Posted by: richard | 21 January, 2010

Mission, worship, and ghetto-busting!

This week we examined chapters 3 (Mission and Worship) and 4 (Mission out of the Ghetto).

The chapter on worship really reminded us that the focus of church life should not be on the meetings but on our lives of worship.  We know this of course but we can easily slip into talk of “a time of worship” and see our attendance at church meetings as somehow more worshipful or important to God than the rest of our lives.  We talked about being vigilant in ensuring Christian meetings don’t crowd out our diary and limit the time we can spend living out lives that glorify God in front of the wider world.

The chapter on moving out of the ghetto was very challenging, reminding us of the importance Jesus attached in coming along the socially marginalised, and his call to go beyond building relationships with people like us and offering friendship and love to the “poor, crippled and blind”.  We noted that this wasn’t a call to adopt people as ‘projects of service’ but to actually forge relationships.  We all spend time with people  – but do we include any of the marginalised/needy amongst our friends? The call is one to ensure we don’t just ‘invite those to dinner who will repay us’.

We discussed a few ways of acting on this.  Helping someone to read; working with an association such as Petit Freres des Pauvres or Donner Recevoir to develop a friendship with someone lonely or in need; striking up a friendship with someone out of our comfort zone; international students; responding to people that we come across (SDF,…) and taking the relationship further.   We agreed to reflect on what we could each do on this front and discuss next time.

We also talked about avoiding the trap of spending all our time with Christian friends.   James mentioned joining the local tennis club rather than playing tennis just with people from Church.  What else could we do to help us get out of the Christian ghetto?

Your contributions welcome…

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