Notes from Michael Frost on Mission as the Organizing Principle of the Church


Notes from YouTube video of Michael Frost at a recent Presbytery meeting.

Theme: “MISSION” should be the organizing priniciple of the church

  • mission means “to be sent” – a movement outwards
  • not something added on
  • all other things should fall under mission – including worship, fellowship, discipleship, etc

1. We must see GOD differently as missio dei, the missioning God

  • not, “come up to Zion,” that is, expecting people to come to him on their own
  • rather, an incarnational God who moves into people’s lives, a missionary God
  • God is going after people – in search of man
  • God is in Babylon too
  • the Father sends the Son and they send the Holy Spirit, the three send us (Jn 17), missio dei = the missioning God
  • filled with the Spirit = sent into the world
  • temple of God is our bodies
  • Jesus shattered traditional views of Sabbath, etc; we must shatter traditional views of “church”

2. We must see CHURCH differently as participatio Christi, participating with what Jesus is doing in the world

  • the gathering of the sent ones
  • ecclesia – to go forth, called out ones
    • ecclesia in the ancient near east (ANE) was a meeting by the city gates of the elders who solved ethical dilemnas, etc of the people of the village
    • ADDING VALUE to the village
    • a gift to the community
      • like salt and light
      • adding beauty, peace, goodness, wisdom, etc
  • WOULD YOUR CHURCH BE MISSED IF IT WERE GONE FROM THE COMMUNITY? WOULD ANYONE GRIEVE (besides the members themselves)?
  • add value to your neighborhood
  • open the doors of your church to your neighborhood
    • art gallery in the sanctuary
    • musical groups
    • forums
    • neighborhood groups
  • ask WHOM CAN WE SERVE? TO WHOM CAN WE GO?
  • ecclesia – go as the sent ones

3. We must see the WORLD differently as imago dei, the image of God

  • not how wonderful it is “in here,” and how icky it is “out there”
  • the world is not so icky, the church is not so wonderful
  • there are wheat and weeds inside and outside the church
  • imago dei, everyone bears the image of God
  • as they say on the program CSI, “every single point of contact leaves a trace”
  • God leaves a trace on every soul
  • all one wheat field
  • every person reflects the image of God; we must tease it out of them
  • Willa Cather’s Death Comes to the Missionary – “finding the treasure buried in the hearts of people”

4. When will you go? When do we leave? What are you wating for?

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