Mission strategy for the rest of us

simpleMany of our churches have a habit of investing too much in the next big growth-delivering, soul-saving, church-renewing spiritual product, often backed by a handbook and set of videos from some wealthy church somewhere a long way from where God has placed us.

This is all good, but in my experience doesn’t quite work as well as advertised on the tin. Most church-renewing spiritual products, it seems sometimes, haven’t met my church.

When Jesus first taught the Sermon on the Mount to his disciples, it must have been a shock. It’s still a shock today. What he majored on was not technique, was not slick and didn’t need a workbook.

Blessed are the poor in spirit … those who mourn … the meek …
those who hunger and thirst for righteousness …
the merciful … the pure in heart … the peacemakers … the ridiculed (or persecuted). (Matthew 5:3-12)

Instead, these Beatitudes are all these things:

  • slow
  • grounded in a deep need of God
  • long term
  • affecting all of life
  • undergirding and rising above any specific plans
  • concerned with our hearts, not our skillset
  • encompassing sadness and setback
  • starting small
  • costing nothing
  • using the materials to hand, and
  • successfully helping us and our works to be a sign, instrument, and foretaste of the total transformation of the world in Jesus.

A spiritual strategy, in other words, for the rest of us.

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