Good thoughts on being missional with the Super Bowl from Ted Torreson at Faith in Motion.
Millions of people are getting ready to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday. Personally, I’m not a huge football fan. Usually the Super Bowl is the only game I watch all year, but even though I don’t love the game, I love hanging out with people. The commercials and the food are always good as well. Yet can one use the Super Bowl as a chance to witness?
Here are a few things to think about being Missional with the Super Bowl:
In my spirituality class at Warner Pacific College this week my students presented their spiritual journeys in life. One student, Kristina Martin, discussed the 15 lessons the church had taught her. As a result of her experiences, Kristina is no longer part of an organized faith community. With Kristina’s permission and without any editing I have written her list below.
15. The church measures growth by quantity, not quality.
14. Put on a happy face.
13. Only the next generation matters.
12. Good Christians don’t dance, drink, swear, watch R-rated movies, or listen to “secular” music.
11. God and all good Christians are Republicans.
10. Whatever you’re going through can be resolved with the Bible by using 3, 4, 5, or 7 easy steps.
9. Christian clichés make everything better.
8. Performance is more important than content.
7. Homosexuality is tantamount to pure evil.
6. NEVER question or disagree with the pastor.
5. The pastor is blameless.
4. The only thing we have to fear is the pastor.
3. Aside from the obligatory “meet your neighbor” time, the church will NOT make you feel welcome.
2. Issues are more important than people.
1. God may accept you as you are, BUT NOT THE CHURCH.
Which of these reflect your experiences?
Which of these lessons have you promoted yourself?
Simple concept, but how easy is it to implement?
Reggie McNeal, author of The Present Future, hits it out of the park again with Missional Renaissance. The author calls churches to become missional by changing the scorecard of how we define church success. McNeal defines the missional church as “the people of God partnering with God in his redemptive mission in the world.” Missional is described as intentionally reaching people where they are instead of waiting for them to come to church. McNeal says that churches focusing on inreach suffer in their outreach; but churches that begin with outreach will naturally develop inreach and upreach. “Being salt and light can not happen in a faith huddle”, he says. The chapter, “Changing the scorecard from internal to external focus” is chock-full of community outreach ideas that alone are worth the price of the book. This book will challenge you to change your focus and your mission!
Who are we reaching with the gospel of Jesus? At the recent “Genius of AND” conference, Alan Hirsch stated, “Many in our population are increasingly in isolation from us and we have to take the message to them.” Hirsch went on to describe how 40 percent of our churches are using an attractional model that reaches those within a cultural distance of our building. Additionally, after unbelievers are converted, they become socialized to look and act like us, which drastically reduces the influence they can have on unbelievers.
The problem is that at least 60 percent of the population ultimately gets ignored. Hirsch called for churches to be missional—to go to the world instead of waiting for them to come to us. He said, “We need to plant the Gospel and let church come out of that.”
Isn’t that what the Great Commission charges us to do? We need to “Go” to others, not simply sit back and hope we will attract others to Jesus. But, we have been doing this for so long that it will be difficult to change with the constantly shifting sands of the vast unchurched seashore.
Perhaps we need to reimagine the way we “do” church and the ways we make disciples. We can take a cue from Jesus and meet people where they are—in the streets, the pubs—anywhere that is typically “their” turf. Maybe it is time for us to view the church—not as a building to worship in—but as a group of disciples whom Jesus has called to go out to the world. This means getting out of our comfort zones to share the gospel. It requires us to be less concerned about our preferences and become more burdened for the souls of others.
What should going to others look like?
How will this alter our current church practices?