Today’s post was written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.
Once upon a time, a group of men left their village and went out to hunt. They were good at it, and used their gift of hunting to provide lavishly for their families. Each day was spent combing the forest trails for game, and as they were able to fell deer, elk, rabbits, and the like, they treated the meat so it would not spoil on the journey back to their village. Each night after the hunt was spent around a campfire telling stories, enjoying each other’s company, caring for their weapons and tools, and enjoying the fruits of their labors. It was a good life.
One day, one of the hunters fell ill, and stayed behind in camp to get well again. Several weeks went by, and while the other hunters swore he looked fit enough to hunt again, he insisted he was still unable to handle the strain of hunting. Another week, and while he felt better, he insisted he must now hone his tools again, as they had become worn. Another hunter began to stay behind with him, hoping to convince him to hunt again. But after so many weeks out of practice, the one convinced the other it might be best just to let him tend the camp. The second agreed, and decided it might be best that two stayed there, as a camp can easily fall into disrepair.
One by one, the hunters began to find excuses to stay back in camp. After all, they had quite a bit of game already, and decided to live off of what they had already obtained.
Months passed, and one day, a woman stumbled into camp, looking weary and famished. The hunters welcomed her in, and offered her venison, but she refused.
“I come on behalf of the families you left behind,” she said, “while you sit here and enjoy your meat, we sit in our village starving. Why have you not come home with the food you promised to provide?”
The hunters began to give her their reasoning, but after a while, she held up her hand to silence them.
“You do not deserve to be called hunters,” she said, “you say you hunt, but all you do is sit around telling stories of past hunts. You are quite right, a good camp is a necessary thing. But what good is a camp if you do not use it as a place to rest after the hunt? What good is it if you do not prepare to hunt again? And what good is it if you do not leave it each day to do the very thing with which you were tasked?”
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Three questions for you all today:
1. What does it mean for the church to be a people of the missio dei?
2. What does it look like to be a community that has a good rhythm of mission and sanctuary, of gathering and sending?
3. What does this mean for those of us that curate worship gatherings in such a community?