We have probably talked too much about what Mission Partnership isn't and not enough about what it is. Particularly there has been considerable attention on the notion of membership. A sports analogy might be the easiest means to convey the power of Mission Partnership. Membership might be thought of as anyone that comes to the stadium; we have had that for along time. MBC has always had an "open gate" for anyone that opts in to participating, and nothing is changing about that. What we intend to elevate is to find out who wants to "take the field" - to suit up each day and play in the game. We want to make sure we invest all the training, coaching, creation of opportunities, and partnering among the Mission Partners to help each Mission Partner reach their full ministry potential.
And nothing against someone who doesn't desire to be a Mission Partner. They are still welcome to participate in MBC activities. We just intend to be held accountable as leaders to ensure that Mission Partners get all the attention needed to reach their full potential as ministers of the gospel.
Ministers of the gospel? You mean preach from the pulpit? Not at all. One distinctive MBC has had for decades is the understanding that every believer is called to be a minister. Each of us has spiritual gifts, and unique opportunities. When we apply those gifts to serve one another, we are serving as ministers of the gospel. "Gospel" just means "good news" - and the good news of Jesus includes, even emphasizes, the working out of the resurrection power of Jesus in our daily lives. And that means all our lives, all week long.
The job of the church is to equip one another, and partner to apply our gifts throughout each week. Those who identify as Mission Partners are pointing the leadership of the church to invest the time and focus in them to see that their gifts are fully developed and employed. Of course most of the work will be done by each Mission Partner. "Suiting up" and taking the field requires active effort. There is nothing passive about equipping. Church leadership has limited resources, like anyone else. We want to make sure we invest in those who want to be invested in. Mission Partnership is the means to make that desire a reality.
We look forward to our continued conversation, and seeing the fulfillment of our mutual desire to see God’s Kingdom “come” because His will is being done – through the lives of His people.