I could have written pages but these thoughts are the place we are at at this moment... I couldn't write a definition, there would be too much and too many aspects and contexts... so it is a snap-shot of our current reflections and thinking... I'd love to hear your thoughts...
Being Missional - or spending each day with God in God’s workplace!
In short a “Missional” faith is one which has it’s core value as transformation, it sees the purpose of faith as more than a place on Heaven guest-list but about being agents of heaven here and now. Another starting place for us would be the “5 marks of mission”
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
This means so much more than “Evangelism” it means being peacemakers in the whole of creation. Evangelism is there, in “proclaiming the Good News”, but even there proclamation is more than simple verbal “preaching”, it is being and bearing witness to the possibility of reconciliation with the Creator, it is being and bearing the image of God in the world in every aspect of living. In Safespace we conflate the proclamation and the teaching/discipleship, it doesn’t seem to us that you can split them up into some kind of process, there doesn’t seem to be a simple linear thing, in fact we meet many people who follow in the way of Christ before they would be able to speak of belief or faith in God. In some cases people encounter the living God in the effort of living a life of love and difference rather than the accepted “believe then behave” model. To be honest, we believe it is impossible to separate any aspect from another – Mission for us is bearing witness to the possibility of real reconciliation with God, seeking to restore healthy and peaceful community where we live, transforming culture - living the principles of the sermon on the mount and living in tune and sympathy with the rhythms of creation. Nor would we want to separate spirituality/worship from Mission, being “Missional” means living the whole package – a holistic life not a set of compartments (worship, prayer, fellowship, social action, mission), which to us lacks integrity and authenticity.
We also believe firmly in the activity of God in the world before we get there! The theology of missio Dei is writ large in the word “Missional” for it means accepting that God works before and without us, that mission is not taking God into the world but joining in where God is already busy. In some ways we would say God doesn’t need us, but he invites us to be with him… To be “Missional” is a gift not a duty. It’s kind of like joining your Dad at work when you are a child; it changes your view of him, you see what he does, the difference that he makes, the things that inspire him, you gain a new respect and admiration for him, you meet the people he spends time with and the people he impacts… being “Missional” is like spending a day at the office with God… every day!
Being Missional means taking up the calling, the task, the promise, to be agents of the Kingdom of God... to be MIssional means not being satisfied with the World or Christendom, and seeing the opportunity of being part of the process of change as exiting... to be Missional means being a revolutionary, seeing the possibilities in life not the obstacles... to be Missional means seeing life as a service to God and to Creation... to be Missional means means embracing a life as an exile, a vagabond and a pilgrim...
- Exiles from our “land” – we need to resist the temptation to hide – to create a Holy Huddle/Ghetto that is focussed on it’s own growth
- Exiles in a strange “land” – we need to resist the temptation to dream of a golden age… to look back!
- Jeremiah 29v4-8 – our peace and prosperity is only found in engagement in the place we find ourselves – the strange land! We need first to work where we are, the culture and the communities we live amongst and to work for the peace and prosperity of the land and the people.
- Matthew 8v 18-22 / Luke 10 – we are told to leave behind our baggage, our comfort and journey for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
- Arthur Compton-Rickett defined a vagabond as someone with “a natural inquisitiveness about the world beyond our doors” – we need to put aside the “riches” offered by “World” and “Church” and love the people we encounter.
- To have different Values – community not castles! risk not security!
- Walking with God in God’s world!
- St. Columba wrote – “God counselled Abraham to leave his own country and go in pilgrimage into the land, which God has shown him, to wit the ‘Land of Promise’… Now the good counsel which God enjoined here on the father of the faithful is incumbent on all the faithful; that is to leave their country and their land, their wealth and their worldly delight for the sake of the Lord of Elements, and go in perfect pilgrimage in imitation of him.” - we seek to live on the path of the Lord of the Elements.
- John 4 – pursuit of the imminent God in everyday life and culture not Holy places!
- Encountering God in the other, the stranger and not the other… not just treating the stranger as if he/she where Jesus but actually encountering God in the stranger.
As a Community we reflect the Trinity – Perichoresis – The Trinity is a model, but it doesn't end there the Trinity is also an invitation - into the community that is "God's Household"
- Co-existence – mutual self-surrender (John 1v1-2)
- Mutual indwelling – (John 17v21)
- Mutual involvement – (Psalm 33v6)
- Sacrificial Hospitality and invitation – welcome that goes beyond those we are like or whom we like.
We seek to live as a Shalom people – turning the world on it’s head!
- Being Peacemakers – Matthew 5 – Micah 6 – loving mercy, acting justly
- Being Lovers – 1 Thess 2 – sacrificial hospitality
- Being Incarnate – John 20 – radical and righteous living
- Being Servants – John 13 – powerlessness
- Being Community – Acts 4 – mutual indwelling/surrender.
The other Missional Synchro bloggers - Alan Hirsch - Alan Knox - Andrew Jones - Barb Peters - Bill Kinnon - Brad Brisco - Brad Grinnen - Brad Sargent - Brother Maynard - Bryan Riley - Chad Brooks - Chris Wignall - Cobus Van Wyngaard - Dave DeVries - David Best - David Fitch - David Wierzbicki - DoSi - Doug Jones - Duncan McFadzean - Erika Haub - Grace - Jamie Arpin-Ricci - Jeff McQuilkin - John Smulo - Jonathan Brink - JR Rozko - Kathy Escobar - Len Hjalmarson - Makeesha Fisher - Malcolm Lanham - Mark Petersen - Mark Priddy - Michael Crane - Michael Stewart - Nick Loyd - Patrick Oden - Peggy Brown - Phil Wyman - Richard Pool - Rick Meigs - Rob Robinson - Ron Cole - Scott Marshall - Sonja Andrews - Stephen Shields - Steve Hayes - Tim Thompson - Thom Turner