Missional Leaders Network -some reflections

A week ago I had lunch with a Missional Leaders Network, organized by my friend Colin Banfield of Intentional Encounters.  Apart from Paul’s delicious macaroni cheese (who would ever have thought you could get excited about plain ‘ol Mac ‘n Cheese) here are a few helpful insights I picked up from discussions:

a) Couples are key to missional community life, because they have homes, and often are more permanent residents of the community.  Because missional community life can be fairly transient – it is helpful to have some stability in those who have a long-term commitment to an area.

b) Simply eating together may be one of the most missional activities we can do.  When we gather simply to spend time together – it is the easiest place to welcome in and get to know friends and neighbours with no hidden, “bait and switch” agenda.  I know this is the oldest insight in the book but it hit we again in a fresh way recently.  As VOX restructures our missional community life in the next few months, this is something we want to creat space for.

c) An insight from someone in the service industry about how because service can often be so poor, if you just do the little things well you look like heroes.  In the same way because generally the world does not have a culture of serving one another (Mark 10:45), when Christians simply serve and love their friends and neighbours, as they follow Jesus – they look like heroes.  What I see as normal, is huge for someone who does not follow Jesus.  Perhaps we ought to worry less about solving all the big issues and simply do the little things well, with gospel intentionality.  Of course the aim is not for us to be heroes but to point them to the real hero, Jesus – the one we follow after.

d) The difference between pro-active and reactive mission is something worth pondering and may well be the difference between a healthy, productive missional community and a “business as usual” small group.  We all engage in reactive mission daily and weekly with the people we meet, our neighbours, friends and work colleges.  And hopefully we are attempting to bring them into the life of our community.

Pro-active mission though says that as a missional community we intend to reach a certain area, people group, need in our community and we structure the rhythms of our life together in part to this mission.  Partly this is because it is wise to have intention in our mission – we are all sinners, lazy, selfish and apathetic, and if we simply left mission without communal intention – we may well find we fail to actually engage anyone with gospel.

Secondly this is because – the gospel is a communal gospel, that is not only heard in the Word proclaimed but is seen in the Word embodied.  The gospel is not less than a message but the message that creates a people who together embody the gospel in their shared life together on mission.  As Lesslie Newbigin used to say – “the local church is the best hermeneutic for the gospel.”  In other words the best way for unbelievers to understand the gospel message is when they see it embodied in a missional community of God’s people.

Also have a read of Colin’s “3 Doors Down” Initiative, some creative thinking for the suburbs

“Community where there is none Part 1”

Community where there is none part 2

Community where there is none part 3

Community where there is none part 4

~ by John on October 8, 2010.

One Response to “Missional Leaders Network -some reflections”

  1. […] Extra: If you are interested here are some reflections from an earlier Network meeting […]

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