Talk Back to Me! #TraditionallySouthside

Okay. I’m sorry I haven’t continued, but things have been kind of busy with the new year getting started. So let me remind you where we left off:

The 12 trends found in healthy churches are:

  1. The churches have a high view of Scripture.
  2. A large number of church members read the Bible daily.
  3. The churches have a priority and focus on the nations.
  4. The churches have a missional community presence.
  5. The congregations have membership that matters.
  6. The members are evangelistically intentional.
  7. These healthy churches have pastors who love the members.
  8. The churches allow their pastors to spend time in sermon preparation.
  9. There is clarity of the process of disciple making.
  10. These churches do less better.
  11. The process of discipleship moves members into ongoing small groups.
  12. Corporate prayer is intentional and prioritized.

We talked about the first two. Well I talked, and one of you agreed with me. That’s okay. Remember, what I want is a dialogue. I want you to let me know what you think about any of these 12 trends. Is there really a correlation between these trends and the health of a church? Do you see them in your church? Are there ways that we can implement them in our church?

Numbers 3 & 4 have to do with missions. The mistake most of us make is to assume missions is all about Haiti and Africa. It isn’t. Even Jesus said that we must start in our own Jerusalem – our own neighborhood – and then spread out to the uttermost parts of the world. However, those of us who don’t make the mistake of thinking that missions is about faraway lands don’t often understand (at least we don’t act like we understand) that missions is about what we do at home.

Let me explain what I mean. Missions, ministry, and evangelism are related, but they are not the same. Missions involves both ministry and evangelism, but not all ministry and evangelism is missions — at least by my definition of missions. I define missions as crossing cultural boundaries to do ministry and evangelism. When we reach out to people who are like us, that is ministry and evangelism. When we reach out to people who are different from us, that is missions. So what differences count? All differences. Race, language, class, culture, religion, economics, education, etc. The list is not exhaustive, but missions is about crossing boundaries to show people the love of Christ. So, how are we doing? What do you think? Come on people, talk back to me.

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