/Monday, May 30, 2022
We’ve all been in terminals around the world.
From Nairobi to Dubai, from Sao Paulo to Amsterdam they have served us with the same purpose – they received us from one part of the world and launched us on another leg of our journey to another destination.
None of us have ever lived in a terminal, although I once enjoyed a movie by that title. I’ve sat and rested in a terminal, I’ve drunk coffee and snacked, I’ve slept in a corner, and, at times, I’ve walked around for exercise looking at expensive things to buy; of course, the terminal is the best place for watching people from everywhere.
In the end, every terminal I’ve passed through was used to facilitate my journey from A to B.
The Church as a Terminal
Could I think of my church as a terminal? Could my church function as a facilitating enterprise helping me on my journey from A to B?
As a Christ follower I am on a journey through life. I could say my purpose is to join God in His mission in the world. I am engaged with the people of the world, the nations, around where I live.
So, in what way does my church serve me in this metaphor?
- The church is a place where I meet fellow travellers who pray for me, and where I find fellowship and courage to continue on in my weekly journey.
- I receive biblical teaching on God’s mission in the world and I learn how I can work with Him to accomplish His purposes.
- I don’t live in the church, I live in the world, but my regular visits with my church clarify my vision and give me strength to keep engaging with the nations in my world.
- I am particularly thrilled to worship with people from many nations, a foretaste of our time to come in the presence of Jesus.
- My church doesn’t keep statistics on how many people come into the church to call it home, instead they track how many members of the church this week developed new relationships and engaged with the nations.
- A monthly report from the terminal (church) treasurer appears showing how much money went through the terminal (church) and out to local and global ministry destinations; and how much to maintain the terminal (church).
- The programs in my church are less about Christian-centered activities and more about teaching me about other cultures, about the issues faced by new immigrants and refugees and how we as church members can engage and develop relationships with needy people so different from us.
- My church has programs and activities that appeal to newcomers and facilitate their settling in our country as they move from A to B.
So, like a terminal, a missional church is focused on facilitating Christ followers to make an impact in their world as they journey with God on His mission in the world.
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What does a Church on mission with God look like? How can church leaders design a missional church in their current context? Check out INTERFACE, a core program of Simply Mobilizing that focuses on the development of Missional Churches. INTERFACE can fit into an existing denominational or local church structure. It will simply enhance an existing model for greater emphasis on outreach and the participation of all God’s people on mission with God.
Ron Brown is a Senior Associate with Simply Mobilizing Canada and lives in Calgary, Alberta. He worked for 26 years in Africa with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
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