Tuesday, 3 April 2012

a house of prayer and missional?

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’

Not the most popular  reading for Holy Week, but one which has grabbed my attention today.

If every church had enough money for what it wants to do, we could easily perpetuate models of Ministry, which will render us ineffective at reaching people dwelling within increasingly distant cultures.

If every regional association had enough money to provide enough staff to do what it wants, we could easily avoid the transition into being the missional agencies we need to become.

If we increased our HM giving to £6m as it feels like ‘the target’ is, we could continue to avoid the challenge to turn around and start sending the missional energy outwards, to the edge of the round, and not inward to serve the centre.

However, one thing, which fascinates me, is how we manage to separate those things God has joined together. We are supporting an initiative 'Arise Bristol & Beyond', which is about prayer and repentance and involves using Ashton Gate stadium on Pentecost Sunday, 27th. May, the home of Bristol City FC, so a big event. Both are concerns of Jesus in the Temple incident above. The Church is not being asked to make a choice: 'do you want to be missional, or prayerful'? The Church is called to be the Church of Jesus Christ.

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