One of the many things I love about Mountain Brook Baptist Church is our commitment to missions. I say it all that time: “Mountain Brook Baptist Church was a ‘missional’ church before being ‘missional’ became the trendy thing for churches to do.”
Some people may not be familiar with that term “missional.” Simply put, it refers to a church’s commitment to extend its reach into its community. In that sense, it’s the polar opposite of a church taking an “attractional” stance, which describes a church that prefers to lean on its physical location to bring people in its doors.
Obviously, both attraction and extension are important. But when we read the New Testament, we see clearly how God’s call to the church is to emphasize the latter so that in turn He might prepare us better to receive those whom the Spirit leads to come our way. I believe that our own church’s ability to maintain such a balance is the primary reason we’ve been such a healthy church from our inception.
This Sunday, we’ll be emphasizing our missions commitment in morning worship as a part of our Vision 2020 values and proposals. How appropriate that we’ll also have with us Ruba Abassi, the Founder and President of Arab Women Today, and her husband Dr. Nabeeh Abassi, formerly the Provost for the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary and now the General Director at the Arab Center for Consulting and Training Services. Our church supports Ruba and Nabeeh in extending the Gospel into that strategic part of our world.
When you listen to the news reports, it’s easy to get the impression that such global hotspots like the country of Jordan are barren places for reaching people for Jesus. But as Ruba and Nabeeh remind us, God is at work everywhere. His reach knows no bounds. His presence is not limited in any way.
As we hear from them briefly as to how they seek to be faithful to God’s call in their homeland of Jordan, may we be challenged to consider how we might do the same here in Mountain Brook. That way we’ll continue to build on the firm foundation of being a Great Commission congregation, one that begins here at home, but also looks for opportunities to partner with others, like the Abassis, who enable us to extend our reach “into all the world.”
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:18-20).