Saturday, October 13, 2007

Necessary Necessities

I'm packing for our 10 day trip to Israel that leave Tuesday morning. I have shirts and pants, t-shirts and socks all laid out on the bed. I have a new bag for the camera so I can blog, adapter plugs for Israel electricity, passports e-tickets, schedules, a rented phone for use in Israel and books to read. I keep asking myself:"Do I really need that thing?" I like to travel as lightly as possible with just the necessities. When we have traveled other times, I get frustrated when I take something I don't use at all in the trip. What a waste of weight and space! I like well-used necessities!
A couple of weeks ago the church council and staff went on a retreat together. One of our exercises was to share our favorite metaphors for the church. This was a rich time with a wide range of images to portray who we are, both painfully and hopefully. One phrase that came out of the mix was a hope that we would be a church "necessary to our community." I could not let go of that image: a necessary church.
Not a convenient church, a fun church, a vibrant church and all the other adjectives I've used over the years to image the curch, but a necessary church. When has this church been necessary? When Marilyn Best died last week and we had her funeral here for her wide range of friends (many of whom are not active Christians) we were necessary. When AA meets here on Mondays at noon, we are a necessary space for sobriety. When Matt Sanchez practices basketball with All-for-One and the area gang kids he is intervening with, we are necessary. We the M-4 churches send off 1,000 HIV/AIDS care kits to Africa to touch the lives of 7-10,000 suffering persons, we are necessary.
A missional church does necessary things in the name of Jesus.


At 4:20 AM , Blogger Rick said...

"necessary" - I like it. One of the questions that gets asked here is "If CTK church were to disappear - simply be gone - tomorrow, would the community miss us? Would the community even notice?"

Necessary. Very good. BTW I liked the inclusion of "convenient". Brought a smile.

At 6:05 AM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Yeah, at a Westmont grad, you would know Montecito Covenient Church!


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