A Tale of Two Churches: Sending Churches Parts 5 and 6

5. Sending Churches resist the “maintenance” model of ministry. According to Webster, the word maintain means, “to keep in an existing state.” I am not sure that a more fitting and accurate descriptor of the ministry approach of today’s church can be offered. Churches have become successful at keeping things they are or the way they were. Why is this? I believe it a simple matter of ease. It is easier to take no risk. It is easier to not try. It is easier to work within what is comfortable and familiar – even if it doesn’t work. It has been said that a ship is safe in harbor, but ships were not made for such things. The church wasn’t birthed to remain in harbor under the watch-care and supervision of those who belong to its ranks. The church was birthed to be on offense – moving forward with a clear objective and message. Sending Churches resist maintenance and choose action. They choose risk over ease.

6. Sending Churches view missions not as a singular activity to do but as a lifestyle to be embraced. Churches have become masters of compartmentalization with each ministry element (children, adults, students, music, etc.) working independently boasting their own leader, budget, and calendar. Missions and outreach are no different. Missions is often viewed, although improperly, as a single event, offering, or emphasis. It is something the church does rather than who it is. Sending Churches weave the pursuit of those outside of God’s family into the fabric of their overall ministry and work. The tangible acts of service and love that open the doors for gospel conversations (missions) are part of the church’s DNA and ministry expression. Instead of simply “doing” missions, Sending Churches intentionally live a missional lifestyle.

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