Suburban Missionary

“You feel called to Africa but you haven’t gone across the street” — Many Pastors across America.

I have heard the above quote many a times in my life from a preacher who is trying to convince people to witness to their neighbors. Although I have a great numbers of problems with modern evangelism techniques I am beginning to feel the heart of the preachers who have shouted this to their congregation.

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that changes in my doctrine have pushed me out of the traditional church and into a more organic house church model. After reading Neil Cole’s Organic Church I have realized a few things about myself that probably apply to more people that may be willing to admit it.
I have never considered myself to be much of an evangelist, but I have been an evangelist for many things in Christianity: Christian music, ministry style, youth groups, churches, books and many other things in my life. I have shouted from the roof tops the benefits of moralism and ministry style but for some reason I have been silenced when it comes from evangelizing Christ and his Gospel.
As Christians we often find ourselves telling someone to come to our church, hoping that our paid ministry staff will do the work of the ministry which all Christians are called to do in Ephesians 4:11-14. We are all called to make disciples of all nations according to the great commission. I have been ignoring these things in order to hold onto my own comfort all the while forgetting that my life is not my own but that I was bought with a price. (I Cor. 6:19-20)
My goal is to become a suburban missionary, by that I mean diving into a culture that isn’t truly Christian. I believe that American culture is becoming post-Christian and although we have many religious and spiritual folks few of them know the Gospel of Christ and the fact that I live near them makes that fact all the more sad.

Photo courtesy of carnotzet in the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

3 responses to “Suburban Missionary”

  1. As an update and follow up to this post, I have met my new next door neighbors, they are Bridgette and James. They have three kids and are very cool. I skipped digging my garden on Tuesday and stood around having a ‘beer’ with James. And Wednesday he came over to ‘supervise’ my dig.

    He is pretty cool and reminds me a lot of friends from back home, now how do I turn this into a missional thing? I don’t yet know.

  2. This is so true. In the last year or two a few of my friends and I have been going to God asking what to do and the only thing we keep getting is “just go”. And, it’s true it completely takes us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to live more of a life after Christ. The thing that really challenged me on stepping outside of my comfort zone is where Jesus doesn’t say take up your comfy pillow and follow me, but He says “take up your cross and follow me”! And, also, all through out the gospels the bible very clearly shows where Jesus went. He went boldly in the streets saying “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand” (First 5 chapters in Matthew) and He also, hung out with The thieves and prostitutes and tax collectors, etc. And, the Pharasies (who were the religious pillars of the day) were in uproar. But, I believe that Jesus had an impact on the “hethens” because of LOVE. And, sin can’t stand in the precense of God. And, Jesus was God incarnate.

    I’m sorry if I went on a tangent, it’s just that I totally feel you on this. And, these are somethings that I have been studying recently and recently I have a new love for people that I’ve never had before. Just hanging out with people in bars, on the streets. Hearing their stories, where they are going, what they want, sharing in what they are going through. Loving them and standing up for Justice. Well, i could go on for a long time (I think I just wrote a blog on your blog! LOL). But, yeah I agree. Great blog. Sorry if I don’t make any sense.

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