Rick McKinley is the pastor of Imago Dei Community and is more popularly known as Donald Miller’s pastor friend in “Blue Like Jazz.”

I’m looking forward to what McKinley shares about how he developed and expanded a missional view of the church being ‘sent’ to the lives of his people in Portland, I’m sure they’ll be surpries in their story….(no handouts, bummer, just kidding)

Sharing on the major shifts that Imago has gone through: Shares about how in Starbucks as he’s reading Jesus turn water into wine and then in the next scene he’s turning over the temple. What if you were one of the disciples with Jesus at this point, would you run from the stigma that you get for being different.

  •   SHIFT ONE: From how to, to want to – we don’t have a how to problem in the church, we have a huge want to problem. Jesus was not a how to kind of guy, he was a come’on and jump in kind of guy. Imago at first just didn’t want to. What they did was just meet together weekly and repenet, the kingdom of God is about asuming we’re going the wrong way before running out to do something. From this people where moved in small groups or pockets of friends to step out into their community and live with that community they wanted to reach. A coulple of girls setup a low-income rent apartment for moms gowing through drug rehab programs.
  • SHIFT TWO: From coming to going – The goal wasn’t to get people to come to our event or church but rather to go out to them. We as the church are the missionary, we’re the sent people of God. God being a sent kind of God also obviously creates a sent people. With this shift a beautiful way of discipleship was created that was born out of service crises’s they were facing as people on mission. Imago was going to people that were not like them, that didn’t communicate like them. Imago also had to rethink who are the ones who are able to equip people, ie those if they are in mission know best how to equip the new people who will join them in mission; not a trained pastor who is caring for other important but different areas. You meet people in their needs, ie they had a “Socks and Cigarete” ministry to street kids because that’s what they needed.
  • SHIFT THREE: From protection to proclaimation – There’s this assumed idea that the culture protests God and that our job is to protect God’s reputation to culture, and that we also need to protect our people from culture. We don’t protect ourselves from the wolves of culture but the wolves inside the church; getting dirty and getting into ugly areas of gray where we don’t walk away looking neat and shinny is part of being sent. We sometimes are fearful that if we fall off one side of mission we’ll become liberals and if we fall off the other side of mission we’ll become shut-in fundamentalists, the gospel is a tight-rope we walk on between the church and culture. [Another way to look at it is that the reality is the gospel isn’t a tight rope but a public sidewalk that is checkered with holes that we will fall in but its ok, people on mission fall sometimes – ok maybe often.] What we have today is “safe churches” and we never call that sin, we have churches without mission and we don’t raise an eyebrow.
  • SHIFT FOUR: From relevance to influence – The point isn’t to be relevant but to be influential, that’s what relevance is really supposed to produce in culture – influence. Influence touches everyone its not co-opted to hit a ‘target crowd’, it aims at ‘all people’. Jesus didn’t die so we could be relevant alone but influential in the real world for the Kingdom.

Rick finished his time out with open questions and answers.