Thursday, October 27, 2005

Indicators of a ‘Missional Church’ - Spirit

As I look over my post of the empirical indicators of a missional church, one of the things that is lacking is how absolutely dependant on the Holy Spirit the missional church has to be as it seeks to be about the mission of Jesus Christ.

I suppose there is a sense in which dependence upon the Spirit through prayer is kind of the base of all twelve of these indicators. This is important. Prayer is a dependency upon the Holy Spirit. Especially prayer in the context of community.

Scott McKnight at Jesus Creed has a survey up asking:
What is the primary source for your spiritual formation?
33% indicate solo study as their primary source.

Quite frankly that scares me. Solo study... solo spiritual disciplines are important. But if they are not connected to the community, I'm not sure they are biblical. Theology that's not done in the context of community is not theology of the church.
Spiritual disciplines that are not lived out in community are not biblical disciplines.

The Missional Church is incapable of fulfilling its call, save for guidance from the Spirit of God and for the Spirit’s empowerment of the church’s witness to that reality. A sent people on missio dei (the mission of God) who do not constantly pray are bound to lurch along in confusion and pain. Trouble will surely batter them; indecision will plague them; evil will terrorize them.

I think the challenge for communities of faith that are seeking to live together missionally is corporate prayer. It is one thing to encourage people to pray individually, but it is another challenge to spend time together in prayer as a group. This is one of the things that I am looking at with our community: How can we spend more time together in cooperate prayer?

I am pretty sure the answer isn’t having more prayer nights because in our context, that is likely going to crash and burn with no attendance. The answer seems to be is to make sure that we are intentional about praying together in the spaces where we already gather. It’s so easy to gather together for something and totally forget prayer.

No comments: