Thursday, November 23, 2006

Vision for Ministry meeting Part II

There was actually a lot of stuff said at the vision for ministry meeting (if you weren’t there than you missed out). One of the questions that was asked was do things need to get redefined in order for us to become a more caring church. At my table I threw out two things (which I happen to feel very passionate about).

The first was the term ‘missionary’ I feel that this term needs to be redefined. Too often we view people that we send to a different culture and most specifically to a different country as the only missionaries. (On a side note I wonder if this is why some of our inner city missionaries have a hard time raising money. They are not far enough away.) This type of definition allows us to believe that we do not have to as active in sharing our faith because we are not actually missionaries. If we send someone to China to work in a book printing factory as a missionary we would have expectations that they would be doing what they could to reach the community. Do we have the same expectations for the people we send to Friesen’s? Should we? I am not sure it will work to redefine missionary but we need to do something so that people realize they are ministers of the gospel. Every Christian is a minister not just the ‘pastors’ and ‘missionaries’ (one of the reasons that I am sort of against ordination, but that is another topic for another day).

The second term that I threw out was ‘family’. Now our table did not really get a lot of time to discuss this (actually on all the questions we would just be getting going when Lyn would tell us time was up). I believe that if we are going to be a ‘caring church’ we are going to have to get a bigger picture of family. When I said this someone else who was not from this community looked up and said “Oh. You must have moved into this community as well.” Family is often viewed as one of the primary care giving units. If you have family then you will be cared for. (Now I know that this is actually often wrong and that care is more than just showing up for a couple of family holidays. But this is the preception.) But if you do not have family where do you get your care? Families are tight knit groups that do not allow other people to really enter into them. In fact in many families if you are not born into it you will never really be part of it (even if you marry in). (Another little side note. This is why I do not like the term ‘church family’). The bible calls us to have an expansive view of family. Conversion is really a move from our biological families to the family of God. If we are going to care we are going to have to actually see other Christians as our real brothers and sisters.

These two things family and missionary need to be held together. If we are solely focused on missionary than often we are just after people to pray the sinner’s prayer and not real discipleship. If we get too focused on family than we need never see a need to reach to those who are outside of the family and invite them in.


Sister C said...

Will redefining really make a difference in what people do? I kinda think not. People need to get passionate not read a new definition, no matter what you call it, if there is no love and passion nothing will change. let's not waste time redefining but find out how to show people why...why they need to care. Do people really know why? and it can't be because well "the bible tells me so" the passion comes from a deeper place than that. People need to see the pain that others have and feel their pain too. Like you said the person who sympathized with you about moving to a place with no family, they felt your Pain. so they could understand the need. I think the big question is How do we get people to feel each others pain?

Makarios said...

It's usually those who have felt pain that know what pain's all about. That's why it would be good for everyone to move away from family for a few years. Personally, I feel like I'm a better person for it- better in that I should be able to feel the pain of the "outsider." (There may be other pain that I may know nothing about.) I agree that the Bible calls us to have a expansive view of family. It is easy to forget this. We all need to be reminded, because we all, myself included, can easily become comfortable.