In the footnotes of The Shaping of Things to Come Mike and Alan made this statement:
“If you focus on ministry you won’t have time to do mission. If you focus on mission, you’ll be forced to do ministry.”
What they are talking about is the inward vs outward focus, and the energy that is required to manage and administrate programs and people.
There probably is no happy tension between these two worlds, and the transition always demands more of us than merely staying the same. But we are encouraging our staff here to live in both worlds, and even mix them.
Practically speaking, that means that some of the old boundaries become blurred. My day is no longer neatly compartmentalized into private time or work time. God loves to live in the interruptions – the cracks and crevices of the day. If I respond to a tweet during the day, have I imported my personal life into my work — or is it so easy to define those boundaries anymore? If I make a blog post during work hours – as I am doing here – have I crossed a line, or I am merely recognizing that the world has changed, and living in this new world requires not only different skills but a different imagination?
Yes– a lot of this hits at an issue Reg McNeal raised in these words: how do we measure success? Is it time to change the scorecard? What value do I as a leader attach to networking in the larger space? Connecting outside the walls with other groups and organizations? How do I model living on mission, and not merely serving Christians and programs? What percentage of my time is given to serving in the wider community? How do I as a pastor live on mission?
Obviously these are critical issues, especially if “leading by example” has any meaning. I want to be connected with and available to those who do not yet know Jesus as much as to those who do. That requires a different level of intentionality — and it requires that I somehow make space for it to happen.
Inevitably, these kinds of pursuits don’t look as “holy.” Jesus took most of his flack for being “a friend of sinners.”