About the Mission Statement
A Kingdom-minded ...
One of the things that transformed my life was being introduced to the "Kingdom of God". By Kingdom of God, I don't mean coming into a saving relationship with Jesus or becoming a "citizen of the Kingdom". Many Christians have treated the word Kingdom as if it's some kind of place, perhaps even heaven itself. No, the understanding of Kingdom that transformed my life is that the Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God. The Kingdom isn't some kind of future place that we'll go to when we die, rather it's a present and active exercise of God's sovereign authority and kingship.
follower of Jesus, ...
I have a growing distaste for using denominational words to describe me. Over the past three decades, I have absorbed so many things from so many churches that I no longer fit neatly into any of those small boxes. Granted, I could call myself a Christian, but that word has been getting such a bad rap lately. It seems like being a Christian really doesn't mean much in today's world. After all, Christians seem to be on par with much of the world with regard to divorce, pornography, and other issues of morality. In other words, Christians are viewed as hypocrites. Instead, I want to be known as a follower of Jesus. Sure, I have more than my fair share of Simon Peter moments, but at least I'm passionate and diligent about following my master, Jesus Christ.
embracing the prophetic-apostolic, ...
One thing that I've come to appreciate since 2007 is the 5-fold ministry (Eph 4). I received my first prophetic word in 2007. During that time of ministry, three total strangers were saying things to me that only God would know. It was like they were reading my mail! After having that experience, I came into a greater realization of the power gifts. I believe that Jesus is forming His Church in such a way so that we're "firing with all 5 ministry functions" very much like the engine of a mid-sized car will "fire with all 6 cylinders". Granted, a car engine can run with just 4 of the 6 cylinders working, but the car will make strange noises, stall frequently, travel slowly, shake violently, and have no horsepower. The church is the same way, if we just operate with 3 of our 5 ministry functions we'll putz around a little, but we ultimately won't be able to finish the race. Restoring the prophetic and apostolic functions are necessary for God to advance his Kingdom.
with a missional-postmodern expression.
Before I go any further, I want to clarify that missional and post-modern are not synonmns! Missional is how one approaches a people group with the message of Jesus Christ, and postmodernism is a kind of worldview that a people group can adopt. It is possible to be missional and not postmodern, or be postmodern and not missional.
Since The Enlightenment (17th/18th century), so many wonderful things have been brought to the modern world. Advancements have been made in the areas of science, travel, medicine, inventions, philosophy, arts & entertainment, culture, education, theology, and so on. Everyone who has lived over the past couple centuries is indebted to the pioneers of that generation.
However, something new has happened over the past 50 years. This generation has been challenged to rethink everything because it is facing a new set of problems. We've seen the emergence of a new generation of pioneers. This has led to some exciting new developments in all areas of life. New advancements in science led to quantum physics. New advancements in travel led to sending people to the moon. New advancements in communications led to satellite broadcasts and round-the-clock news coverage. New advancements in technology led to personal computers and the internet. As you can see, the world has been moving and shaking over the past 50 years!
This moving and shaking has created a bit of an earthquake to the modern worldview. The people of the 21st century see the world through a lens that is radically different than the people of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th century. Today's generation has the privilege of pioneering a new worldview; that worldview is known as postmodernism.
As a result, the church of today has the challenge of communicating the gospel to a new kind of people group. I believe that becoming a missional church is a very promising way of reaching out to today's world (whether they are modern, postmodern, or 3rd world!). The Friend of Missional site has an excellent summary of what it means to be missional: "Missional is a helpful term used to describe what happens when you and I replace the 'come to us' invitations with a 'go to them' life. A life where 'the way of Jesus' informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture. It speaks of the very nature of the Jesus follower."