Just imagine having a Spiritual Formation Gathering at your Local Church (or at a relevantg church near you) that can be used of God to empower you to go and be sent as a CWW® in your neighborhood!
In the past, many church leaders and congregations have spent large amounts of resources to construct the most attractive places imaginable for the community for which they were situated. They have defined the staple of their faith community as: great music, compelling teaching, and a whole host of programs designed to gather people together. Anyone who wanted to come was welcome. Church members were encouraged to invite there friends and neighbors. Generally, people had a pleasant experience. The people who came and were cared for seemed relatively similar—education, income, pastimes, race, struggles, and histories seemed to be almost identical.
Eventually, someone asked the question: what about all the people who aren’t like us who live around us? Why aren’t they here too? In response, the church increased its marketing budget—direct mailing the community, taking out ads in local papers, buying radio time, releasing a new webpage and offering to host the world’s greatest events. The church was determined to be the center of everything great that happened in the local community. Church members began to rely on the church to do the work of conveying God’s story in the world. If someone could be brought to an event, they could hear about Jesus from a professional teacher. Inviting people became synonymous with evangelism.
Leaders and congregations of missional churches, on the other hand, empower members to "be" the church in the community. The church trains, resources, encourages, and challenges its people to "live out" the Good News in their local community with those who would otherwise be suspicious of a church and its marketing efforts. The church "sends out" its members to live among people unfamiliar with church customs, songs, and what it holds sacred—just like a foreign missionary.
The missional church recognizes, then, that every believer embodies the life of the church in their neighborhood, in their school, or at their place of work—each one of them telling God’s story in the context of compassionate and genuine relationships as a Church Without Walls (CWW®)! Everybody plays.