Michael Stewart, Pastor of Missional Community at Austin Stone Church, not only explained the tri-perpectival Gospel (adapted from Tim Keller), he had us read and discuss the material in small groups. What better way to present on a topic about small groups. But these aren’t just any small groups, they are what Michael refers to as “Missional Communities.”
What is church?
- a service
- spiritual family
Austin Stone found that the “One-anothers” referred to in the bible just couldn’t be accomplished on Sunday morning. The structures in place weren’t facilitating mobilizing people toward mission. So the question was, “How do we engage people in the mission of God?” They decided that about 33% of their ‘missional’ communities were actually missional, and they needed to help the other 67% deconstruct their idea of church and the consumer mentality that existed.
Alan Hirsch’s communitas definition – “If you shoot for community, you geth neither mission, nor communtiy. If you aim for mission, you get both.” Hmmm.
Jesus said, “Follow me, and I’ll make you fishers of men.” We are meant to be Missional (sent).
Everything we struggle with is a gospel issue. Missional Communities embrace the Tri-Perspective Gospel as foundation to Mission.
3 perspectives of the gospel
good news vs good advice – need to give people the good news, not just ‘how-to’s
Jesus lived the life we should live and died the death we should have died.
we are a new person in Him
gospel is not just a truth about us that we affirm with our minds, it is also a reality we must experience in our hearts and souls
we ‘know’ by grace “Think on that grace until you are changed into generous people by the gospel in your hearts.”
“Sonship” “We are more flawed and sinful than we ever dared believe, yet we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope at the same time.”
the gospel is radically different than religion. Religion operates on the principle: “I obey, therefore I am accepted”. The gospel operates on the principle: “I am accepted through Christ, therefore I obey.”
The gospel is not just about individual happiness and fulfillment. It’s not just a wonderful plan for ‘my life’ but a wonderful plan for the world. Those who receive salvation are not the strong and accomplished, but those who admit they are weak and lost. A complete reversal of the values of the world with regard to power, recognition and status.The gospel liberates us from bondage to the power of materail things and worldly status. The way to real power is to give up coercive power and serve others. The way to get rich is to give it away. the way up is down