Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Missional Church is Incarnational

John 1:14 says, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." The term "Word" is the Greek word logos. It refers to Jesus, who is the Word or revelation of God to humanity. It's interesting that John didn't say, "The Word became man," but rather, "The Word became flesh." The disciple whom Jesus loved (cf. John 20:2) intentionally emphasized the fact that Jesus had a fleshly body—one that could get hungry, be touched, feel pain, etc. John then declares that the Word "dwelt among us." Literally, Jesus "pitched His tent" or "tabernacled among us."

The picture John is giving us is that Jesus became incarnate. The word "incarnate" literally means "to make flesh." Jesus became one of us. He made His dwelling with us. He dealt with the customs and laws of the day. He ate what other people ate. Why did He do this? Because Jesus was on mission.

Jesus serves as an example for us. God calls His people to be on mission. A missional church is to be incarnational. A missional church doesn't sit back and wish people would come hear the gospel.

Instead, it penetrates its world with the love of Christ. A missional church pitches its tent where people are. One way churches can become more missional is through block parties or parties in the park. Instead of sitting back in the church sanctuary hoping that a visitor might attend, a church can go to where the community is and give out free hot dogs, hamburgers, & drinks. Let the kids bounce on a bounce house, eat popcorn, and listen to fun music. And most importantly, we can point people to Jesus. How many guests attend on Sunday nights at your church? A few? Any? On the same Sunday night, a church can impact touch hundreds of people with the love of Christ.

When God's people bless people in God's world, God returns the blessing to them. Perhaps the biggest transformation actually occurs in the hearts of Christians. The more we serve, the more our love grows. A missional church is an incarnational church. In other words, a missional church is like Jesus.




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