Missional Field Notes

Quotes, Examples, and Ideas from My Missional Frontier

…we’re so concerned with orthodoxy [right belief] that we don’t care about orthopraxy [right practice]. And there’s a way of being a Christian that I think is destructive: you can have all the right beliefs in your head, you can have all the right information, but if your life is shaped by twenty-first-century American materialism and the church becomes one more thing that you consume, then what the hell does it matter what you believe if there’s no community that shapes your salvation?

(via Next Reformation)

In the 1980s the Anglican Church struggled with understanding mission. There were those who felt it was a matter of personal salvation. Then there were those who considered it more a matter of social justice or social change. So, they met.

In conclusion, the council identified what they called the Five Marks of Mission – five different ideas that they felt offered a comprehensive understanding of mission. In their most recent
formulation, the five Marks are:

  1. To proclaim the good news of the kingdom.

  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.

  3. To respond to human need by loving service.

  4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.

  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of Creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. (Via)

Not a bad list to start with as we examine mission in our own churches.

When we see some of our ordinary activities as Christian practices, we come to perceive how our daily lives are all tangled up with the things God is doing in the world. Now we want to figure out how to pattern our practices after God’s, and it becomes our deepest hope to become partners in God’s reconciling love for the world.


This was from Allan Bevere last week, for Barth’s birthday.

“Theology is not a private subject for theologians only. Nor is it a private subject for professors. Fortunately, there have always been pastors who have understood more about theology than most professors. Nor is theology a private subject of study for pastors. Fortunately, there have repeatedly been congregation members, and often whole congregations, who have pursued theology energetically while their pastors were theological infants or barbarians. Theology is a matter for the Church.”

Good Quote

Today is graduation day in the Doepken household as I have two daughters graduating from High School. It’s a busy time with family, friends, lots of activity, and lots of cake…oh, so much cake. So far we’ve had final soccer games, a Senior Picnic and Parade, an awards ceremony, and, on Pentecost Sunday, I preached at a Baccalaureate service. And tonight it’s graduation.

So, I’ve been using a lot of quotes on the site during this time. I, frankly, haven’t been able to sit down to read and browse and find things to share more thoroughly. This is what you get.

In that spirit, let me share this Miroslav Volf quote that Allan Bevere shared today over at his site (that has been in my RSS feed for a long time!). Volf doesn’t make an appearance here much because his focus, really, isn’t missional. But it’s good. It’s about living in sync with God:

Here is what we do as worshipers of a Santa Claus God: We embrace the conviction that God is an infinitely generous source of all good, but conveniently forget that we were created in God’s image to be in some significant sense like God– not like God in God’s divinity, for we are human and not divine, but like God “in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24), like God in loving enemies (Matthew 5:44). To live well as a human being is to live in sync with who God is and how God acts.

And this quote is a good reminder for my own kids on graduation day. May they always live well as humans; living in sync with who God is and how God acts.

Associations in your mind between the words mission and neighbourhood might be slim. Perhaps you more easily link the word mission with other more exotic and distant places, or with particular activities of the church. Perhaps mission seems simply too grand and important to tie to the ordinariness of your own street. But again, forging a greater connection between mission and the daily task of loving our neighbors is a task worthy of our time. More than that I think it’s crucial.



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