No leader wants to admit that their church is selfish, but unfortunately many churches out there are. A selfish church is one that is inward focused, always worrying about internal issues and situations, completely forgetting the surrounding culture and their Biblical mission to be the hands and feet of Jesus into the world. Selfish churches are scary places and most of the time have a toxic environment. Luckily, there's an antidote.
This week on the Podcast we talk about the mission trip that Jonny led to Des Moines last week, and how service projects and mission trips are pivotal to moving a church away from being inward facing to being outward facing. We broke the types of projects that a church can do into two categories that, although different, should be integrated with one another: social and evangelistic.
Social projects or trips are primarily focused on serving a person or community without any explicit evangelism. Evangelistic projects or trips are focused primarily on sharing the good news of Jesus. We at 200churches believe that churches must be focused on BOTH of these missions and we believe that Matthew 25 and 28 point us in that direction. We must make disciples, but can't forget physical needs in the process.
So why aren't more churches focused on missions? We believe the answer is that changing a culture feels like too daunting of a task! To go from no service projects or missions trips (aka being a selfish church) to being an outward facing church is a big jump, right?
Well, not necessarily.
We believe that it's important to start small. If it's been a long time since your church was actively moving outward, just start with a Saturday afternoon or evening project. No matter how small your first project is, we are convinced that your people will catch the bug for service and the snowball will start rolling. A Saturday turns into a weekend turns into a week and before you know it, you've got a group of deacons heading up a two-week international trip. Resist the urge to shoot the moon on the first try. Let your people get the itch and a culture will begin to grow organically.
Not only are missions the antidote for a selfish church, there are substantial fringe benefits as well, including:
-Missions make disciples by making people disciples. The experience of serving others and sharing the love of Christ will drive your people into a deeper relationship with God and help them grow in their own walk.
-Missions help cultivate relationships in your church. People develop a deeper and more personal bond while serving with each other. Ten years of Sundays will never bond people like one weekend service project or missions trip.
-Your church makes a difference in the lives of others. If your desire is to see your 200church making an impact in the world, missions are the answer. Your church has an important role to play, so we encourage you to go find out where you can help.
Ultimately, we at 200churches want to see selfish churches transformed into outward facing, loving communities of God. What have your experiences been with missions? Have you helped transition a church from selfish to selfless? Leave a comment below and let us know what worked for you!
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