I have a confession to make. It’s a pretty big confession. My confession is that I am looking for that “magic pill,” that perfect program, that awesome book that will make me and all those around me “missional” — whatever that means. I find myself in a pretty traditional church setting, in a denomination, trying to hold together membership and mission and keep our building paid up and our members happy. All the while I’m trying to get folks to see the Missio Dei and God’s mission unfolding before us in our local setting.
And it’s hard.
And it takes a long time.
And I’m not sure I’m very good at it.
And I just want to find that one thing that will pull it all together.
And I’m not sure if I want to go as deep as I think I need to go.
And…well…that’s a problem.
Here’s what the Missio Alliance said recently:
Today, as more and more blogs and books are written purporting to help churches to become missional, the equal and opposite danger has begun to loom large. It is now very easy to pick up a book addressing the how-to’s of missional church – often concerning topics like becoming good neighbours – and find no reference whatsoever to the fundamental theological convictions underlying a missional vision of the church. Books and blogs of this type proliferate while the stream of on-going ecclesiological and missiological reflection, once so prodigious, has all but dried up.
The temptation for anxious pastors and churches to revert to a ‘what works?’ mentality is strong, but it was this consumer-focussed mind-set that was one of the key factors putting the church out of sync with the mission of God in the first place. Theology must come before pragmatism. Only from a deep, reflective and experiential knowledge of the Missional God will we be in a place to join Him in His mission in the world. What looks to us to be working is, all too often, far from what ‘working’ looks like in the eyes of God.
So, here I am trying to consume this whole missional stuff to get it all working.
And I’m concerned I might be missing the point.
I’m concerned that, in my desire to have something “work” I’m missing the point.
And this is what I confess.