Friday, January 22, 2016

Five Insights from Breaking the Missional Code

Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer and David Putman challenges church leaders and pastors to think like a missionary.  Missionaries on the field have always understood that there are cultural barriers and helps to understanding the gospel.  We must understand the culture in order to  evangelize effectively.  Here are five insights I gained from the book.  If you are a pastor I highly recommend that you read it.
  1. Avoid “Preference Slavery.” (52) Move from personal preferences into Missional Thinking.  As time progresses all churches tend to turn inwardly focused.  Inward focus must be challenged by missional thinking, seeing others as Christ sees them.  If we don't fight out inward tendency we will become slaves to our own preferences, and not Christ's slaves.  Never lose focus on the Great Commission!
  2. Have Intentionality in Ministry (see Chapter 3).  Many churches are drifting like a ship without a rutter.  As cultural winds and waves push, the church moves more and more off course.  We must have a biblical center and be intentional with our resources.
  3. The Author’s questions and discussion on Code breaking found on pages 81-83.  The authors give us some questions to help us begin to break the code in our own context.  Here are some helpful questions:
    1. Where are the unchurched/unreached?
    2. Who are the unchurched/unreached?
    3. Why are they unchurched/unreached?
    4. What is God doing among the unchurched/unreached?
  4. View Missions and Evangelism as codependent on each other. (3 & 226). What is the difference between missions and evangelism?  In other words in order to evangelize people we must first understand them.
  5. In church revitalization, start with spiritual renewal and begin with worship that Honors God and Connects with the Community. (139)  Insight number five was a huge insight.  In Eating the Elephant, Rainer and Lawless argue for beginning with outreach after renewal, but Stetzer disagrees.  I think that Stetzer is correct in his assessment.  If we were on the mission field and we did outreach, but failed to have a worship service that connects with the culture those who come to Christ will struggle to connect with God.  It is the same in our North American context.

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