This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post looking into Rev. Dr. Michael Frost’s article regarding churches being “missional.” My plan is to jump straight into the 2nd part of Dr. Frost’s article. If you want an introduction to the topic, I recommend you go ahead and read my last post–no arrogance here, just trying to be as brief as I can.
In the first part of the article, Dr. Frost discussed how when churches pursue a principle of “missional = evangelism” they are not being missional, especially if evangelism is simply defined as getting people into churches without (1) focusing primarily in the transformation of people’s hearts, and (2) disregarding the “mission” of the church reaching into the culture and having community with the non-Christians.
Frost’s second point is a continuation of the first. You aren’t being missional is “you reduce evangelism to the recruitment of church members” (51). Frost argues that it isn’t enough, and it simply isn’t right, to reduce Christianity to being represented by 5-minute sales pitches. Maybe as a consequence or as a precursor to 5-minute salvation pitches, a problem arises when all your friends are Christians. I believe this is a pretty solid point by Frost.
The following is my personal opinion:
Because a lot of us Christians end up only having Christian friends, we grow dumb and sloppy at interacting and relating to non-Christians around us. Seriously. I hope this isn’t the case with all Christians in Biblical, Reformed churches, but I can admit that to some extent, this is the case among many Christians that I know. I don’t believe that it is a commandment from God to have non-Christian friends, but as a result of taking up the Great Commission while at the same time being active members of the world God has given us. If all your friends are Christians, get more friends that aren’t.
Back to Frost.
Frost expresses the need for (1) Christians to not only have Christian friends and (2) the need for a personal depiction of the Gospel instead of 5-minute sale pitches by stating that we must be able to express the “breadth and beauty of the Gospel, through long relationships with the lost” (51).
Frost states that in order to be “missional,” we must be willing for the following:
1. Our lifestyles must be observed.
2. Our demonstrations of the reign of God must be witnessed.
3. Our values must be tested.
4. Our hospitality must be enjoyed.
This is a summary of Dr. Frost’s second part of his article “More than a Buzz Word.” I stated some of my personal opinions half way through this post. If it counts for anything, I feel this way about the friendships that we acquire as Biblical, Gospel-centered, Reformed Christians because I am terrible at keeping up with non-Christian friends. When Jesus elected his disciples, they weren’t saved! When Jesus hung out with sinners, yes, most of them came to see Jesus as God’s Anointed, but not at first. I think there is a deep conviction that needs to be reawakened in us regarding this.