Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Are you missional? Is your church missional? Do you know what being missional really means? I can't give a great meaning of missional but here is my understanding.
When I went to Africa in 1983 to attend a large conference for "Leaders of Leaders" I was able to see first hand the power of Revival. European Missionaries had gone to Africa and preached the good news and God answered their prayers and blessed their efforts. For sixty or so years there was great, Holy Spirit Revival in the East African Nations.
Over fifty million people came to know Christ as Savior. So many came to faith that buildings would not hold them and there were not nearly enough Pastors to teach them God's word and God's ways. Congregations met under trees and called people to worship with drums. I preached there and was truly blessed. they begged me to return and train leaders.
After spending two weeks in Kenya I returned to England where I stayed in a college house with students at Oxford. The church buildings were large, impressive and largely dead. I went from a lively, thriving and dynamic church to a church museum. The people who took the gospel to African had left a shell back home.
Several English Missionaries came back to England to retire and saw the same thing I saw. They immediately recognized that the churches in England needed to gear up to reach the English home front just as they had reached the English Commonwealth decades earlier. They began to speak and write about the need for church leaders to reach out with a missionary zeal to the unsaved at home. They needed to become, MISSIONAL.
This is also true of the churches in America. Reaching out to men and women, boys and girls with the good news is essential to our spiritual, mental and emotional health as well as the eternal life of Americans.
More people come to faith in Christ from the children and youth groups than from outside the church. We must not fail to preach to those in the membership and in our neighborhoods.