The Church exists by mission as fire exists by burning – Emil Brunner
A while back my 3-year old daughter drew a picture on the whiteboard and turned to me exclaiming “Daddy look at my beautiful drawing!” I quickly said “Let’s go show mommy”, but before I could get her she wiped it away. I looked at her disappointed, and she looked at me puzzled.
Right then an epiphany occurred – For my daughter it didn’t need to last forever for all to see; it was perfectly fine that it was beautiful in it’s time.
At Mosaic (the faith community I help lead) beautiful stories have been created and some incredible people gather with us – but is our destiny simply to try and keep this up?
I’ve been imagining a magnificent commissioning service for our community – where we ordain, release and send every single person out. It’s easy to fall into thinking that this is the ‘closing’ of a church, but for me this would be the fulfillment of all that we’ve been working towards.
It wouldn’t be immediate, but by having an ‘end date’ it creates a fixed time-frame for us to be laser focused on what matters most – in terms of prayer, support, discipleship, resourcing, etc. I’m convinced there are churches everywhere that are filled with people who can’t give a good answer as to why they keep going, and going.
Sometimes I feel like we’re holding great people captive. We have people in our midst who have been wanting to go and birth something anew. We’ve got others who may want to participate in a differently structured church and could share what they’ve learned at Mosaic with other communities. Still others who may be feeling a bit disgruntled could move on with a sense of dignity. Releasing and commissioning one another could be one of the most thrilling things we do as a community.
I can see us re-configuring to being a missional network that informally equips and counsels while organizing occasional gatherings to share stories.
I wouldn’t recommend this to most churches. I think our faith community is uniquely positioned to be able to pull something like this off with grace, reverence, and love.
It’s His kingdom that endures forever, not every church organization.
If God would have Christ himself, the head of the church, sacrificed for the good of the world, is it possible that God might ask us, the body of Christ, to do the same?
Could God do even greater things through your community if you ceased to gather the way you currently do?