The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Adopting a Missionary Mentality

I found Jordon Cooper's blog while perusing another site. Jordon is pastor at Lakeland Community Church, a Free Methodist congregation in Saskatchewan. Reading the following excerpt from "The Present Future," by Reggie McNeal, made me want to read this guy's book when I get a chance. Never heard of McNeal, nor of Cooper, but definitely thought it was worth sharing.

"Adopting a missionary approach will require changing the scorecard. Church scorecards currently reflect member values: how many show up, pay up, and participate in club member activities. There are the numbers used to compare one church with another -- the numbers that denominations ask for in their reports. These numbers establish the pecking order among clergy. The bigger the better and the more respected by club members of other churches.

"A missionary church culture will need to begin keeping score on things different from what we measure now. These may include how many ministry initiatives we are establishing in the streets, how many conversations we are having with pre-Christians, how many volunteers we are releasing into local and global mission projects aimed at community transformation, how many congregations are starting to reach different populations, how many congregations use our facilities, how many languages (ethnic and generational) we worship in, how many community groups use our facilities, how many church activities target people who aren't here yet, how many hours per week members spend in ministry where they work, go to school, and get mail.

"Until we start making heroes of people who decide to be and act like missionaries, we will fail to turn club members into missionaries. Until we bless people who 'go out' from us to reach people who may not come to us, we will continue to have a kingdom vision that is shrink-wrapped to church programs and church real estate. Until we start adopting school and hosting community food banks and teaching parenting seminars for people who come to us for food, we will keep fostering club member mentality."

I am more and more convinced that God is calling the church to be set apart to serve and not be served.

Wait a minute ... hasn't that always been the case? If so, why are we just now hearing his voice?

Grace and peace ...