Monday, May 04, 2009

After Missional, What?

As a quick pulse through the blogging system, what do you think is missing from an approach to the church, hermeneutics, eschatology, etc. that subsumes everything under the heading of missional?

I agree we can capture an aweful lot. It gives us God's purpose in creation and eventual restoration. It subsumes the movement of God's people through time. Here's my question. Christianity is not just about doing. A legitimate part of Christian identity is being in the world.

Will we see a counteremphasis on Christian being after the missional emphasis has had its run?


Jennie-Joy said...

Maybe THAT is why I don't get so hung up on titles and junk like that... I don't see doing and being as mutually exclusive... but I firmly believe that who we are as Christ remakes us is what is truly important... the doing follows as a natural result of the being...

But honestly, why the heck talk about this instead of living it? :)

Josh said...

Quoted: "A legitimate part of Christian identiy is being in the world."

Response: I entered seminary with no previous knowledge of what the term "missional" meant and I was a little surpised by the historical discussion of missio Dei. I was a little more skeptical of God's "missional nature" when I first started the course than I am today, but in a paper I wrote for my Missional Church course I basically argue [probably not all that well] that to whatever degree God is "missional" it must come from God's DNA or "being." Love and justice, I contend, are the two essential characteristics [taken from Louis Smedes' book, Choices] behind God's missionary-ness. I’m inclined to believe that “God as a missionary” is more a result of God’s ultimate love and justice for all of creation than a distinct characteristic of God. In other words, underneath God’s “missionary-ness” is God’s love and justice. God sends because God is love and God is just.

I agree with what you said about identity. So, perhaps two aspects of being that can be incorporated in this discussion are - embodiment and holiness.

Anonymous said...

I believe that this counter focus has already begun to take place, which is why Christian youth culture has begun to adopt the vocabulary of "authenticity," and "being-real." Granted, they are in large part missing the idea of existential authenticity, but the idea of being, and letting action flow from who you are is huge, even around the IWU campus. Even in an evangelical sense, in following the model of men like Shane Claiborne and Chris Heuertz, young Christians are focusing on living among people, and just being among people, and allowing Christ's love to do the talking.
There is even a growing stigmatism to the idea of being missional friendship, which has previously been a popular idea. But even this is seen as a cheapening of a person, making them an end, and only befriending them to get them saved. The new idea seems to be that this is even a disgrace to the idea of love. Rather we are to embody Christ's love to people, and live among people who are desperate for love in their lives.

Anonymous said...

The biggest hypocrisy of Christianity is "being saved", or even "doing good works". One doesn't have to be a Christian to be kind, or loving. I don't want to be a Christian or around those who profess Christian faith as some "special gift" that is "earned" by ANY means, whether ritual, practice, good works, walking an aisle, believing a creed, ETC.

I think being human is just fine enough for me, and for those I choose to love.

Michael Cline said...

I've been reading literature that treats "missional" as being, not just doing, particularly in the context of ecclesiology. So I think the term is already moving.

You have those using the term and what the mean is "adding an evangelism approach or program to our church arsenal." And then others use it in more of a imago Dei, historical identity, kind of way.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

There is nothing different in being a Christian human being and being a human being, as being Christian means being human...other traditions and certain segments of Christian faith understand themselves as superhuman. So, the sacred and secular is not separated, but should be understood.