We're excited that our church is doing a new series entitled "Sent" which obviously is very relevant to our current situation as we're praying through being sent by God to Seattle. Yesterday, Pastor Bruce preached an outstanding sermon that gave me much to chew on as I consider how I can apply it to our forthcoming new context. His entire preface really resonated with us. It was about God's story of redemption and how you being a part of a church is not primarily for the peripheral things such as programs, ceremonies, social justice, etc., but for the GRANDER purpose- God's story of redemption around the world. We titled our blog "Chronicles of the Missio Dei" because we recognize that we are living out a story (in Brazil, Texas, Seattle, and wherever!) that is just a part of God's greater story "which is the greatest story ever told." (See here and here.)
Pastor Bruce presented that story of redemption like this: Creation > Fall > Redemption > Restoration. Many churches, he truthfully related, have a tendency to jump over the sticky redemption part and go straight from the Fall to Restoration. They provide all kinds of human-powered solutions for the ugly problems of the world, meanwhile ignoring the new gospel identity that God provides through Christ in Redemption. We love how Downtown Cornerstone embraces Redemption fully so that they can work out Jesus-powered Restoration throughout downtown Seattle. Check out what Pastor Adam thinks about being sent.
Last thoughts on the sermon. Whether or not you're good at it, if you believe in Christ as your Savior, you have been sent as a missionary to your world. It's an impossible task without embracing your new identity in Christ. Stop treating church as a tourist attraction. It is not like Disney World, it's like Fort Hood. You go there for strengthening, refueling, and equipping for the mission. "God's mission is best accomplished not when we come to church [building], but when we leave it." (I added "building" because Bruce clearly explained prior that church is not the place, it's the people.) Thanks Pastor Bruce for allowing God to speak through you! I look forward to the rest of the series.