Our Mission: Awaken a Movement
Two weeks ago we began a Blog Series on the Mission of Missio Church. Missio Church exists to Love God, Love People, and Awaken a Movement. This week we finish the three week series with the final piece of our mission as a church: Awaken a Movement. The first two elements of our mission are easier to understand, to quantify, and to engage in. But this final piece is quite a bit more challenging to wrap our minds around. And yet worth our time to begin to orient our lives around.
As we have stated in each of these blog posts, a church’s mission should never simply be a statement. It is the mold for a church’s way of life. It is the foundation, motivation, and passion for who we are. It’s how we make decisions about worship, ministry, and life in general. This is what a church’s mission is supposed to be.
Awaken a Movement
Movement is impossible while standing still. One of my favorite videos is about a guy dancing at an outdoor music venue. He is dancing wildly and without reservation while countless people look on with a mixture of confusion and embarrassment. He dances alone for a good five to seven minutes until finally he is joined by a brave onlooker who dances next to him. Within a matter of minutes the two dancers turn into a massive mob of people dancing with reckless abandon.
As humans we are attracted to movement. We want to know that the thing we seek to be a part of is going somewhere. Because movement means action, participation, and purpose. Too often churches lack movement. We get comfortable with the way things are and stop pushing forward. But movement is what we are called to as churches. It’s in our DNA.
Acts 1:8 paints a beautiful picture of a movement being awakened. The church is just getting started in Acts and people are beginning to be curious of this whole “Jesus” thing. And Jesus, before he ascends into Heaven, speaks with his closest followers and disciples and shares what the movement of the church will look like. He says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.” For Jesus this was more than just a geographical movement. It was methodological in nature. Jesus was speaking to people who lived their lives in or around Jerusalem. They would have understood Jesus’ words carrying a methodology of proximity. Where Jesus is saying, the people who are closest to you will be the ones who first experience the power and movement of the spirit. And that circle of influence and power will broaden so that more people will begin to experience an encounter with Jesus. And eventually, the whole world will be touched by the presence of King Jesus. Movement always begins with the people closest to you. The neighbors, co-workers, friends, you spend your life with and bring the fullness of your humanity to. And it extends from there to wider circles of relationships. And eventually, the movement is felt around the world. Jesus was not just telling his friends where the movement would start. He was telling them within whom it would start and be carried around the world. It started with Jesus’ closest friends, followers, disciples. And it was then carried within them to every corner of the known world.
This is the model we are using at Missio Church to understand what it means for us to be involved in Awakening a Movement. First, we realize that we did not set the movement in motion. But rather thousands of years ago, Jesus, and the people closest to him, began a movement that two-thousand years later has impacted countless people in Seattle, WA. But we believe that we are a part of the continual awakening that is happening in new people across our city. Second, we believe that we are called to start with the people closest in proximity to us. Which means that we as individuals take responsibility for our neighborhoods. We want people to create spaces in their neighborhoods where people can encounter Jesus and connect around in three ways: by Playing Together, Worshiping Together, and Solving Problems Together. Third, we believe that we as a church are called to engage in the lives of the people of Northgate, North Seattle. This means that we are committed to worshiping, playing, and solving problems with the people living in Northgate. And finally, our vision as a church is to be a part of bringing 100 churches of 100 people into existence. We don’t know exactly what this looks like but we know that we are being called to participate in a broader Kingdom vision where churches are being started in neighborhoods all across Seattle.
At Missio we believe that the movement of Jesus is alive and well. And our role in that movement is to be a people committed to the method Jesus spoke up in Acts 1:8. Where the people closest to us in proximity get the best of Jesus with us. And slowly from there we create spaces where people all over the city can have a life altering encounter with Christ.