Thursday 19 May 2011

Missional Journal 5, 2 (May 2011)

After more than a decade of analysis about the missional church, David Dunbar asks (in his latest Missional Journal), ‘Where’s the beef?’

On reasons for the seeming lack of ‘concrete results’, Dunbar begins by citing the ‘residual influences of Christendom’:

‘Although the cultural situation in much of North America may now be described as post-Christendom, many remnants of Christendom are still with us... not least in the thinking and practice of many Christians. Thus many of us assume a building-centered approach to church, ministry, and evangelism. We assume that we can speak and act from a position of cultural favor and influence. And we remain deeply shaped by a clergy-laity distinction that was powerfully rooted and formed in Christendom (even though the beginning of the distinction predates Constantine).’

Change is only likely to come about, he says, by ‘regular and repeated teaching around the themes like the mission of God, the gospel of the kingdom, and the sending of the church’, by missional leaders finding ‘congregational allies – “early adopters” who will share the vision for mission and help them hold course in the face of opposition or discouragement’, and by reaching out to ‘other congregations on the same journey for wisdom, encouragement, and partnership’.

He also suggests there has been ‘an absence of models available to help churches think concretely about what it might look like follow Jesus into the world and how leaders could actually process congregations through this change’.

In addition is the challenge of formation, the fact that ‘missionally focused churches face the same problems that other groups do: forming mature disciples is a tough row upstream’.

He concludes:

‘Missional is not just another program for busy people – it is a divine call to be a different kind of people, a people formed by the gospel to embody the gospel in the totality of their daily lives. That’s where the beef is! And this is the challenge before us – it will require time, energy, wisdom, and focus to move the theoretical discussion to incarnational reality.’

1 comment:

saputro10 said...

keep spirit in Jesus! keep work for Jesus's mission in the world. Because in Him everything will be fine and good, althought many problems that we will face.