Sr High Parents update – May 2
The Church as a Missional Agent to the World
Small Group Material for May 2, 2012
The story of Scripture reveals a God who takes the initiative to redeem his creation from their broken and hurting state. It is difficult to look at Scripture and miss the missional tone that exists throughout the story of Israel, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the early church. The act of being sent into the world is central to the life and function of the church. Christians are sent into the heart of a broken world as representatives of Jesus and his alternative Kingdom of love and justice. The Kingdom of God is central to our understanding of the church as a missional agent within our communities and the world. In the same way that Israel was to embody a new way of living, Christians are sent into the heart of culture as a clear alternative to the tired old kingdoms of greed, selfishness, and isolation. As followers of Christ, we are to act in a way that points people to the coming Kingdom of God as we represent him to those that we encounter.
Note: Here is a working definition for the term “missional”.
“Missional is a helpful term used to describe what happens when you and I replace the “come to us” invitations with a “go to them” life. A life where “the way of Jesus” informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture. It speaks of the very nature of the Jesus follower.” – Rick Meigs
1) What do you think it means to be representatives of Jesus and his Kingdom in our communities and the world?
2) How does the Kingdom of God differ from the earthly kingdoms that currently exist? Does our culture value the same things that God values?
3) What are practical ways that we can embody this new way of living in our everyday lives?
Matthew 28: 19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
4) What do you think is a better method for being missional: inviting people to come and see what faith is about or going into our societies as people who live like Christ while pointing people to the future Kingdom that God will establish? Are both important?
5) As people empowered by the Holy Spirit, how will our lives look different to the world?