Missional in the city

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be missional, in practical terms.  (I think I hate the word.  Kevin explains why nicely).  This past week, Epic has been participating in SolFul : a multi-church response to our city cutting programs to the neediest parts this summer.  (Hi temps; no programs; no jobs; no school,...what could possibly go wrong?)  Our little effort has been a blast so far, teaching art and cultures to kids and I hope it opens us up to the things God is doing here in Fullerton.

I've found myself wondering about how much a  theology changes us; changes our understanding of who we are; what church is.  Connecting the heady discourse I've read about apocalyptic and missional theology to my real, actual life is a challenge, but someone made the following observation that helped me see how theology shapes our practice.  He said:
Here's the interesting thing:
There are a lot of churches in the Fullerton area.  120+?
And there are ~25 organizations participating in SolFul.
Of the ~25, there are maybe 5 churches that own their own building.
There is only really one or two large churches involved I know of.
Now there is a lot going on behind the scenes with many people I don't know, so my intent is not to upset churches or question what people are doing, but what conclusions are fair to draw from this for us? I  know of some larger churches that host some community outreach events in their buildings, to their credit, but that comment caused me to rethink the purpose and function of a church in our town.  There is a certain kind of liberty we experience intentionally renting, intentionally trying to help the city; not expand our mission to "grow", and I think it forms us in a particular way.  It reshapes our goals and expectations of how we love and interact with Fullerton, focusing our attention in different directions.  I have an admittedly low ecclesiology, and I have been trying to reflect on what exactly is happening to us as we serve this way. 

In the meantime, I know there are a bunch of kids this summer experiencing a little care, a little learning and having fun.

your thoughts?


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