Thursday, August 20, 2009

Missional Distinctivness

- generosity - I’d love for the people in our neighborhood to be aware that this is a community who splash their money and time and relationships around with great liberality. In such a self focused society I believe that personal and corporate generosity can function as a prophetic statement about what the kingdom of God is like. And who would ever knock a church for being obscenely generous?!
- earthiness - It’d be great if those who come near feel a sense of these being ordinary people who sometimes get life right and sometimes stuff it up, but who do it with Jesus in the midst. When church people start to give off airs of superiority most Aussies will simply walk away. Again I’d ask, who would ever knock a church for being a ’society of sinners’ where other likeminded strugglers are more than welcome. Everyone knows we aren’t as squeaky clean as sometimes gets made out so let’s be honest with that and maybe we might drop the hypocrite flag a bit lower.
- fun - seriously! I realise this may depend on your definition of ‘fun’, but surely a community where people laugh a lot and enjoy being together has to be one that others would want to be part of? The dour and drab countenance that seems to characterise some church gatherings on a Sunday morning must surely communicate something of the God we worship… I want to be with people who know how to enjoy themselves and can party well (and I say that an introverted non-party animal!)
intelligent - ok by this I am meaning a community where there is the ability to reflect deeply on the issues that face us as missionaries in the west and not simply fall in line with the next fad, nor adhere to a mindless fundamentalism because this is all we have known. Inevitably this means being a curious and questioning community, safe in our relationship with Christ, confident enough to admit that we don’t know it all but courageous enough to consider other viewpoints.
adventurous - people who get the whiff a challenge and rise to it rather than people who simply see the ‘danger’ and wish to play it safe. Having been both in communities that have played it safe and communities that have ‘given it a go’ I never want to go back to the dullness and predictability of that kind of environment.
willing to get involved - its easy to do ministry from a distance, but to be willing to get involved in people’s lives and to have them in your home, to put yourself out and not farm someone out to a designated ‘committee’ is a big commitment. But surely if anyone is going to sense real genuine love from us then it will be largely because we didn’t stand at a distance and yell instructions, but because we got down and dirty and involved in the good the bad and the ugly of life and walked the path come what may.
While I think they are a great list. I also wonder if you can use communicate somthing that incorporates mainstream Australian spirituality. If you can turn on TV and see someone offering horoscopes on free to air television. Then surely the church may have something to say in a missional context as well. Obviously this could also be done without use of 'Biblical language".
Spiritual: A group wanting to incorporate Christian spiritual practices.  Such as prayer for one another, as well as the world. Trying to discern the voice of our creator, through happiness and pain. Believing that the miraculous do occur in our midst.
Maybe not to good, but hopefully you get the point...


steven hamilton said...

hmmmm, maybe also hospitality: a welcoming group of people open to receiving others as friends with a "come as you are" kind of welcoming

maybe that is a blend of earthiness and generosity...

Scott said...

Yep I think your right with the earthiness and generosity