Missional Mondays 2

These are my notes from my Monday lunchtime study – “Missional Mondays”.

Q: How would you explain the concept of The Trinity to your friend who asks?

Idea: This is a concept about God which to be honest we struggle with or if we are honest are a little embarrassed about.  If it were not there we perhaps would not really mind to which.  The whole three that are one things quite frankly makes us quite uncomfortable.

But the reality of the Trinity is central to not only our understanding of who God is but also the nature of the Mission he is involved in.

Q: What is the traditional understanding of mission?

Idea: People sent from one place/church/country to take the gospel to another people/place etc.  That is not how it was originally used.

Read: John 17:20-26; 14:25-26; 16:5-7

Who is being sent here?

Idea: The Latin world “missio” was originally used to talk about the sending of the Son (v21, 23, 25) and the Spirit (14:25-26; 16:5-7) into the world.

Q: We are thinking how we can be missional here – how does the reality of Trinity affect our thinking?

Idea: God is a missional God.

We experience Him as such – we do not know God as he is in himself – we know him through the sent Son and Spirit.

Q: If God is a missionary God:

(a) How does that affect our understanding of our Christian life?

(b) and of missions?

(a) If we are followers of the missionary God, then we too must be on mission.  That is our primary life orientation, our worldview is that of following our missional God.  That is what he is doing in this world and if we follow him – then that is what we follow him in.  God as we experience him is as a missionary community…

(b) Missions in primarily God’s activity – he is on Mission here in this world first (what has been called the Mission Dei), he goes before us and ahead of us.  Missions is not what we do – but what God is already doing and into which he invites us to be a part.

A 2nd thought on how the doctrine of the Trinity affects our understanding of being missional:

Read Exodus 20:4-6; Deut 4:15-16

Q: Why does God not allow any images of himself?

Read Genesis 1:26-27, Deut 4:20

Q: Where is God’s image found in this world?

Idea: God has already made an image that represents who he is.  Deut 4:20 is  strange language describing Egypt as an iron-smelting furnace.  It is the language of making an idol.  God has cast for himself an image already – it is his people.  It is a picture of relationships of community – of Trinity!

Re-read: John 17:20-26

Q: Where will the world see the truth about Jesus?

Idea: In our love and unity.  In the lives of the gospel community.  They will know the truth about Jesus because they see our love and unity for one another.  We not only have the good news but in some significant way we are the good news…

Q: How does this affect how we do mission?

Idea: Mission is best done in community.  We invite unbelievers not only to hear a presentation, but to join us in our lives together.  We invite them to taste the trinitarian life.  Invite them to experience the relationships, that are not perfect but that reflect our experience of trinitarian grace.

Q: How could this work out practically for us?

Getting Controversial: Do you think this unity is about filling football stadiums with people praying?

Idea: Racial reconciliation, loving the poor, watching how together we love, care for, rebuke, challenge one another – the light must be near the darkness in order for the world to see our love and know who Jesus is!

(Additional Scripture we could look at: Read Acts 2:42-47)

Wrap Up: Because God is a trinitarian God – we are on mission with Him.  We join Him in what he is already doing.

And because God is a trinitarian God we are a missional community.  Our lives together confirm the truth about Jesus to an unbelieving world.  God never just gives us a message.  He gives us a message that is carried in a community.

I found chapter 11, “The Trinity and Mission” of Tim Chester’s book Delighting in the Trinity really helpful for thinking through this study.

~ by John on February 16, 2009.

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