Who's the Missionary?

Where to Serve?


It's difficult for us Christians to actually live Christianly, incarnationally, seeking Kingdom values, trying to follow and work with Jesus in building community in our neighbourhood. Most of us leave our neighbourhood behind and drive away to the church of our choice. Well meaning, but perhaps mistaken, we do this so we can try and change our world - somewhere else, Jesus helping us. We forget, perhaps, that the Jesus who showed up in a manger wants to show up in our own home, on our street, in our neighbourhood, within my postal code area.

Rather than being the church where we are, seeing ourselves as responsible for the spiritual health of our street, apartment block, neighbourhood, we actually leave - at least on Sunday and other times when there's something to 'support' at the church, something we'd like to get in on.

We go to a church or even a home-group based on affinity (usually outside of the immediate area where we live). We choose based on affinity - with people like us (perhaps of class, income, shared interests or whatever), where in the overall context of this choice we consume the religious goods and services we want. We drive - sometimes many miles to where 'the needs' of ourselves and our family, we feel, may be best met.

We see ourselves not as sent by God to our world, our community, our neighbourhood, let alone to the places where we work or play - but as those who get to send - others, missionaries - somewhere else. To do this, often in passionate, sacrificial ways, we give money, love, letters, prayer support - but we think it is those few others, those missionaries, really, who actually are the sent ones while we others get to stay behind at home - to run the church.

This is not missional thinking. In fact, sometimes the best churchmen and women do not yet realize that they too are missionaries, on God's mission with Christ.

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