Monday, March 8, 2010

Missional Church

Reflections from my quiet-time this morning (well, it wasn't quiet because I was listening to a podcast, but it's quiet now as I'm reflecting):

Several weeks ago, my brother, Joel, introduced me to Nomad Podcast. A small group of young couples in Nottingham, UK interviews Christian authors, leaders, ministers and explores questions of church, community, missions, etc. I have not listened to all of them, but the ones I have left me thinking, thinking, thinking. (Joel said he doesn't agree with all the interviewees, but it certainly makes one think.) I LOVE when I discover something like this. For a person who has grown up in the church, it can sometimes be hard to find teaching that challenges my thinking. Couple that with asking the Holy Spirit to really move in my own heart and teach me something, and, to me, those moments are Kingdom moments! Thought I'd share a taste with you.

So, I'm here. I'm a missionary, but what does that mean? Don't get me wrong, we have a clear calling, a clear role (especially Brian), a mission organization with a clear mission, vision, focus, etc. that we so believe in and are honored to be a part of. I just find myself thinking that I need to constantly be searching my own heart to ask important questions about Christ, His heart for the world, His church, His mission and His calling on my life to serve.

This podcast really stirred and inspired me. The Nomad Podcast was an interview with Mike Frost. I know nothing about him except what I heard in this podcast. However, his words just resonated with me. You really should just listen for yourself because I wouldn't do the topic justice by trying to summarize. Though, I will share some of my thinking.

We're really starting a "new" life here in Frydlant. Before diving head first into many responsibilities, I am now desiring to really spend time in prayer asking God to whom is He sending me. Now, you may think that's crazy because I've already "been sent", and yes, that is true. But, more specifically, who are the people that God is sending me to (as a gift to them is the way Mike Frost put it--love that--"as a gift to them"). It is definitely to this city, with this organization (Josiah Venture), but I really want God to direct me more specific than that. Is it moms with young kids? Is it young missionary couples joining Josiah Venture? Is it our new neighbors? Is it young teenage girls? (Possibly some of all of these?)

For sure, I have responsibilities to serve with Josiah Venture. I will be working with JV families to help with the education of their kids. That's missional, for sure, and my head spins with ideas all the time, and I can't WAIT to get started. What I'm talking about, though, is relationships, friendships, our life! To whom is He sending me?

The aspect about the topic of this podcast that I love the most is that it's not a podcast intended for missionaries! In fact, our life in Charlotte was missional. Life in Christ should be missional. What I think is unique about our situation is the need. Eastern Europe is dark spiritually. It won't take long (but, perhaps a lot of effort in language learning) before friendships will be with people who have never really experienced the love of Christ or the joy of living as a part of His Kingdom. In fact, the needs kind of overwhelms me until I stop and think, okay, God wants me here, I need to seek Him, so that I truly bring His love to people; He will guide me.

Please, dear God, in the midst of so many new things, please help my life to be missional. Bring people into my life whom I can love with your love. Help our life, our marriage, our parenting, our friendships to be examples of Your community and Your design. God help me.

Here is our new town (however, it is covered in snow currently:)).

And, a picture of Cece--just because:)! Taken by Hannah Ellenwood, a JV missionary kid whom you will hear more about soon:)!

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