Reform the Continent and Spread Scriptural Holiness Across the Land

Do you recall the original vision for the United Methodist Church?  “To reform the Continent, and especially the Church, and spread scriptural holiness across the land.”  To my mind this is as good a vision statement for the United Methodist Church in America as we can get.  This is our holy grail, our reason for being as a distinctive church in the larger body of Christ.  It fits as a hand does a glove to the stated mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  As we head deeper into the 21st century, we are trying to build a missional church culture where an institutional church culture has existed.  We are trying to return or reclaim our roots as a movement and church.  It’s tricky, hard, exciting, fun, etc.!  I think the Spirit of the Lord is leading us into new future for reforming the Continent and especially the church. Back in late February I read a blog written by Rich Robinson who is a part of 3DM.  3DM is a missional movement led by Mike Breen and others.  It is one of the blog sites I episodically follow.  [They share on their website this description:  “3DM trains churches and Christian leaders to do discipleship and mission in an increasingly post-Christian world. “We combine 30+ years of learning from the context of a very secular England, penetrating Biblical insights and experience working with hundreds of faith communities worldwide — to come alongside churches and organizations who want to learn to be the church in this new world. “We are megachurches, church plants and everything in between. We are Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and non-denominational. We are brand new churches and 200-year-old churches; rural, suburban and urban churches. We are a movement of churches learning how to thrive in the future. We are 3DM”.] Here is the blog I read and pass on for your reflection: Building a missional culture isn’t as easy as A-B-C “Here are some of the marks of a M.I.S.S.I.O.N.A.L culture – can you see them in your culture or how could they begin to shape how you and your people live? M – Missional Mindset People who understand that they are ‘sent’. People who look to the Great Commission as well as the Great Commandments. People who live sacrificially. People who get out of the boat. People who take on the adventure. People who live life outside the church walls. People who recognize those ready and open to Jesus. People who embrace risk & change. I – Incarnational Lifestyle People who live a missional lifestyle rather than organize missional events. People who have mission at the core of who they are not just the center of activities that are ‘put on’. People who share life as well as a faith with people. People who ‘live with and amongst’ not ‘minister to’ people. People who look to be good news to who or where they are placed – home, neighborhood, work, nursery, golf club, pub, school gates, coffee shop... S – Scripturally Based People who are grounded in scripture – reading, processing, reflecting, learning, applying, acting, living. People informed and imitating the life of Jesus in the GospelsPeople who can feed themselves from the Word. People who have the word of truth as an offensive weapon. S – Spirit Led People who are dependent on the Holy Spirit. People who are empowered by the Holy Spirit. People who follow and join what the Spirit is doing in people & places. I – Intercessory Prayer People fuelled by prayer. People with a pattern of personal prayer. People with a pattern of corporate prayer. People sent covered by committed prayer. People who change the spiritual temperature through Intercession. People who win battles in prayer. People whose hearts are broken for the lost through prayer. O – Orbit the Centre People who live life in communities and gather together with the wider family for Celebration. People who aren’t isolated from the resource center. People who are resourced, trained and sent from the central church. People who return to tell war stories. People who are healed up from battle scars. N – Neighborhood or Network People who know who (network – social, demographic, interest, ethnicity) or where (neighborhood) they are called to be Good News. People who live out the Good news in their networks or neighborhoods. People who connect with people. People who recognize People of Peace. People who understand and live Luke 10. A – Active Participation People who aren’t consumers of a Christian product on a Sunday. People who participate in the adventure & life of their community. People who play their part. People who ‘have a go’. People who step out of the boat. People who produce vision and grow maturity in others.  L – Lay Led People who don’t depend on Christian ‘super heroes’. People who don’t abdicate responsibility to the pastor and staff. People who step up and take responsibility for who & where they are called to lead & live.” -Posted on February 23, 2014 by Anna Robinson 3 written by Rich Robinson, Team Leader for 3DM Europe As you celebrate the 4th of July may we not only give thanks but also remember and recommit to our wider mission to America – “To reform the Continent, and especially the Church, and spread scriptural holiness across the land.”