1. Church belongs in the middle of the marketplace.
A church that stays within its four walls is not a church at all, at least not the kind of missional gathering that Jesus commanded to GO. As Vineyard founder John Wimber used to say, “The meat is in the streets”, just as it was for Jesus who spent most of His time outside the temple gates with sinners and tax collectors.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” - Luke 19:10 NKJV
2. Church ought to be the most creative place on the planet.
There are ways of doing church that no one has thought of yet. We desire to be orthodox in belief, but unorthodox in practice. If we want to reach people no one is reaching, then we have to be willing to do things no one is doing.
“To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.” - Romans 15:21 NKJV
“…he who wins souls is wise.” - Proverbs 11:30 NKJV
3. Church must be outwardly focused to be inwardly healthy.
If we are going to be great at anything, we want to be great at the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. We want to be known for what we are for, nor for what we are against. The church is not a noun; it’s a verb, an action verb. Our M.O. needs to be: Go, Set, Ready; and our faith needs to be spelled R.I.S.K. As author Mark Batterson states in his book The Circle Maker, “we need to work like it depends on us and pray like it depends on God” – both!
“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, “they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” - Acts 5:42 NIV
“The church is only the church when it exists for others.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
4. Church was designed to be a team sport where everybody gets to play.
Jesus commissions anyone who wants commissioning. His Kingdom calling leaves no one on the sidelines, regardless of your personality, your history, or gifting. Everyone gets to play, but we all play a different part. All of us have unique talents and gifting’s that define our calling and reveal His heart to the world in a special way. When each of us fulfills our special role, working together to accomplish His will on earth, His kingdom comes to the lives of those who need Him most.
“…from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body…” - Ephesians 4:16 NKJV
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul…” - Acts 4:32 NKJV
5. Church was designed to have an unpredictable element of surprise called the Holy Spirit, so those we encounter experience a powerful encounter with the Living God.
“Come Holy Spirit” is a prayer best prayed with willingness to welcome surprise and unpredictability. It is a direct, bold request for the Holy Spirit to do the work the Father wants to do in us, and to be the gasoline that propels our engines to do the work the Father wants to do through us. Without the Holy Spirit we have nothing to offer the world. We cannot fulfill the mandate of God without the Holy Spirit. He was sent to empower us to do His work.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” - Acts 1:8 NKJV
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.” - Acts 2:1-2 NKJV
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” - John 3:8 NKJV
6. Must be a radically generous church community.