In preparing sermons for the men’s retreat that I’m speaking at this weekend, I came across some notes I took from a sermon by Len Sweet given at a National Youth Leader’s Convention a few years ago. (I’ll be borrowing his term ‘pneumanaut’ for the weekend.)
In describing a shift in focus in the church from the Reformation to the present, he contends that God is moving the church into a more missional mindset. From the “Here I stand.” mentality of Martin Luther to the “There we go.” of today’s missional churches. The question that the church has been asking for the past several centuries (especially evident in the modern evangelical churches), “How do we get more people to come?” is giving way to the more missional, “How do we send more people out?”
In youth ministry, I am constantly asked, “So how many kids do you have coming?” It’s tough sometimes to not get snippy with well-intentioned questioners, because the truth of the matter is that we have quite a few kids, with the potential for a lot more, but that’s not the point. How many kids am I sending out? How many of my students are taking the kingdom with them into their schools? How many are setting aside the ambition of the world in order to serve Christ with every ability they have been given? These are the questions that should be asked.
Pneumenauts ~ Navigating by the wind of His Spirit.
The big statement in Sweet’s sermon was that God is on a mission in the world. The big question is “WILL GOD’S MISSION HAVE A CHURCH?” Will we set aside our own agendas in allegiance to His Kingdom?

2 Replies to “Question…”

  1. I remember that sermon at NYLC. I believe one of the reasons numbers are used so much is because it is an easy way to evaluate whether or not we are having success. It is much harder to evaluate the real impact in a person’s life, in fact it might not be until 4 or 5 years down the road.

    ~ Paul

  2. I just don’t want to see mission lost at the expense of numbers. I understand the benefit of numerically knowing that ‘something’ is going on. But it’s possible for numbers to look great, while God’s mission is neglected or forgotten altogether.

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