January 18, 2017

Membership to Missional: Thinking (Mental Framework) Matters

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On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Art Wiers, who serves on the core leadership team of the region of the Great Lakes, gives us insight on how we should ‘think’ about church and why this matters.

I like to take a moment to think church.

People who grew up in the church would think about membership as their primary orientation to church. That said, people think of church as a place to go. It’s a destination. Often, the primary focus is on what is in the church – who is there and what is going on there. Those aren’t necessarily bad things to think about, but it’s how most would think about church – that a church’s membership is the only thing that matters. But what should matter is what happens to everyone inside the church. What Art has learned over the past 20 years is that this way of thinking doesn’t lead to healthy churches. This doesn’t help us move toward Christ, and to serve in the name of Christ. Thus, it is important to change our way of thinking regarding church.

One thing that should change is that church is not a place to go to but a place to go from. It’s a sending place. And it’s an equipping place to send people into the world to make an impact.

Also, we should think of church on the missional side. The primary focus isn’t about what’s in there, but what we can do in our community with what we have learned and gained from inside the church. How are we going to address our culture of brokenness and the need for Christ? Again, this is a different way of thinking about church.

Finally, if you want to move toward missional thinking in the framework of church then what matters most isn’t what we want. What matters most is, “What would Jesus want me to do? And what am I supposed to do with the resources, time, and skill He has given me?” This changes our way of understanding church.

It is important to think about church and how we can move ourselves from a membership mindset towards a missional mindset.

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