Posts Tagged ‘Missional’

What is a Third Place?

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Back in the ancient of day, 2007, I wrote on ‘Third Places.’

Missional Church Network has a very good follow-on post that is well worth the read: ‘What is a Third Place?‘ Good video also and I really encourage you to pursue finding the ‘Third Places’ in your neighborhood, then get involved.

Coaching Questions

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Hugh Halter posted today on the topic of “How I Coach People into TRUE Missional Leadership.”

He gives four key aspects of life that must be coached in order for a leader to be a true missionally incarnational leader: Deep in Character, Clear in Calling, Culturally Savvy, and Able to Lead Inclusive Community.

Here are his coaching questions that can help our ability to engage our the lost culture with the Gospel:

  • Do you know the names of all your neighbors? If not, what can you do this month to get to know them without being a dork?
  • Are you doing any recreation, hobbies, or school functions with the intent to make friends?
  • Tell me about some good conversations you’ve had with lost friends this month? Have you made any plans to invite them deeper into your lives or go deeper into their lives?
  • How could you bless the children of the people you’re meeting?
  • Have any of your lost friends invited you to anything this last month? Did you go? How did it go? Any plans to thank them by inviting them to something cool?
  • Have you done anything this last month that you may need to apologize for to a lost friend? Maybe not being more helpful to them? Saying no to an invite they gave you? Maybe being gone when something bad happened to them?
  • What are you finding is always good news to your lost friends? Have you made any plans to be good news? What is that?
  • Have you taken much time this month to exegete the needs of your community? Have you talked to any school employees, city workers or government officials? How can you make that happen or begin to help where they expose need?
  • How many parties have you thrown or gone to this last month?
  • What types of non-profits are working in your area that you could help out with and support?
  • Have you been able to share much of your story to a lost friend this month? How did that go? Any follow up?
  • Are you showing patience with the people around you or have you overstepped any lines the culture is giving you lately?
  • Have you helped serve anyone this month?
  • How are you praying for the people around you? What does that look like? Has God led you to do anything unique for a friend?
  • Have you invited any new friends to anything this last month? What was it? How did that go? Any next steps?
  • Are you and your spouse in the same stride in how much time you’re giving to lost folks? How many times a week or evenings have you been opening your home?
  • How many of your 21 weekly meals have you been sharing with people?
  • How have you been engaging the culture with those in your Christian community?
  • Do you feel that your Christian community is trustworthy to bring any new friend to? If not, why and how can you mentor your community toward inclusiveness and trust?
  • Have you been advocating for any people this last month?
  • What common space, coffee shops, pubs, etc. have you been hanging out in consistently? Have any interesting relationships started to form?

I plan on using these to challenge my own missional journey and those I’m coaching.

I’d be interested in anything you’d modify, delete or add. Leave a comment.

Missional is the “Slow Movement” of Christianity

Monday, August 29th, 2011

I’m a big supporter of the “slow movement” which is all about taking time to enjoy the journey of life, as opposed to the desperate need to arrive, meet the goal, accomplish the task, do as much as possible in as little time as possible.

The slow movement is not about doing things slowly, but seeks to connect us more meaningfully with others, with our communities, with family, and with who we are as spiritual beings. A main tenant is that by taking the appropriate amount of time to experience the various activities, people and communities in our lives, we are able to savor, deepen, and invigorate the important things and relationships. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) echoes this need.

Philosopher Guttorm Fløistad summarizes the slow movement, stating: “The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal.”

slow movement missional

Missional is the slow movement of Christianity. It’s where “the way of Jesus” informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others, where we seek to connect more meaningfully with others, with our communities, with family, and with Jesus.

Building Community

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Helped organize a neighborhood event this morning along with the Stephens Creek Stewards and Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. We got a neighborhood work party together to help protect the wetland on our street from Purple Loosestrife and other invasive weeds.

We filled two garden waste recycling containers, saved the City the expense of sending in a crew, create some ownership of our local environment and got to know some of our newer neighbors.

It was another step in bringing a greater sense of community to the neighborhood. At the social hour in our backyard afterwards, I got a good response about doing a block party next year.

Small positive steps in community and relationship building.

Where are the Missional Evangelicals?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

missional journal

David Dunbar, President, Biblical Seminary, writes his Missional Journal every couple of months and it is always something I make time to read.

This month he asks, “Where are the Missional Evangelicals?”

It’s a good thought provoking read where he first lays out the issue: “The positive and enthusiastic involvement of Evangelicals in the cause of global missions over the last century makes their comparative non-participation in the missional church movement intriguing. I am not saying that the movement is devoid of evangelical voices–that is clearly not the case. But given Evangelicals’ concern for gospel outreach, one might have expected that by now the word “missional” would be more clearly understood, that churches would be more engaged with the opportunities for incarnational ministries, that more Bible colleges and seminaries would be revamping programs in a missional direction, etc. So what’s up?”

Dr. Dunbar suggests that “perhaps a larger problem that has stood in the way of evangelical embrace is that the missional discussion has not seemed sufficiently ‘biblical.'” Now comes the heart of his argument. He writes that this current ambivalence of Evangelicals toward the missional church based on this assertion “is no longer justifiable (if indeed it ever was) in terms of insufficient biblical grounding. The game-changer is (or should be) the thoughtful and detailed work of Christopher Wright, an OT scholar and chair of the Theology Working Group of the Lausanne Movement. His massive study The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (IVP, 2006) argued powerfully for the theme of mission as integral to a faithful reading of scripture. He has recently published a very engaging follow-up entitled The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission (Zondervan, 2010).”

He then highlights several points from the books that he found particularly helpful: Mapping the Bible around the mission of God, election, and a holistic or integral mission.

