“Then God said to Noah, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.'” (Genesis 8:15-16, NRSV)
For forty days and forty nights Noah and his family, along with an ark full of animals, floated. Finally, the rains stopped and the waters receded. And then, God said to Noah, “Go.”
“Go out of the ark.”
They had gone into the ark to seek shelter from the coming storm. They had gone in obedience to the word of God. But once the waters receded, it was time to go out.
They had been inside long enough.
Too often we choose to stay inside the ark. Read “church” or “comfort zone” or “pew.” And it’s comfortable in our arks. It is safe and familiar. We know what to expect inside our ark.
From Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith:
Missional at its core means “sent.” It is the opposite of “come to us.” So many believers have selected their pet conecpt of the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” but neglect the prerequisite instruction: “Go.” Going is the noble history of the Trinity. God sent Jesus to dwell among fallen humanity – not to visit, not to remain separated, not to rescue. Upon Jesus’ resurrection, God sent the Spirit from the heights of heaven to the heart of every believer, an indwelling.
It’s not that Christian influence is bad (well, not all bad), but followed exclusively it distorts our perception of real life and our role in it. We turn a blind eye to the customs, cultures, communities, and contexts where people live their lives with different preferences and worldviews right next door to us. The problem with Christian segregation is the idea that God asked us to be on mission with Him, sent us to some group of people somewhere, and wants us to minister to them in a way that meets their needs by speaking their language.