JR’s Missional Challenge

Here’s why… “I, and many others I know and respect, could think, reflect, argue, and scrutinize all that the missional movement means until the cows come home…. More simply put, it is the life of visible and identifiable Christian communities which interprets (notice I didn’t say ought to interpret there – this happens whether we like it or not) the gospel for the world.

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My friend, JR, has put it all on the table. I’m proud of him and challenged by him. And he’s right. Here’s a little of what he says:

“Here’s the declaration. I intend to give a tremendous amount more of my blogging time and attention to sharing about the life of my church community. Here’s why…

“I, and many others I know and respect, could think, reflect, argue, and scrutinize all that the missional movement means until the cows come home. This is well and good, but the heart of the missional movement, is far more about living and being than it is about explaining and reflecting. Most friends of the missional movement will be familiar with Lesslie Newbigin’s notion of “the church as hermeneutic of the gospel.” More simply put, it is the life of visible and identifiable Christian communities which interprets (notice I didn’t say ought to interpret there – this happens whether we like it or not) the gospel for the world. Therefore, I am of the mindset that the missional movement will be far better served by telling the stories of the lives of missional communities than any other endeavor. This is not mean to disqualify other endeavors, but simply to say that they are indeed secondary.”

JR is absolutely correct when he quotes Lesslie Newbigin. (I just used that quote in a sermon on a similar subject just two weeks ago!) How we live in community interprets and puts feet on the good news that God’s restorative reign has come to earth in Jesus Christ. Our communities’ interpretions are happening whether we like it or not. So what kind of interpretation are we giving the good news?

One way or another, our faith-communities are being and living right here and now. We’re living and being in hospitality, in spiritual formation, in mission and service, and in authentic forgiveness. We’ve got to share the stories good and bad because that’s who we are as we follow Jesus into the implementation of his father’s New Creation in this world.

You can read JR’s full post HERE.

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