Full text here in a PDF document.

If you don’t get his newsletter, you might give it a go. You can subscribe here and also read archived newsletters.

Missional Misunderstood

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Ernest Goodman at Missions Misunderstood recently wrote:

There are too many ‘experts’ using the word ‘missional’ to refer to traditional missions or serving in the local elementary school. Without a radical shift in the basic understanding of what it means to be on mission, we’re just doing more of the same.

He’s right, but it is not just about orthopraxy. What is missed to often in the missional discussion is that it is not about what we do or how we do it, but about who we are. Missional is about a Jesus followers DNA. It is about a life where “the way of Jesus” informs and radically transforms our existence.

Contact Does Not Equal Contamination

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Are Jesus followers to withdraw and separate themselves from culture and the world? This question is often discussed and many struggle with the tension of the thin line between being in the world, but not of the world.

Below Michael Frost shares his view on the North American churches use of resources and about the skewed theological framework around being separate from the world.

One good quote to ponder is, “Missional effectiveness is directly proportional to your relational capacity. If you have high relational capacity with the world — high missional effectiveness. If you have limited relational capacity…you have limited missional effectiveness. ”

Concept to commit to memory: contact does not equal contamination.

A Chat Between Dave Fitch and Gary Nelson

Monday, October 18th, 2010

This is a series of videos, produced and by Imbi and Bill Kinnon, of a chat between Gary Nelson, President of Tyndale University College & Seminary and Dave Fitch, Associate Professor of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary. You need to take time to watch these videos. They are really insightful and encouraging.

In this first conversation, Dave and Gary discuss whether the word “missional” had become so over-used/mis-used that it no longer has value.

Here Dave and Gary talk about theological education that is not simply for full-time seminarians, nor designed purely to create full-time ministers, missionaries or other paid church staff.

This third video looks at The Pastor in Post-Christendom, a calling that lacks social significance in the eyes of much of society. They end the conversation talking about what excites them about our future in a Post-Christendom world.

You can subscribe to Bill Kinnon’s Missional Channel on Vimeo for more videos on the Missional Conversation. There are 14 videos available at this time.

The Sacred and the Secular

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Bob Robinson has a good take on an important issue: Dualistic Christianity and the Church. Pop over and read it. It’s good.

Bob’s post reminded me of a similar piece I did back in June 2008. I’ve reposted it here because I believe “dualistic Christianity” is an underlying reason why so many follower of Jesus struggle to consistently embody the life, spirituality, and mission of Jesus.

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Ask yourself, are we merely devotees, who, as a mark of our faith, attend church weekly, participate in a bible study and often invite a friends or neighbors to join us? Or are we disciples of Jesus whose life is consumed 24/7/365 with, as Hirsch stated it, “the practical outworking of the mission of God (the missio dei) and of the incarnation”? Most operate in the former when God calls us to the latter. Missional is about the latter. So why does the average Jesus followers labor to understand Gods call and to live it out?

One core reason for this struggle stems from our western culture adopting the Greco-Roman supposition that all the world is divided into two realms: the sacred and the secular. The average Jesus followers segregates their lives (all they are and do) into one of these two boxes.

Work, clubs, hobbies, school, recreation, vacation, money and other such things go into the secular box. Sunday “church,” bible studies, home groups, short-term missions trips, feeding the poor, quiet times, bible reading, prayer, teaching Sunday School, serving on a church committee, tithe and the like go into the sacred box. This thinking leads to considering the secular as pretty much devoid of anything sacred or spiritual. And anything spiritual must happen in the sacred box.

Dualism

When you attempt to explain the concept behind missional, the average Jesus follower simply can’t comprehend how they could possibly live their entire life in the sacred box (where all things spiritual happens, right?) unless they became full time clergy (the clergy/laity divide is a result of Greco-Roman dualism). In their mind, to live 24/7/365 as a missionary would require them leaving behind the secular. But which activities do most of our contact, dealings and interaction with our neighbors and community spring from? Can you see an oversees missionary thinking of their vocation as anything other than a powerful tool to be use to accomplish the practical outworking of the mission of God in their context?

I realize that most people have more gray between their two boxes than I’ve portrayed here, but my point is that we have to deconstruct the belief in dualism if you want to be able to communicate what missional is. Believers need to see their life holistically and completely sacred before they can begin to grasp what it means to be missional.

Part of the point of the missional movement is to recapture the biblical understanding of who we are and the life we are called to walk. A life where we are consumed 24/7/365 with the practical outworking of the mission of God and of the incarnation. A life where “the way of Jesus*” informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture. But it will not happen in a people that operates within the concept of dualism.

* Seeking to consistently embody the life, spirituality, and mission of Jesus.

Moving Into the Neighborhood

Friday, August 27th, 2010

What happens when roughly a dozen young Christian men and women move into a low-income housing complex (Barberry Village here in the Portland area) with the primary goal of creating a sense of community in a chaotic neighborhood overrun with drugs, prostitution and gangs?

People are suspicious. A few people shut the door in their faces. One guy answered with a Taser gun. Safety is a concern. And some of these young Christians burn out. But there has also been so much good done that other low-income housing complex owners have asked them to replicate their efforts.

You can read the full story here.

And they appear to have an appropriate attitude when attempting such work:

So while they were open about their Christianity, they didn’t plunge into conversations about their faith. Nor did they move in acting as if they could solve the social ills at Barberry Village

“We were very conscious of that,” said Knepprath, who has since moved out but remains active in the ministry. “Our perspective from the start was that we’re not here with all the solutions or even thinking we know all the problems.”

The article calls these Christians part of the “new monasticism” movement. They certainly express much of what the missional paradigm is about.