existing for those outside

Since I began my internship at Crosspoint Church I have learned a lot about loving those outside of the church.  Wayne has taught Amber and I so much about the church existing for those outside of its walls.  For instance, a couple weeks ago when time changed our college small group went out into the community to hand out free coffee packets.  We told them it was for some extra caffeine in the morning!  We also gave them a card that read “We hope this small act of kindness brings some light into your day.  Its our way of saying God loves you, no strings attached.  Let us know if we can be of more assistance.”  People really enjoyed it!  Many of them laughed and were surprised.

Over Christmas I received Transforming Mission by David Bosch.  The book is enormous so I skipped to the good parts that I wanted to read!  One section is about churches becoming more missional, in their actions and theology (missional is certainly a buzz word today, but this book was written in the early 90s by a guy from South Africa, so that makes it even more interesting!).  Bosch notes the there is an emerging shift in the way the church approaches mission.  Instead of missions being something that the church sends people to do, it is becoming what the church is.  He claims that today the “church is not the sender but the one sent.”  We are being sent not to comfort ourselves and better ourselves, but be a light in our own communities.  One that is the source of love, justice, and forgiveness.  A humble entity where community is authentic and always accepting.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from prison, “The church is the church only when it exists for others.”  That means we must find creative, loving ways to be a light in our community.  Many times we have the attitude that people should come to us instead of us going to/finding them.  The church should not be so arrogant but rather imitate Jesus, who when a sheep went missing went out to find it at all costs.

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4 Comments

Filed under Books, Music

4 responses to “existing for those outside

  1. Matt

    Bosch’s “Transforming” is most certainly a classic, but I too have to admit to not reading it all. I have found Stan Nussbaum’s “A Reader’s Guide to Transforming Mission” helpful. Nussbaum not only gives great guidance through Bosch’s work, but he also provides some insightful words on Bosch himself.

  2. mattbusby

    Brad
    Thanks for the insight! That is truly helpful to know and I will definitely have to check it out.

  3. Annemie Bosch

    Matt! Brad! Have just come across this — and I agree, Stan’s “Reader’s Guide…” is certainly a gem and most helpful indeed – especially to those non-theologians interested in TM but is also important in it’s own right.

    How-ever, if you have the time to do so, I think the best way to get the most valuable learning experience and to gain deep insight into David’s thinking and message about the Missio Dei and what it entails, would be to read the original TM together WITH Stan’s book – one for which I am deeply grateful. Having used it myself after repeatedly reading parts of TM as well as reading the whole book 3 times, I am even more sure that Stan has produced “a treasure” leading to “the treasure trove” of TM. Of course David was a child of his time and, had he lived, would have grown in his thinking, in his theology and faith – yet in so many ways I think the Holy Spirit had led him to be ahead of his time. I am constantly amazed at the way, even now, 16 years after the book was published, we can (and do) extrapolate from TM and gain valuable insights and guidelines for living the Gospel in our own time. I am also fascinated and delighted by the fact that many “post-modern” theologians (especially those from Evangelical background), have discovered and write about “The Secret Message of Jesus” (Brian McLaren), “God’s Politics” (Sojourners – Jim Wallis, who started talking about these things 30 years ago)and similar trends and topics on various levels and in different areas of theological thinking, the gist of which David Bosch believed, said and wrote at least 3 decades before 1992 when TM was published, but which only gained world-wide academic and public attention through TM. I know many others were also led to see these things during and before David’s time – but I mean, what he thoughtut them, became known through TM.

  4. mattbusby

    Thanks Annemie! I didn’t read the whole book but I just finished reading the end (from page 346 on) and I am constantly that he was writing this in 1992 and not 2002! I too have noticed very similar thoughts in the writings of Brian McLaren.
    Wow, you two have convinced me, I have got to get Stan’s book!

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