Unfortunately I had to bow out of Re:source today, we had a good day yesterday but it was touch and go whether I made it in the first place... I have been suffering from an ear infection which has left me extremely rundown... this morning I was dizzy, shaking and just felt unable to cope so I made the difficult decision to return home... fortunately I had chance yesterday to get to know my 'huddle' and to meet the rest of the cohort and team and Beth is able to let me have notes and recordigs of the sessions. It was especially good to connect with Laura from Sanctus1 and to see Francis, Jeff and Gordon from our own 'Pioneer Leader Huddle'.
Some thoughts... Gordon and I will be working to develop a 'programme' for developing/supporting entrepreneurial leaders/missioners, particularly younger leaders, in the Diocese of Lichfield and surrounding areas... The Diocese has a 1year course on evangelism which is a bit more traditionally focussed and based, we have been tasked to explore this 'new' area... maybe to instigate a culture of permission, perhaps to encourage the swarm?
Last night Andrew Jones spoke on Missio Dei... it surprised me how many people had not encountered the concept... mind you in our huddle we had such a variety of age an experience... from 18 to 37 and from those who had read Bosch from cover to cover to those who hadn't heard of Vincent Donovan! Andrew's main focus was on God's mission as reconcilliation... although he stressed the holistic capacity of reconcilliation, it became obvious in the response that the focus in many minds was still that of monadic salvation... Mission was concerned primarily with the 'winning' of individual souls. Secondly, it is not enough to see Mission as 'not an activity of the Church' but as an activity of God, the theology of Missio Dei says that Mission is an attribute of God. Therefore the question of where is God working/not working doesn't make sense, nor can we see the action of God in our terms (e.g. numerical growth of the Church, or charismatic renewal)... one question was "don't we need to take God to where he isn't working?" of course we cannot talk about "taking God" anywhere, unless we are prepared to ditch Omnipresence ;-) If we accept Omnipresence and Mission as an attribute of God (not an activity) then God is "at work" everywhere... so the question becomes how is God working? not where.
Listening to the questions helped me to reflect further on the question of singularity and the Kingdom of God (unfortunatley I will miss Roger Ellis' sessions on Kingdom Theology... until I get a copy of the recording) I am beginning to formulate an understanding of Mission/Kingdom with three dimensions...
- Reconcilliation - between God and Human - the creator and the creation
- Restoration - of creation and communities - justice and renewal
- Reversal - of cultural configuration - political and social "the first shall be last" etc.
... so we could say there are three transformative phenomena... Personal, Community and Cutural... I wouldn't want to diminish the personal salvation element but to elevate the others to equal status. If we are engaged with the holistic mission of God can we afford ignore any of the three!
Oh... and did you know there is a whale in the river thames?! Steve does ;-)