Yesterday, I blogged about "epidemic blessing", or the rapid outbreak of people being blessed. I believe sincerely that to follow Jesus is to join His mission. His mission was to seek and save the world. His entire presence was dedicated to fulfilling God's purpose to bless the world by helping it to realize its purpose.
Again, its interesting that we, as Christians, rarely consider the degree in which we are a blessing to the families, neighborhoods, communities, cities, regions, and nations around us and around the world. Our spiritual scorecard often has points for individual moral goals, but lacks any reflection of the social and community responsibility that Jesus bore. Many Christians are saved, but few seem to serve...
I believe that we have too many restrictive structures and paradigms that keep us from being an effective witness to the power, presence, and provisions of God almighty. We are often so busy keeping rules or developing church programming, that we fail to see that all of those things were put in place so that we would be equipped to demonstrate the love of God to a broken world by simply serving and blessing.
That's why I like the metaphor of a virus. I know that some atheistic folks have used it as a negative metaphor for church, but I would like to reclaim it for its beauty. A virus is composed of only 3 things: A protein shell, Spikes on the shell, and DNA in the core. Its entire function is for the spikes to get caught on a susceptible cell and for the virus to inject the DNA. DNA is a complex molecule made up of Amino Acids. This molecule has the ability to use the materials within the cell to replicate itself and to change the very function of the cell, without changing it's structure.
Isn't that the key to an epidemic of faith. Simplying our structure to the essentials for blessing. Having a DNA that reflects the essence of the good news, but not including the institutional baggage that often accompanies it. Latching on to pre-existing communities and not trying to make new ones. Simply infecting the existing communities with the DNA so that it replicates the DNA itself.
I challenged the leadership of New Hope (the church I pastor) this week to consider how viral is their ministry and missions. I asked them to identify communities that they could "infect" without asking people to develop artificial communities. I then asked a simple, but highly deconstructionist question: "What structures and paradigms to we support that keeps the congregation from being viral?". That is a profound question for those who desire to lead their churches or faith communities to participate in the mission of Jesus today.
Pastor M Traylor