The Wedding Planner and being Missional

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Meditations of the Heart
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Location: Raleigh
Blog Summary: These are thoughts, meditations, ponderings, or realizations that have pressed upon my mind and heart through my daily Bible devotions, sermons I have heard, or class/social discussions. I hope that you might be encouraged and blessed from them.
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Post: The Wedding Planner and being Missional / May 8, 2008

The Wedding Planner and being Missional

Lately I've been reading a great book called "Breaking the Missional Code" by Ed Stetzer and David Putman. The point the authors are trying to make is that we here in America need to live in our communities as missionaries do overseas. No, you don't have to build a grass hut in suburbia and go without running water or toiletries. (That's not how most missionaries live either). The point is to live with intentionality.

When missionaries go overseas they are placed into a whole new context of living, a whole new culture. They learn the customs, language, and culture of the people they are trying to reach with the Gospel. They build purposeful relationships with those in that culture and find ways to present the Gospel to them within their context. They make connections that draw them to Christ.

When I left my little town in GA to move to seminary I contemplated the questions that Stetzer and Putman raise in their book. Why don't I live like missionaries do? Why is there a difference between the way they live for Christ and the way I live for Christ? Simply put, I think it is because we are in our comfort zones. We live in the same town we grew up in (or something similar to it), know most of the people around us, only associate with those who go to our church, it is all about ME.

Most do not live outside of their comfort zone. Missionaries have no choices. If they don't like the food, they starve. If they don't connect with people, they don't spread the Gospel. They live mostly out of their comfort familiarities for the sake of the Gospel. If we don't like the food, we don't go to that restaurant. If we don't connect with our city, we seclude ourselves to our "church friends".

I was watching The Wedding Planner recently(yes, I'm a guy, yes, I watched it, and yes, I liked it) and was convicted by a part of the movie. Can you believe it?! I was convicted by a secular movie!! Jennifer Lopez's character loves to play scrabble. She is even apart of a scrabble club. Later in the movie she reveals that she loves scrabble because her parents moved to America and didn't know how to speak English and so they joined a scrabble club to learn the language.

This convicted me for two reasons. 1. There are social avenues to meet the lost and connect with the culture around me that I don't even know exist because I'm too caught up in my own little world and comfort zone to even seek them out. 2. I have a friend from India that has been in America for a little over a year. He is involved in many social networks and events to try to make friends. I've been in Raleigh for almost 4 years and probably don't know half of the places and people he does only being in Raleigh for 6 months.

This is the reason I named my blog Engage the Culture. No, we don't live in a 3rd world nation, but our culture in America is vast and ever changing and we need to realize that in order to reach our cities for the Gospel we need to quit living for ourselves and begin living for Christ and engaging the culture so that many might come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

I definitely do not do things right but this is where my heart burns. I desperately want to see people come to Christ. The way I've been living has not been the most fruitful way. It might be time for a change. Time to begin living as a missionary among my own country. This is being Missional, this is engaging the culture.

Are you up for a change too?!

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