Lately I have been following through a series at Westside Family Church in Kansas City called "GodTxt." A series pertaining to the necessity of becoming more involved with God's word. This series has been built around the idea that God has sent us a "text message," the Bible. So with this idea in mind WFC is sending out a text message of their own every morning (at the ungodly hour of 8:29am) that gives scripture for the church to go through together with the intention of creating more consistent time in the Word for those who choose to participate in the text blast. Last week it was John 15, and in particular last Wednesday was John 15:8-17:
8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command.15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.17 This is my command: Love each other.
For some reason this passage of eight or nine very short verses struck a pretty weighty cord in my heart. It really opened my eyes to what being "Missional" should be.
Now I know this is a stretch but bear with me.
Mission to me as a personal interpretation of John 15:
1. We are being called into "Friendship" with the targeted Mission Field not into some awkward teacher/pupil relationship (John 15:15).
2. We SERVE the Mission Field we desire to reach until we are entrusted with FRIENDSHIP. We then share life and expose Christ's identity through our trusted love to them (the Mission Field) meanwhile never neglecting our responsibility to SERVE them (John 15:12,13).
3. Being "missional" is a slow, painful, uncomfortable, non-gratifying process -- which is exactly why we must find rest in Christ. Jesus is the one who makes it worth it (John 15:11)
Here is a time-line, for lack of a better term, that I have put together to illustrate my above thoughts:
Establish MISSION Field------Establish appropriate SERVANT-HOOD------Establish FRIENDSHIP-------Establish EXPECTATIONS-------REVEAL CHRIST through Each of these Establishments
To me "missional" is a fun, trendy way of saying "discipleship." Which I am totally cool with, I am a firm believer in the FACT that there must be change and growth to maintain/create momentum. So with that said I would like to change an old title myself, from now on instead of being referred to as a "missionary," I would like to be referred to as a "disciplinary"...wait...now that I said that out-loud I don't feel like that will fly... how about you just keep calling me, "Guy who is doing something weird in KCK."