This is a great word from JR Vassar at the Acts29 Boot Camp this year on the “mission” of the church. JR makes clear that we are to be about making disciple-making disciples. He also gives us a lens through which to do this.
He asks us to create a church that lives in contrast with our local culture. A first step to doing this is understanding your local culture and recognizing where it has been influencing your church rather than the other way around.
In preaching JR also challenges us to put application into the community – essentially we end the individual bias of the church and think through what the Bible says about how we should live things out in community. It might get sticky if you can’t stop thinking of yourself or have been preaching individual moralism for a generation but give it a try. In preaching we should also preach to those that you want there. This gives our congregants the freedom to invite their friends because they know you will speak to them.
We should also put proximity over affinity when it comes to group life. JR suggests building neighborhoods not silos essentially.
And for those of us thinking through our role in ministry, JR says realize your domain of influence. This is the domain in which God has gifted and equipped you to influence for his name. Too often we overreach out of pride or jealousy and we need to stop this sin and work hard in the domain God has given us.
It is fifty minutes well worth it.
HT: Seth Hanson