Return to Blog Home Page

18 June 2008

Uniquely Positioned

I've been thinking a lot lately about the Great Commission and how that plays out for the Christ follower. I grew up in a traditional church where the highest expectation was church attendance and following the rules. We left "helping people" up to the super Christians we called "missionaries."

Needless to say this created a level of anxiety within me. It was hard enough just trying to be good all the time, much less the thought of becoming a missionary.

To this day I still wrestle with feelings of inadequacy since I'm not directly feeding poor people or traveling to India. I struggle with questions like, "Does my work count?" "Is what I doing fulfilling the Great Commission?"

Luckily I attend a church uniquely positioned to answer this question. You see aside from the traditional, mainstream, middle-America attendee, there are at least three unique populations that we engage both on the weekend and Outside These Walls:

  • The Down & Outers (local, regional and international): Granger has developed a local strategy at the Community Center in South Bend. Regional efforts are made in low-income housing projects in Chicago. And partnerships are strong in India where church planters are being resourced multiple times per year.
  • The Up & Outers: Wealthy members of our community are in a slightly different boat. They are resourced to the max which typically leads to a sense of entitlement and self importance that makes it difficult for them to see their need for a Saviour. Granger's level of excellence and seeker-sensitive focus create the perfect environment for people in this category.
  • The Connected: Social networking and connectedness via the Internet is growing daily. Unfortunately the forms of media, topics and other connecting factors can be less than ideal - the Devil's playground so to speak. Which is exactly why we need to be out there too. We have the ability to bring His light into the dark and depraved places on the web. There is an entire community out there who never leave the house. Their broadband connections just might be the only gateway through which His love can reach them.
Knowing this, what are we to do?

Must I dedicate 33.3% of my time to each area or do I pick one or two of the three and focus all my energy there?

I'm going to frustrate you by saying, "I don't know."

It's easy to rationalize and say, "There are people going to India so I don't need to." But is that the right attitude? Even though I spend countless hours helping The Connected and the The Up & Outers is there more I should be doing?

I mean what if we took 1000 people to India on the next trip? What could we accomplish?

These are the sort of things that run through my head...