Missio Dei. It’s Latin for ‘mission of God’. I’ve written this piece curious for your ideas and thoughts on how you frame the entirety of your faith. You see, everyone has a particular lens that they view the world through. Some with rose colored, some with intolerant ones, some with cranky lenses. What’s your lens?

The lens I use to approach how I live my life and represent my faith is through a lens of missio dei. That means everything is filtered through a fundamental understanding of God’s mission which I believe to be rooted in an eternal purpose to redeem and rescue humanity.

God is eternally interested in connecting with you and I no matter our circumstances.

I think this is his primary purpose for us and we should in turn adopt it–use it as our lens–for everything we do be it work, play, or church.

But then again maybe I’m wrong.

The way church has operated in North America, the way it still operates in our city, is that the only ‘mission’ part we do is the support for wacky missionaries in distant lands. The rest is about maintenance and trying to convince people not inside your church box to believe and act like you so they can be ‘in’ as well.

Church communities seem to be more about trying to get people in the door, attracting them to some neato event, rather than digging deep roots in their communities. That means the people within begin to invest heavily into relationships with those they’re already connected with,

journeying with others over the course of years,

curiously learning from other opinions and perspectives,

observing how the mission of God is translatable and understood in as many ways as there are people.

Easier said than done.

What I actually see are churches uninterested in this cause. It’s ad that most may say they’re passionate to see people ‘know Jesus’. They want to see ‘transformed lives’. But all of that takes time, time we typically don’t want to spend, and one that isn’t really embraced in the church environment we’ve been exposed to.

Sit and be served–consume–seems to be the name of the game. For the small church it’s the same people sitting and being served, consuming the same stagnant Sunday service. For the big church it’s about production, how to retain and get more people through the door, cause after all, the whole point of church is to get pagans through the front doors. <-- there was a hint of sarcasm here.I'm not convinced we're effective at engaging let alone accomplishing missio dei in Calgary.

To me this is the most important purpose of the church.

Then again, I’m assuming that the redemption of humanity is the most important thing the church can be a part of. I could be wrong. What do you think? Am I on the right track?

What’s your lens?

What’s your mission?