Tag: missional communities

Verge Video on 5 Key Missional Questions

Verge posted a video interview with me today. In this video I answer questions like:

  • Who are you?
  • Is the Gospel dangerous?
  • What does risk look like in following Jesus?
  • How are we called and equipped for the risk that comes with mission?
  • How does entertainment prohibit mission?
  • How does the gospel compel risky mission?

 

I wrote a follow up article to work out the idea of a “Dangerous Gospel.

Is the Gospel Dangerous?

The Verge Network is running a series of interviews with some great folks who are leaders in missional community. They recently interviewed me (video posts next week) on the topic of Risk & the Gospel. The more I think about this topic of “Risk”, the more I’m convinced it is a helpful word to challenge consumer impulses in American Christianity. Risk, of course, comes with some theological baggage as it relates to God, but Verge (& Alan Hirsch) is more concerned with human risk. Should we risk? Is the Gospel dangerous? If so, what does risk look like in the life of a disciple and his/her community?

I wrote an article addressing these questions called: “Is the Gospel Dangerous?”

Non-Christians in Christian Community? (Part 2)

This is a guest post from Nate Navarro, Director of Missional Community at Austin City Life. Here is Part 1.

Travis is a successful Austin attorney in his mid 30’s who has been a part of our Missional Community for about a year. Recently, after serving together at the retirement center in our neighborhood, we had a dinner together at a central Austin cheeseburger joint. Travis, who had recently been hosting our Missional Community gatherings (without saying a word), spoke up and said:

“I don’t think it is important for married couples to both be Christians….my wife is a Christian….and I am not…..it works fine for us.”

He said it.

Though I had thought for quite some time Travis was just tolerating us for his wifes sake, now we knew it….he doesn’t believe in Jesus…in fact….he probably thinks we are crazy!

SO WHAT TO DO?

Break out the 4 spiritual laws? Take a stroll down Romans road? Throw all my best Tim Keller “Reasons For God” at him?

In a moment of sanity I looked across the table and said:

“Travis, I want to thank you for being a part of our community. It would be easy for you to just think we are crazy, instead, you have served us by hosting our gatherings at your house and even serving with us at the Retirement Center. On top of that, I think you are a cool guy and I appreciate what you bring to our community.”

Travis said, “sure…no problem….I like you guys.”

Since then Travis has been more actively involved in our community, though I am sure he still thinks we are a bit crazy with all our “Gospel-Centered” conversations.

My hope is that we will be a community who SHOWS the Gospel to Travis, and to our city…..

My hope is that we will be a community who TELLS the Gospel to Travis, and to our city….

May we do so out of LOVE and not out of the need to convince others that WE ARE RIGHT.

Equipping for Mission on Sundays

At Austin City Life Mission is our churchwide focus this quarter. We preached through a six sermon series on Mission: the point of the church. The first three sermons focused on motivation for mission; the second three sermons were on practicals for mission. Here’s how we trained our people on Sunday morning for everyday mission. We advocated doing “everyday things with gospel intentionality” (phrase from Total Church) by using some memorable phrases and attaching stories to them.

Dont Eat Alone. Last time I checked we all eat at least three meals a day. Most Christians eat them alone or with other Christians. What would it look like for you to intentionally share meals with non-Christians. To get to know them over food? 21 meals a week, just start with one meal a week. I challenge you, 1 out of 21. Share it with non-Christians and be intentional. Dont hide your faith but dont force it either. Live with gospel intentionality in your meal eating.

Be a Regular. One family in our church are regulars at a coffeeshop where they have gotten to know the staff. As they got to know them, they invited the staff over for pizza and got to connect outside of work. This has continued. This couple hangs out with some of the staff regularly now. One girl drops by their house and just hangs out. Apparently shes pretty down on the Church, but shes willing to hang out with a family that shares, shows, and embodies the gospel. They even have spiritual conversations sometimes. Now, this would have never happened if they werent regulars. It wouldnt have happened if they were normal regulars, treating the staff as workers, people who exist to serve the customer. Instead, they treat them as people who have worth outside of work, people who have fears and dreams that only the gospel can sufficiently address. They loved them; not just used them. Its not just being a regular but a redemptive regular who bring grace into everyday life.

Hobby with the City. Ever notice how churches tend to create their own Christian version of hobbies in their city? If they like to cycle, then instead of joining one of the countless Austin cycling clubs, they create at Christian cycling club! Instead of joining a Run-Tex club, they form a Christian running club. Church League sports. Its pathetic. Instead of joining a city league, churches create their own leagues so they can play one another! One guy in our church cycles regularly with city club. He participates with the city, shares a common hobby. He hasnt joined a Christian cycling club; he just hopped into one that already exists. Over the miles they cycle together the talk about life. He gets to share, show, and embody the gospel with them. Hes had some of his cycling buddies over for dinner. Another example. Theres a group of women in our church who hobby with the city by throwing girly parties–Crafts, Bunko, Baby showers. Its not a Christian party; its a good party. All the women bring food, hang out, play games, and share life, stay late. Lots of good conversations and social connections. These women are hobbying with the city.

Be a Good Neighbor. Another person in our church has been very deliberate about getting out of their house. They walk the neighborhood. Walk to the mailbox instead of drive over. Play with their kids in front yard instead of the back, and engage their neighbors in conversation. Over time, the neighbors have warmed to hearing the gospel because they were loved and accepted first. One guy, a committed postmodern, theist, homosexual recently had a crisis. Partner left, his health is in decline, some pretty big issues. Who did he call? That neighbor. Why? Because that neighbor consistently loved him and listened to him. He got to show, share, and embody the gospel over and over again. This neighbor hangs with his family and has come to the Parish. Why? Because he had a good neighbor. Be a good neighbor.

Serve Your City. We brought someone up to share about a recent missional project with a non-profit. The answered these questions as they told the story and shared pictures with the church.

  • What is Safeplace/non-profit? Who do they serve, details?
  • What did we do? Where was the need?
  • What kind of people did it take?
  • How did is demonstrate the gospel?
  • How were people affected?
  • How you can do this by being a part of a City Group?