Our group tonight started discussions on a study series introduced a couple of weeks ago called Ignition, by Mark Sayers. Mark was in town last weekend for Herding Cats young adult ministries seminar. If you want to hear any of that click here.
Some of our crew were a little restless entering back into a more formal bible study style thing. Meaning that most of our activities of the past couple of years have tended to be more ‘come as you are’ and lets see what conversations erupt on the night.
The other tension for some has been the obvious “missional flavour” (read evangelistic) the study comes with.
Questions arise – “am I going to seek out relationships in order to target them with the gospel?” and the like.
The study in fact is nothing like that at all. Some may read that into it from their own ‘dark past’, as in – interpret the authors intent through the lens of the readers experience, but He insists that the purpose of his missional exploration is for us to explore new thinking in mission, engage in new learning and experiences get a bit uncomfortable, be challenged and so on.
Only one out of Marks 6 or 7 examples for missional exploration is about ‘sharing your faith with a non-believer’, others include social justice, engaging with the community, doing research and so on.
My major issue with the study is that it might be read as though no one is actively engaged in mission already, that we have to go out and invent some new ministry.
A couple of our folks shared about their work situation and just how missional that is, they don’t need to be out looking for more, it’s right there in their face every day, this is awesome for them!
We split up into two groups.
It’s hard to remember this is not about studying the bible (It’s a study in Acts) but rather it is allowing the Spirit to use the bible to study us. I saw in our group tonight the first 2 chapters of Acts become a spring board for discussion. Not discussion about the words, the language, the yadda yadda yadda, but rather, the culture of then and how it’s different today, what difficulties we might have in being a people of faith in a genuine way that are different and similar to the people of faith in the days of the first church and so on.
I must admit, I had the time of my life. This was fun! I feel like when we come together as a people who follow Christ if we can’t open the book we profess to draw belief and understanding from once and a while, if we can’t spur one another on in the very mission we are called to – to be Jesus’ body collectively, if we can’t challenge one another in love and grace…then what the flip are we? The Lions club? The YMCA?
Looking foward to next week!