Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Very Interesting

I find very interesting the current discussions concerning the Cooperative Program. There are two areas that baffle me.

The first is a call for a compelling vision. The vision for the mission task of a church flows from the pastor. A church assumes the personality of her pastor. If the pastor is evangelistic in fervor and missional in strategy the church will be the same. If the pastor leads his church to be supportive of the Cooperative Program she will gladly follow. The responsibility for a vision to reach the world through cooperative endeavor lies totally with the pastor. The command of Jesus in Acts 1:8 constitutes a compelling vision for me. I fear much of the discussion concerning compelling vision is coming from those who desire to lead their church to a less cooperative and more direct form of missions. While this is the church’s prerogative it will lessen her global impact not increase her global impact.

The second is getting more monies to the front line of missions. Presumably, this is a call to send more monies to the International Mission field. The implication is that money spent by our state conventions is skimmed away from the real work of missions. While I am in favor of more money going to International Missions it is faulty missiology. The mission of the church begins where she is planted and goes from there to the ends of the earth. We are allowing the excitement of International Missions to override the needs of reaching our Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. We are trading cooperative effort that legitimately allows us to go to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria ad the ends of the earth for a process that will diminish the impact we have on a lost world. If we fail to reach our communities and our states the day will soon come when there are no resources available to reach the nations. The front line of missions is where God has planted us. The Great Commission is not either/or it is both/and.

The largest churches in any city are not reaching all of her city. It needs to partner with other churches to reach her city. Often these partnering churches share a common theology and mission but are diverse in size, ministry style and ethnicity. The largest churches in any state are not reaching all of their state; they too need to partner with other churches of common theology and mission. The largest churches in our nation are not reaching our entire nation they must partner with other churches of shared theology and mission to reach our nation. The largest churches in the world cannot go to the ends of the ends of the earth unless they partner with other churches who share their theology and mission. We must work cooperatively if we are to make an impact on the lostness of our world. We must do more to take the gospel to a dying world beginning where we are planted and going to the ends of the earth. We will do more when we work together.

While this is a very interesting discussion, let us not revel in the discussion while we miss the responsibility to walk together in the task of winning a lost world to Christ.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.”
~ Unknown


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