I met with Ryan Bolger, the professor who is overseeing my internship today. We got the details finalized, so that’s done…yeah. Ryan, a recent Phd. grad, is an up and coming guy on the emerging church scene, a guy you will be hearing more from in the future. He has a book coming out later this year which he co-authored with Eddie Gibbs entitled Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures.
As for my internship, and what I’ll be doing, I’ll be “coordinating Agape’s outreach ministry”. What that will actually look like I’m not sure yet, though I have some ideas. For the first two months I’ll primarily be doing research on what the local neighborhood looks like, as well as what the needs of the larger Pasadena area are, what is already being done by other churches and agencies, and what yet needs to be done. I’ll take that information to the pastors and elders, and together we will formulate a plan to move forward for the remainder of the year. As a first step we are probably going to ask that each small group, as a group, volunteer at a local non-profit organization once every five or six weeks.
One of my larger goals is to help Agape, and each person there, move towards their mission in life and embrace the missional nature of the church. I do not believe we should do ministry, evangelism, church, outreach, missions, or any other label one might slap on an activity. Rather I believe we should be missional, which includes all of those things and so much more. It is a way of thinking that helps us see that just as God has been on a mission since the beginning of time, and just as Jesus came to earth with a mission, so too should we, the people of God, the church, be missional. We should not set aside an afternoon for “ministry” and then be “off the clock”, rather we need to live our lives with a constant awareness of what God has called us be, so that at any time, in any place, we can reflect the reality of Jesus into the lives of the people we come in contact with.