Justin Hiebert

Catalyzing Change

The Missional Sweet Spot (Part 4)

Posted on 23 Mar 2014 in Culture, missional theology | Comments Off on The Missional Sweet Spot (Part 4)

So far, we have looked at Christ and Congregation in our quest to live in the Missional Sweet Spot. Today, we take a look at the last circle, the community.

Of the three circles, it is probably community that has historically presented the most problems for Jesus followers. As Christianity reigned in Western culture for hundreds of years, life in the community (a mission oriented approach to life) became unnecessary. It was believed that everyone was Christian, and an attraction based model of ministry (come to us) became the norm.

As our culture has become increasingly post-modern however, it has also become more noticeable that a mission-less church is failing. We often chose other things (prosperity, large facilities, paid professionals) as more important than empowering people to live in their communities.

———-

Our church is currently leading several people through a baptism class leading up to easter, and every week I ask people to submit questions about things that they want to know. One week, a person submitted the following question: “Can I still have a hobby if I’m a Christian?”

I think it’s a great question to ask, because it gets at the heart of what Jesus followers have so often missed in that we’ve made Christianity about a withdrawal from a standard life instead of about embracing our full humanity. Missional Sweet Spot

Instead, quite the opposite is true: our hobbies, passions, and interests are what allow us to make inroads into a culture that has become increasingly skeptical of the Christian faith. Joining a model airplane club, coaching youth soccer, or planting in a community garden are practical ways to meet neighbors, make friends, and share faith.

There is one phrase that I use frequently for people in our church: we should be doing than just being in our community, we should be decidedly for our community. It creates a key distinction for the Jesus follower: simply owning a house in a neighborhood isn’t enough, we must find ways to live on the mission that God has given us, to be people of hope and peace to those around us.

Our lives in our communities should reflect the mission of Jesus, who in Luke 4 said,

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

———-

For us to live in the Missional Sweet Spot, we must be active in our community. We must do more than own houses or attend a local church. We must find ways to use the gifts and passions that God has blessed us with to shape, influence, and draw our friends and neighbors closer to God. We, like Jesus, must find an opportunity to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

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Justin Hiebert

Leadership Catalyst - Entrepreneur - Coach at JSHiebert Leadership Coaching
I am a Business and Life Coach in both non-profit and for profit settings. I coach leaders, executives, and pastors in areas of vision, clarity, and values. In relationship coaching I focus on healthy and sustainable relationships, and in leadership development roles I catalyze change for individuals and groups to thrive. I also consult churches and organizations on how to train new leaders and create a healthy culture. In addition to that, I am an Anabaptist pastor in the Denver metro area. I specialize on topics that include: missional theology, discipleship, culture and the church in today’s society. I am married to my wonderful wife Elise and we have three kids. I grew up and now work in the United States Mennonite Brethren Church (USMB) and love the people and history of the Mennonite Brethren faith. I am a graduate of Tabor College with a dual degree in Youth Ministry and Christian Leadership, a graduate of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctoral Student and Bethel Seminary. I also teach college classes in areas of Bible, Communication, and Business.

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