David Fitch, bi-vocational pastor, scholar and author, recently posted nice suggestions for “Cultivating Missional Rhythms in a Community” on his website. My heart identified with these suggestions as they reflex how I live life and ‘do church.’
Below is a summary of the nine suggestions – you will need to go to David’s website to get the full version.
The Important Task of Cultivating Missional Rhythms in a Community
1.) Kindly Reject doing Outreach Events. Instead direct imagination towards ways of connecting with people where they are.
2.) Kindly Reject evangelism as a one time hit on a target with a preconceived outcome. Kindle imagination toward seeing mission as part of regular daily, weekly and monthly life rhythms where out or regular life God works to use your life to impact people for the gospel in unforeseen ways.
3.) Kindly reject building multiple use buildings as if by building a gymnasium on the church campus we can bring people into the orbit of the church. Instead stoke imagination for what can happen when we go inhabit the gyms already in the neighborhoods. We should build less third spaces, and inhabit more the ones already there.
[Josh Comment: while I agree with this statement in principle, it is hard to do church in an area with limited buildings – especially one’s that allow for a children ministry or a food pantry….]
4.) Kindly reject one-on-one evangelism and the techniques associated with such apologetic persuasion. Instead direct imagination for inhabiting places in two’s or three’s or more…. there are forces at work that can take under any one isolated saint. But two or three Christians together become an undeniable force for the kingdom under the Lordship of Christ.
5.) Kindly reject the Sunday morning gathering as an evangelistic event for it cannot be that in the new post Christendom cultures. Instead fire up imagination for the formation that comes from a communal encounter with the living God in Jesus Christ.
6.) Kindly reject coercive persuasion and argument in our witness. Instead stoke the imagination of your people for seeking “one person of peace” (Luke 10) among the lost of their neighborhoods.
7.) Kindly reject presumptuous postures of power as we live our lives among those who do not yet know Christ. Instead direct the imagination towards the way Christ always enters the human situation in humility.
8.) Kindly Reject Surveying the neighborhood – Direct the imagination toward exegeting the neighborhood.
9.) Kindly Reject problem solving – instead direct the imagination towards “appreciative inquiry.”
What do you all think? Do these suggestions make sense? Or are you ready to throw rotten tomatoes?