“Our view of the church must be pilgrim enough to shatter the image-making process that restricts missions to the church there and not here, and re-defines the church invisible as the one to which the missionary belongs, the one which becomes visible once every three to five years at slide presentations. We must re-capture the biblical dimension of the church as the new dispersion of the people of God, sheep scattered when the Shepherd was smitten (Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31), gathered again at Jerusalem, and scattered once more till we meet again in the new Jerusalem.” (Harvie Conn, ‘Church-Mission Relationships, pg. 120)

The language of must, its imperatival, its immediate, it doesn’t have time for politics or lame excuses – it demands. Conn demands that our view of the church must be pilgrim enough to shatter the image-making process that restricts missions to the church there and not here. Are we a pilgrim church, are we living as those who’ve been scattered by YHWH, who live in the messyness of the exile? Or have we formed an image that lacks the missiological imagination YHWH is so passionate for? 

Do our churches look more like Israel with a temple than Israel in a land not her own, in a culture not her own, forced to face the minimalization of her symbology and her ideology? Have we lost our sense of pilgrimage, if we haven’t then where do our churches demonstrate that clearest?