A lot of people have been pointing to Brian McLaren’s telling of his own personal story, Becoming Convergent. So I’m not being very original by pointing to the pdf version of his story. I really have appreciated what God has been doing through Brian’s influence. It’s unfortunate that he has had to face a lot of misunderstanding and criticism. Yet, he seems to be engaging it with heaps of grace and love. In this way, he reminds me of John Wimber when he faced tons of criticism.
But as I’ve read Brian’s story and the comments others have made about him, two phrase grabbed my attention. The first phrase was used by John Frye. He called Brian a “pastoral artist; a creative, story-telling evangelist who is passionate about the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ truly sounding like good news to the ever-increasing postmodern West.” I love the phrase “pastoral artist.” I think that’s a great description for any missional pastor.
The second phrase comes from Brian himself. It’s the mission statement for Cedar Ridge Community Church — to be place where people can “be and make disciples in authentic community for the good of the world.” In a lot of the current ecclesiological discussion, this isn’t very earth-shaking. But it simply recaptures and re-envisions what we, as God’s people, are about in his world. The various ecclesial configurations and strategies that will endeavor to fulfill that mission will be as different as the locales they exist in. But at the core, this is who we are — maturing apprentices of Jesus, who live, love and work together for the good of our Father’s world.