Tuesday, December 2, 2008

sounding off on "being missional."

I read Dan Kimball's critique of certain facets within the current "missional movement," which got me to thinking about being missional

I think way too many churches try too hard to "be missional." They fail to realize that being missional is not a program or something to try out. It is simply about living as missionaries, as sent people; living in the community as the salt and light Jesus calls us to be. Some folks think being missional merely means getting out and serving the poor and homeless. While that is a part of it, it is not the only quality of being missional. My understanding of missional is living in the community, being an active member of the community, developingreal friendships with unchurched people who live in the community. Jesus said we are to be in the world, but not of the world. Living in the world as ambassadors of Christ implies that we are a sent people with mission and a message!

I think, also, too many church planters (myself included) spend way too much time focusing on what others are saying and doing, instead of spending time on their knees, in the word, and out in the community God has sent them too, and letting Him shape His church according to the context and needs of that community. Currently I'm going ga-ga over Shane Clairborne's ideas on building a "community of hospitality and peacemaking." (from the intro to Claireborne's newest book, "Becoming the Answer To Our Prayers.")

There's much to be gleaned from the great missonal thinkers and leaders of our day, but Jesus (in my opinion) is not looking for or impressed with cookie cutter churches. I can't do what Dan Kimball or Shane Clairborne or Rick Warren have been called to do. I can only do what Jesus has specifically called me to do in the community He has sent me to. We all have a common calling in the great commission, but every community is different, and every person is unique. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, perhaps I'm simply reminding myself of what my calling, vision and mission are.