Linda and I just returned from our summer vacation and we had a very wonderful time. Our trip started with a flight to Denver for the 2010 General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of which New Covenant is a part. The Keynote speaker was Dr. Richard Pratt who was one of my professors at RTS in Orlando. It was good to reconnect with him since he was very influential in my younger days as a Pastor and student. His message focused on the future of the church and specifically, "The Missional Church." The messages over two days were excellent. I will post the messages sometime soon so you can hear them in their entirety.
We also had the opportunity to attend a workshop by Reggie McNeil, a pastor, author, and leader in the Missional Church discussion. His sessions were very helpful in understanding the practical implications of a local church going missional.
However, the message that spoke the loudest to us at the Assembly came from Nate Atwood, Pastor of Kempsville Presbyterian Church in Kempsville, Virginia. Nate is a great speaker and pastor, and was Moderator of the General Assembly this past year. His words were powerful and encouraging, helping us all think about what the missional church should be.
A missional church is one whose mission centers on the person and work of Jesus Christ as he is lived out in the lives of believers. Those Christ Followers go out into their communities and culture sharing the gospel message. We have a sender (Jesus), a message (the Gospel), and a people to whom we are sent (real people in culture).
I have attached a link to Nate's message and I'd like all of you to listen to it and respond. The future of the church nationwide is now more than ever confronted with the challenge to address it's mission statement and to ensure that the gospel is its focus, and the Church in the world is effective in seeing the lost come to the truth of Jesus Christ, regardless of their past or present circumstances.