Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Time to be Kind

In 4 weeks time 24-7 missions teams will be wandering the streets and praying with people, helping people home, cleaning people up, wandering the beaches giving out free oranges, and generally expressing the love of God to people through kindness.

When we moved to Ibiza Floyd Mclung said to us “concentrate on blessing not selling”. We really took this to heart, it felt right. It gave us the strategy for our summer mission’s teams and our life here. 

Our teams walk the streets being kind and people are confronted with kindness not some aggressive street evangelists.

This has really got under my skin, I have done all sorts of street work in the past and most of the time it filled me with dread, but here is something I feel we can all do; Be kind.

Genesis 12: 3 says, I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Now if I am correct this Abrahamic blessing still applies to us today. “The earth will be blessed through you”. I feel the challenge of this verse every time I read it. People should be blessed through me, scary!

Now in my own experience I have often cried to God “bless me” there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it’s a valid request and I use it a lot. God bless me, God bless my wife, God bless my family, and my friends etc. It’s definitely worth asking the Most High to bless you, because he does.

Yet I have started to contemplate the culture of blessing that exists in some church circles. A friend of mine Ian Nicholson said a while ago that for a number of years the church has been crying, “Come Holy Spirit” but now the Holy Spirit is crying out, “come holy people”. 

Maybe it’s a throw back from Toronto or maybe we have just absorbed to much of our own materialistic consumerist culture into our spirituality, but we can get caught up in a bless me culture?

Bless me lord! 

If you live in the western world you are blessed beyond measure. If you can afford to buy a book you are in the top 10% of the worlds rich. Nothing the matter with being blessed. We just have to increasingly learn to be a blessing to others.

So as usual at this time of year this kindness vibe is knocking around in my brain. I have to keep learning to be kind, and challenge myself to be increasingly kind.

Jeremiah 9: 24 says,I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.” I want to exercise kindness after all it’s the reason I am a Christian!

 Romans 2: 4 “Gods kindness leads you towards repentance” because I became aware of Gods incredible kindness I turned to Him. I was shown “the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus”.

There is a growing mandate for us to be missional and I believe this missionality will be expressed through the church becoming incredibly kind.

A mission of kindness. Blessing not selling.

There is a need for an emerging generation to recognise the missional call that it has on its life. A move away from the culture of “bless me” to an embracing of a culture that blesses others. I believe that our generation is recognising it’s call to carry Christ as a blessing into every sphere of life, no longer compartmentalizing areas but stepping out into the totality of mission.

I have always been struck by the fact that it was a donkey that carried Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and that Christ is looking for donkeys, not superstars, to carry him into this world.

A humble Christ carrying people who don’t need to work for a church, be called to a mission overseas or be a doctor or nurse to carry Christ.

People have recognised this Christ carrying mandate and are outworking it in many situations. I guess this is the underlying philosophy behind why we do what we do.  


Kt Stevenson said...

I'm going to be coming out in the summer. Im excited
Im coming from the 13th to the 25th July

andrew said...

Can't it be both/and. Aren't we blessed (with God's love, his Spirit etc) so that we may be a blessing? Isn't that an integral part of the focus of 24-7 prayer. Both prayer and mission NOT either/or?