Ok, some of you might be starting to feel like I’m some sort of broken record… and you know what, maybe I am. But this is something about which I’m willing to be that broken record…
Rob Bell’s church, Mars Hill Bible Church, just made a (radical?) statement about what their mission as a church community is. It’s something that the leaders there have been working on for a while, but apparently in the last few weeks it’s come to fruition and they have presented it as the main Mission of their church, which will define who they are and what they’re about and where they’re going in the immediate future.
Here are the main 3 points, but you should check out the link above for more details:
Missional areas of focus
And they’re not just talking about this stuff, saying things like “man, wouldn’t it be great if people around us weren’t homeless anymore”…
They actually have a plan to DO IT.
This morning, I was listening to the podcast from the service that they first announced this at (download it here) and the lead pastor, Don Golden, was recounting a trip to Africa that he had made a few years ago. He was meeting with a large group of African pastors in an area that was heavily hit by famine, and they were talking about what the churches and pastors could do in the midst of such great suffering and need.
The (obvious) problem is that in a famine, people need food. Thus, if a church wants to help the people in need, then they need to get food to give to people. But what do you do if there is no food to give?
Don said that his understanding of church was forever changed by what one African pastor shared there. When asked the question, “What is it like, to be surrounded by overwhelming brokenness and need and yet having nothing to offer”, the African pastor said:
When you are no longer able to help the needy, are you still a church?
So, what Mars Hill has done, and what I am doing to all of you who stop by, is turning this question around on us and asking:
If we (American Christians and the American church as a whole) are not helping the needy, are we still The Church?
Chew on that for a while…