Mission and Healing: Living Together
There is very little question that we are called to be Spiritually Formed in Christ. There is very little question that we are called to fulfill the mission of the church as a communal witness to the story of Jesus and the Bible. This is why our two main focuses are on “missional community” and spiritual formation.” A few thoughts on this:
In my experience, people and ministries tend to focus on one at the expense of the other (I know this is a generalization, but let’s generalize for the sake of argument :-). For example, I have been doing a lot of reading in the counseling world and there is a great focus on “spiritual formation” – this is good. I have also been doing a lot of reading in the “missional church” world and there is, of course, a lot of focus on the mission of the church and our call to be a communal witness in the world – this is also good!
One of the things to keep in mind is that while both are equally vital, they work hand-in-hand. I think sometimes we find it too easy to separate “being formed in Christ” from “living out our faith” (or however you want to phrase those two ideas) when they are not separate things.
#1 – You cannot be spiritually formed without living out the mission. Our spiritual formation is not an individual exercise. Not only are we formed by our community (see all the “one another verses” in scripture) but mission is part of our spiritual formation process as well. So, living out our mission is not only the result of Spiritual Formation, but it is part of spiritual formation.
#2 You can’t properly live out the mission without being spiritually formed. Think about it. The thing that makes us effective for mission (being Christ’s witnesses) is that we are in fact people who are different. We cannot truly be different if we are not being spiritually formed. If we try to “do mission” without life change, all our efforts will not be coming from the power of the Spirit but rather from the power of ourselves!
I wanted to share with you a little bit more of the motives as to why we have the two focuses of “missional community” and “spiritual formation.” They are intrinsically connected!
So, if you are a “missional community” leader, you cannot ignore “Spiritual formation” and vis a versa (not that you do!). In fact, so much of what we do falls into both categories that we can never be working apart from each other, teamwork is so important for this reason.
Mission and healing need to live together in the same house. They may have different rooms, but they are certainly part of the same house and therefore cannot be seperated from eachother!
Any thoughts? Add a comment…