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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Today At The Mission

I already mentioned this over on the Missoula Project site (along with some additional thoughts on why its so hard to describe what kind of church we'd like to plant), but I thought I'd link to it over here as well.

What does it mean to really be a Christian? From the 'Following Jesus' Manifesto from Today At The Mission (written by someone who lives / works in a homeless shelter) [HT: Ryan K]
  1. Stop talking about Jesus. Just stop. If we loved the people around us half as much as we say we love Jesus the rest of this manifesto would be entirely redundant.
  2. Live a secret life. Invest the time, effort and vulnerability necessary to delve deeply into the scripture and prayer. Spend long periods of time in stillness. There is no shortcut to this, there is no other way. Without a deep and secret life we soon find ourselves talking about Jesus instead of being like Jesus.
  3. Stop pretending. I'm a Christian, and I suck. So do you. Let's get that out of the way, shall we?
  4. Give more than you get. There will always be more than enough.
  5. Be present for those around you. Following Jesus has nothing to do with your work, your resume or your income. In fact, nothing that matters does.
  6. Treasure broken-ness. Our broken places are sacred spaces in our heart. Honour them. Value them. In doing so you love the unlovely, publicly declaring the beauty of God's image in everyone. Greet the broken with comfort and cool water.
  7. Throw a party.
  8. Know Jesus well enough to recognize him on the street. This is rather important, because he can always be found on the street - and he usually looks more like a pan-handler than a preacher.
  9. Accept ingratitude and abuse as a fixed cost. Embrace them, and then go the extra mile.
  10. If you follow Jesus, you will anger religious people. This is how you will know.
Strong words. Yet this is a snapshot of the Christian life that resonates with me. I might not agree with all of these points, or put them quite this way; Imight want to add a few more or nuance them slightly - but on the whole, this is the kind of Christian I'd like to be here in Missoula, and this is the kind of church we hope to plant.


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