day, I don’t think that living as missionaries in community empowered by the gospel is that hard…it’s just different.

Now those differences are exacerbated by the fact that they are initiatives that depend on a powerful work of the Spirit to weld us to Jesus as he shows us the depths of the Father’s love for us. But this same Jesus said that the life that follows him is easy…natural…meaningful. So let me toss out a few easy, natural, meaningful ways we can live out these values of gospel, community and mission:

Gospel:

  • Applying the Scriptures together in community groups
  • Gathering for corporate worship
  • Joining a Fight Club to engage in the deep soul work of exposing my sin and sinfulness and trusting Jesus in specific, tangible ways

Community:

  • Share friends – find where non-Christians and your interests collide and spend time there to make friends and change their assumptions about Christianity.
  • Share food – work meals with non-Christian friends into the normal rhythm and routine of your life.
  • Sharing life – developing rhythms of spontaneous time instead of relying on programmed events

Mission:

  • Restoration – as a group, identify and begin to wrestle with real problems around you – where will you express mercy and justice together?
  • Generosity – where is God leading you as a group to use your money to meet kingdom needs – in ways that are both organized and spontaneous?

In their book Tangible Kingdom (the source of some of the ideas above), Hugh Halter and Matt Smay encourage us to ‘imagine the parts of the Kingdom that may open up to you if the same people you love to be with on Saturday night were the same people with whom you dive deep with spiritually. And then, in turn, they connect their friends with you and your friends.’

Could be fun…

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