out there... anywhere.When it comes to mission and missional activity... I think this is some folks heading too. The panacea for all the trouble (perceived or actual) within the church and with ourselves is to get out there... anywhere!
But what does this actually mean? Do we actually know where we are going when we say out there?
I heard about someone who thought all it would take to get out there was to form a band and hit the clubs. But the clubs aren't interested in the kind of songs he knows... and he doesn't have a band yet.
We look to host events and seek to be relevant... we create church in ever more imaginative ways... the U2charist is one good example of this. Alpha advertises on TV, drinks mats and TVs in pubs. All these things are good in and of themselves... and work for the people they work for... but are they truly out there or are they another form of the in here of church? This is a particular challenge for me with ((deep)).
This is part of the reason why I was troubled by Paul T's post that I quoted previously... His call to arms for Christians to get out into the land is inspiring. But how can we do so AND leave our addictive worship services, ministries and christian practices behind?
We need the community that comes (or more appropriately should come) from church. We need to leave the falseness of Pseudo-community that Pernell talked about recently. We need community in the truest sense... the acknowledgment that we are all broken-but-fixed or maybe that should be broken-but-getting-fixed...
So where is out there? We'll I believe its twofold... personal and corporate.
Personal in that we are all out there... that is unless you live in a home-schooled Christian ghetto bubble. Our us includes people who are not on the same page faith-wise. This is one area we need to work on... making and keeping connections with people who have different views / circumstances / environments / backgrounds as we have. Paul T talks about getting out into the land well... if you stop and look... we are already there! Its time for us to actually stop and look. Being there for someone... listening... being open and available.
Corporate as in coming together with linkminded people to meet a need or needs in our community. When I spoke to Dan recently I was impressed when I found out home many Jesus-followers were involved in the redistribution of used / unwanted furniture in Scotland. They have spotted a gap and are filling it. Opportunities exist to change the world... to make the difference. We need to come together... connect and be the change the world needs... in His name. This may include denominational sects and then again maybe it won't. All that's needed is two or three... in tune with what God wants... to make a difference.
Thing is... this isn't new. On the 9th May 1912, William Booth gave his last public address and finished it with this...
While women weep, as they do now,We need to get out there... and maybe now there is a destination.
while little children go hungry, as they do now,
while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now,
while there is a drunkard left,
while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets,
while there remains one dark soul without the light of God,
I'll fight - I'll fight to the very end!