What If I Dropped You In The Middle Of Tanzania?
- By 7 Mile Road
- Published 11/1/2008
7 Mile Road7 Mile Road is a church that is being planted in the city of Philadelphia. We long to plant a Jesus-centered, Gospel-driven, missional church that redeems the lost and edifies the redeemed. To hear more about our story and vision, check out our blog at www.phillychurchplant.wordpress.com
On Sunday Night, our Launch Team took a brief detour from the agenda for the evening to talk about missional living. You see one of the things we do every Sunday is celebrate the different ways God has allowed us to love and serve our city missionally. Since that’s going to be a part of our Sunday nights, we thought it would be wise to flesh out what it means to “love and serve our city missionally.” So we posed this question…
What if you were missionaries and I dropped you in the middle of Tanzania - what would your work look like? What would you spend your time doing?
Here are some of the answers that followed:
Learn the language, culture, customs, and way of life of the people
Build friendships and invest in relationships
Earn people’s trust and a right to be heard
Identify and connect with the centers of power and influence
Build connections with educational institutions
Pray and study Scripture
Serving and being served by the city
Loving, respecting, and learning from the city
Connect and partner with existing institutions and churches
Share the Gospel
I think (and pray) that it became clear to us what being missional to Philadelphia looked like. It’s not about standing on a street corner with a blow-horn screaming “turn or burn” or getting someone to pray the sinners prayer six minutes after meeting them. It’s about the slow, patient work of loving Philadelphia and its people and looking for opportunities for the love and grace of Jesus to be extended here.
And so when we invite neighbors over for dinner, when we spend time with our co-workers watching the game or going to the gym, when we sit down with local politicians or school administrators, when we find ways to connect with people in Philadelphia who don’t know Christ, when we find ways to serve people in Philadelphia, when we visit other churches and seek strategic kingdom partnerships, when we take time to learn this city and learn from this city, and when God grants us the opportunity, when we share the good news of Jesus with people - it’s all being missional.
So then the real question for us is, since you are missionaries and God dropped you in the middle of Philadelphia - what does your work look like? What will you spend your time doing?