Scattered Church/Gathered Church
The Life of Faith Initiative places primary focus on how the baptized are ministers and do ministry when they are sent from the church building into the world. In the congregation we assemble for worship, teaching and learning, community building, and organizing mission activities together with other congregation members. However, the primary focus of a truly missional church involves intentional efforts by the congregation to equip the baptized for ministry in daily life (Ephesians 4:11-16). This change of focus requires a paradigm shift from primary attention on what the congregation does when it is gathered to how it lives out ministry each and every day when the baptized are scattered into their arenas of daily life. The use of the terms, “gathered ministers and scattered ministers” and “gathered ministries and scattered ministries,” affirms the mutuality in ministry of both laity and clergy, clarifying the call and service rendered by all God’s people.
Jesus “came not to be served but to serve, and to give us life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). After Jesus had washed the feet of his disciples, he said to them: “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (John 13:12-15). The baptized are called to follow Jesus in such ministry of service to neighbors in the arenas of daily life.