A few thoughts from Deb Hirsch from the CMA Organic Movements Conference.
7 Obstacles to Engaging in Mission:
1. Distorted view of Jesus
I fear that a lot of Christians are not seeing Him clearly. We see Him in our own image. We try to tame Him or domesticate Him. But when we follow a sanitized, cleaned up Jesus, then we become like that: tame and sanitized.
2. Distorted views of self
The foundational identity that we need to live out is that we are disciples. Churches are full of Christians, but there are not a lot of disciples. Christians believe, but disciples follow.
3. Distorted views of others
We need a paradigm shift from focusing on people’s negative behavior. The primary truth is that people are created in the image of God. When we look at other people, we recognize that this person, no matter who it is, in some way reflects my God.
4. Distorted views of love
Romantic notions of love do not cut it in the mission field. It’s “fun” to get out there and have a romantic notion of the being out there. But real sacrificial love is what is needed to sustain mission. “To know love one must know pain.”
5. Distorted views of the world
Where you stand determines what you see. Too many of us keep ourselves cocooned in our safe lives and houses. How can we respond to the needs of the world if we are not out looking for them. To understand the pain of a city, you have to go to where the pain is. We have to move out beyond where we are to see the pain.
6. Distorted views about money, consumption, and status
We have also been seduced by consumerism– the alternative religion of our day. Sociologists say consumerism has become the “new religion.” This is the greatest competitor to Christianity, yet we don’t see it because we live amongst it.
7. Distorted views of the family
We have become captive to the construct of the nuclear family as the ideal family structure. We have set this up as an idol. This is not a biblical notion of family. The biblical notion of family is very inclusive– households– many, many uncles, brothers, sisters, parents. The kingdom is a big inclusive family.
(ht Roger Thorman at Simple Church Journal)