"The church was intended to be a movement of changed lives," was one of the two points that Pastor Marshall Mobley of Mosaic A2 declared today. If you get the opportunity, you should go to www.mosaica2.org and download the mp3 to listen to it. Mosaic is part of the E.A.C.H. movement that is underway in SE Michigan to give E-veryone A C-hance to H-ear the Gospel. You can go to www.eachtoday.com or www.2wordstory.com for more information on joining this revival. Mosaic is currently into the third week of the 'why' of the story and it hosts small groups who are going through the 'how' of the story telling.
I would drive it deeper though....."The church was intended to be a movement of changed lives changing lives in a community of fluid, organic living, rather than being a stagnant, wall-dwelling operational base that sends out search-n-rescue parties to 'shock and awe' the enemy." We have a tendency to bulid a church wherever we can find the space and ignore the community around it, separating ourselves from them in huddles of 'saved' and the 'needing to be' categories and limiting our outreach in the community to vivable 'returns.' We live with an agenda God did not give us, of forcing transformation rather than living transformed lives to entice and teach others how they can live such life themselves and letting God deal with the 'heart, which no man can know.' I am glad I wasn't built for the brick and mortar, for now I understand why I don't feel the most comfortable there. It isn't the community that exists inside those walls, its the community that exists outside those walls. Pastor Mobley helped me realize some things like that today. And it isn't to say that the community within Mosaic's walls or the community within the walls of some other 400 churches that I know of that are part of the E.A.C.H. movement are not involved or trying to engage their communities that lie around the locations of their assemblies, too many are or are seeking real and heart-driven ways to live the Gospel in them, not in spite of them.
For too long, we have allowed the passion of the Church to be 'shock and awe' inspired attempts at 'community building' with the intentionality of 'congregational' building that we have lost the effectiveness of the mission; to be a community within the community reflecting God back into it to transform lives by our community of transformed lives. We have trained our pastors to be 'nice' with the Gospel and the Christian experience so as not to offend and incite the 'insurgents' against the mission of the Church and have downplayed the real meat and potatoes of the Gospel. We overlook the intent of God's plan for the Church and the development of its members; all members of the same family if the biblical truths are their foundations.
We have become a 'seek-n-rescue', 'hit-and-get' mobile group of guerrillas who never stay for long and consider our rapid success in surface transformation to be an inspired and God-led thing when the enemy leader, Satan, is simply waiting for time to come to his aid and negate our limited, fragile message of 'love, love, love' and 'joy' to be weathered away by the sands of this world. It is the intention of the E.A.C.H. grassroots movment to change that 'shock and awe' into the realistic and heartdriven intention of community building by living in the community and showing the Gospel truth in the life lived.
Paul showed us how to do it in Acts. It never was his intention to go somewhere and simply preach, erecting a few tents here and there for business sake (since he was a self-employed preacher) and then move on when either the community or the message ended. He preached, led others to Christ and then followed God's lead in the community there to create the bedrock of a church plant. Then he would move on to the next location God compelled him to. We are not 'preaching' something new and haven't had anything new to say in some 2,000 plus years. The message is the same, as Paul taught to the Athenians in the Areopagus, "what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you." (Acts 17:23 HCASB)
We are attracting those who are coming to realize the emptiness of the pursuits of this world and answering the questions with the honesty of the Truth. As we do that, lives are being transformed and then discipled in the reality of the Gospel mission.
That is an army I want to be a part of and a mission that will not be over until the King returns!