Thursday, March 24, 2016

Go! Get Out There!

The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20,  contains Jesus' last words, his marching orders to his disciples before he ascended into Heaven.  This exhortation we believe is also meant for us, Jesus' modern day disciples.  However, so much of our church experience today is centered around the local church. Many of our "church activities" consist of going to church and serving on Sunday. For much of the church's history there has been this "come to us" approach to ministry.  The missional church movement aims to change that and to be more intentional in fulfilling Jesus' call for us to get out of the church and "go and make disciples".

The challenge for all churches is how to motivate Christians to actually get out of their comfort zone and go.  One church in San Antonio devised a unique plan in which the church would forgo meeting for worship one Sunday a month and instead minister outside of the church to the masses.  This church, Bethel, set up a drive-up prayer station in an empty parking lot near their church. The members of the church wave banners and signs along the road inviting drivers to pull over for prayer. Other church members offer prayer to those who stop by. The leaders of the church say they were surprised at how many people actually pull over and share their prayer requests every week.  It has invigorated the church and opened the door for the members to have some great conversations with people who would never step foot into their church.  Their members really look forward to these Sundays in which they get to minister to others.  They meet at the church on these Sundays for a time of prayer and then head to the parking lot to minister to others.

My church, Austin Christian Fellowship, does not have a worship service on the fifth Sundays during the year.  Instead, the church members work on mission projects that the church sets up, one on Saturday and another on Sunday morning.  Some churches, such as Rock Hills in San Antonio, take the first Sunday of each month to serve and minister to the community. What is your church doing to create a "go to them mindset" instead of a "come to us" approach? 

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