Being a sent people - Clinton
Mission, missionaries, and true community.
"The ship is safest when it is in port. But that's not what ships were made for."
"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."
Jesus Christ (in John 20:21)
Mission and community. These are familiar, well-worn ideas. What is true community, and what does that have to do with mission?
Following Jesus, Kingsfield is a people on-mission with God, a sent people. And so we are growing to be less about "huddle and cuddle", and more about true community ... people together on mission with God.
How is that true community?
A community that exists only for itself denies an essential element of what we were intended to be: for others, because that is what God is like. True community, then "... involves adventure and movement, and it describes the unique experience of togetherness that only really happens among a group of people inspired by the vision of a better world who actually attempt to do something about it."*
What values flow from being a community on mission?
Having God's heart for people (Mt. 9:36)
God loves people. One of the most well-known statements Jesus made was that "God so loved the world." It is who He is, love. As Jesus walked the roads of Palestine He saw people - and was moved with true God-love for them. (See Mt. 9:36) People are made in the image of our Creator God, and His loving intent is that we live in loving relationship with Him and with one another.
Yet many people reject Him. People reject Him because we fell away from Him. We chose our own way. And so today there are thousands of people who live in our area who are refusing Jesus without even consciously knowing it. This will cost people their lives.
Who sees these people - and cares? Who will live with people, eating together, playing together, conversing about the plain and the profound as we grow together? Who will love people as God loves them?
Getting close to each other; cultivating Christian community.
We will be an extended family of people who know Jesus, who relate locally to one another and do life together. Our churches are communities where true Christ-ian community is birthed. These churches will influence the culture in which they live, by living a life of resistance to the stream of culture, and of hope**: a beautiful, experience-rich, meaning-rich life.
Seeing ourselves as missionaries (Mt. 5:13-16, Mt. 10, Acts 1:8, I Cor. 9:19-23). Intentionally walking through the fields around us. Being ‘missional'.
Kingsfield will call people out to go to the places where relationships are built, to be the presence of Christ in those places, to get to know people, and to show the love and character of God to people. ***
We will be a multiplying movement of churches who will bring the kingdom to relevant reality where we live and everywhere we go - in homes, neighborhoods, playgrounds, schools, workplaces, cafes, pubs and community centres ... May Jesus, the sent one, lead us, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to the glory of our loving, embracing God!
Some expressions of our ‘sentness' include:
- Mission where we live,
- Mission partnerships,
- and through our partnership with Kingsfield Zurich Mennonite Church, various other missions around the world (see World Ministries at ZMC and Mission Partnerships)
* Alan Hirsch, in Forgotten Ways, (Brazos Press, 2006) calls this "communitas".
** A term borrowed from African theologian Emmanuel Katangole
*** These have been called Third Places by sociologist Ray Oldenburg. See article here.