Friday, February 10, 2012

Touchstones for Missional Communities

Some good missional stuff from Alan Hirsch via Future Travelers:
•Every believer contains within themselves the potential for world transformation.
•Our goal is that every believer is a church planter and every church a church planting church
•Are we in the “people of God mode” or “professional mode?”
•How can you improve on Jesus’ plan of discipleship? He said, “Die.”
.•If we don’t get Jesus right, we create a toxic system, that produces toxic people.
•If you want to reproduce, you have got to be “reproduce-able.”
•With disciples you can go places, with consumers you can’t.
•We must act our way into a new way of thinking not vice versa.
•We engaging a people group, we can’t preempt the gospel with our version of church (structure).
•The church is a “scratch and sniff” experience of the Kingdom.
•Incarnation is how the God engaged the world. He doesn’t overwhelm us, he invites us.
Or as I might put it:
Once you truly follow the loving and liberating Jesus, you inevitably are oriented toward others beyond yourself and your comfort zone, and you have such inherent potential for transforming the world; you all do; you don't have to be a special trained or ordained person, in fact that might be something to overcome.
I would now use mission planter and every mission is a mission multiplier. church is one way to bring about the mission.
People not programs, not professional concerns
To live abundantly means to die to who we have been, to continually empty ourselves so God in community can bring us toward our fullest selves. missionaries, even progressive ones, need a theology of the cross.
Yes, getting Jesus right, taking scholarship and theology seriously, not just one's own experiences which are often designed to make Jesus fit our conveniences and culture; Jesus deserves an educated, always growing disciple. There are spiritually toxic people; they come in all traditions.
It starts with you, but doesn't end with you, but how you can help grow others; health begets growth; you can't grow or help others grow without health.
Consumers want to stay in place and make things about them and for themselves; disciples can't wait to get on the road, trying to catch up with Jesus who is always going ahead of us to Galilee.
Act and then reflect; don't wait until you think you have everything figured out and have your great vision and action plan; small acts of justice done with great love trumps our best systems.
Church is people to be filled not boxes on an organizational chart to be filled.
The church is to imitate and initiate the beloved community; but I can't improve on that scratch and sniff metaphor.
God sends, moves into the poor neighborhood, acts like leaven and mustard, emerging from within to change the whole; not attractional, top down, not the way an Empire behaves; church needs to be made in "the likeness of God".