In the light of the now well documented general and longstanding failure of the church to produce significant missional fruit, the ‘Unbounded Church’ concept is driven by the belief that there is an urgent need to do ‘Something Completely Different’.
Suggested below are 10 New Year’s resolutions that may be helpful in creating a missionally more effective ‘Something Completely Different’ in 2019.
- Avoid missional strategies that are Sunday-Centric- For large numbers (over 40%) of Australians are simply not free to attend on Sundays. Replace with a ‘Sprinkled’ throughout the week approach.
- Replace ‘Go and Bring’ (into existing church services) strategies with ‘Go and Stay’ in the community strategies.
- Critically Analyse previous mission efforts in order to discern those that actually result in unchurched people joining a Christian fellowship rather than just gaining transferees from another existing fellowship.
- Avoid persisting with ‘Square Wheel’ missional endeavours. These are like a bicycle with square wheels. i.e. it didn’t work very well last time we tried it!
- Avoid the ‘Activity Trap’. That is assuming that the amount of missional ‘Activity’ is a measure of missional ‘Fruit’. It rarely is!
- Don’t confuse the ‘Brief Encounters’ with non-Christians that resource-heavy evangelistic ‘Events’ may (but mostly don’t) create, with real ongoing relation-building ‘Connections’ with non-Christians. The latter are likely to be far more profitable for the Gospel.
- Work to create Missional Communities (churches) that can be easily ‘Multiplied’. This is simply a mathematical necessity if the church is to increase the Gospel ‘Salt’ content of society.
- Seek to develop greater ‘Cultural Intelligence’ when designing Missional strategies for a society that now lives in parallel cultural universes to that of the traditional church.
- Create Missional Communities that are ‘Small’ in order to be low cost and for ease of multiplication.
- Design Missional Communities that are capable of ‘Self-Reinvention’. That is able to repeatedly adapt according to the missional requirements of rapid and ongoing cultural change.
Pray that God will be gracious to us and guide and bless our attempts to create ‘Something Completely Different’ in order to be more effective in reaching the Lost around us for whom Jesus died.