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.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The missio dei and "evangelism"

It was a moment of confession for me in a small group.

It was also a moment of weakness.

"I'm a bit concerned that we are not growing in membership," I shared with the leadership group. "I don't have the answer, but I have to believe that the Holy Spirit within each one of us will reveal the answer through the group."

Isn't it odd how the very thing that you dislike about the institutional church becomes the very thing that tempts you? The measure of success in the institutional church is often all about numbers: membership, small group attendance, worship attendance, budgets, number of baptized, number of confirmed. It carries the flavor of the McDonalization of Christianity. You almost expect a sign that says, "More than 1 billion saved!"

The paradox is this: while this preoccupation with rolls and budgets reeks of bottom-line corporate America, the truth is that one sign of a healthy community is a steadily growing community. The challenge is to keep in mind the missio dei -- spreading the love of God.

Spreading the love of God is sowing seed, watering sprouts, weeding the garden -- or, at least, assisting God as he does so.

So it was that as we continued to talk, the group helped me bring the focus back to the missio dei as it is to be expressed through "The School of Hope," a place of faith, hope and love for young moms and moms-to-be whose lives have been disrupted by pregnancy. That has become a mission focus of God's people in The Meadow, and we expect to open the school this fall.

Such a school not only has the opportunity to change the life of the young mother, but that of her child, and possibly generations to come. If they experience the love of God through his servants, can salvation be far behind for those who do not know Jesus Christ?

It is the c0smic mathematical analysis that leads me to brazenly believe the sign should instead read, "At least 1 billion served; infinite number saved ..."

Grace ... peace ... faith ... hope ... love