For my post grad I am looking at how we have separated church and mission, but reading through much of the missional church stuff I still think there remains a problem because the old definition of church that centres on church as the body of believers still remains as a part of the missional church definition (would you say this is true or do I have the wrong end of the stick) which in reality counteracts and limits the mission dei understanding at the heart of missional church as we know it.
Missional church if it is to be true to the sentiments of missio dei is more about people of faith and of no faith being on a journey of discovery (towards fullness of life for themselves, their community and the world) together and WITH an equality in this process that enables mission (the sort that Donovan describes in Christianity rediscovered) and mission dei to truly be the core of church. This means us becoming more powerless about our ideas of what church and if we are not we cannot be missional church. The example I would use is Flow church where the young people I work with call God Flow, and have agreed to come on the journey of being church, which in itself means discovering what Flow and church is, even though they are not believers in the way most people would understand believers to be.
for back ground check out how the word intentionality
is used in relation the being and growing church.
Living with meaning, finding our purpose, knowing where we are heading, discovering the meaning of life or even thinking that this possible are all important parts of what it is to be human. For christians meaning making is established as we reflect on the story we find ourselves in and our perceptions and understandings of God.
In teaching culture society and mission this month I have been stuck by how the process of meaning making and identity formation has been destabilised due to the growth of post modernity and its inherent deconstuction, and relativisation of truth.
At one level this is very helpful, and something to be embraced by people of faith, but the trap post modernity then lays before us is that of hyper-criticism. Reconstruction cant begin because everything must be questioned, analysed and criticed. There is no solid ground on which to build. So where do we go in terms of missiology. How do we begin to build mission in a meaning
The startpoint (i think) is to find the common ground left between the postmodern culture and our deconstucted christian understanding. (bit like a venn diagram) BUT what is there, what if anything can still be meaningful or solid.
So far I see three meaningful intersections:
– Story: fairytale and myth still remain in the postmodern, and perhaps have more power to get through as although they criticed by the fact thay are couched in terms of being just that story and not a truth claiming perspective, they are engaged rather than over looked. Can we communiate our story as a fairytale, and allow the story to do the work.
– Glocal: The global and local nature of current culture should not be underestimated and bears many resemablences the trancendant and immenent nature of God. This contradictory view of God has much to offer, as again the truth lies in its seemingly untruthfullness.
– Loss of self builds Relationship: relativity remains as central tool in the process of deconstruction, which can only be really done from your relative position which inself opens up the possibility that there are many perspectives. So when we dialogue based on loosing ourself through the process we open the way for meaningful dialogue.
The three ways discussed have the in common the contradictions post modernity and christianity has within themselves. The irony is the only solid ground is one that formed in this way.
One observation I have on the current situation with the banking system and governments propping up of credit etc, is how anti the ethos of the market economy it is. For years after the fall of the Berlin wall and demise of eastern european communism the free market was heralded as the way ahead. The collapse of one overarching system was trumpeted as the vindication for the market economy. People started to look to the free market, free trade as the way ahead for social ills, and the way out for global poverty and oppression. Introducing competive trade would help the world move on.
Now we see the collapse of this meta narrative. Those who extolled the market dont really practice what they preach. In the real market economy/free economy they would just let the banks that couldn’t survive go to the wall. Sure this would affect millions of individuals but why not aline your actions and follow your beliefs.
Maybe they never really belived in the market system, but it was just a convient excuse for making money and keeping the poor, poor, the rich, rich and the powerful, powerful! Maybe propping up the system has nothing to do with the millions of individuals but simply heads off the real change that comes though dying so something new and different can grow. It certainly seems the current process will keep the rich, rich, the powerful powerful and just make the poor poorer.
Hi to anyone dropping in from the training session on saturday in Exmouth, it was great to be with you all, and see the committment that so many give to the young people in the area. The slides can be found here alongwith the related resources and books if you want to order more reading.
Been wanting to post something for a few days but unsure of myself and what I was up to, where I was and how I was. I had a great break over Christmas, and it was good to see the new year in with friends at our roadsign party. Today we went down to the beach for a short walk. On the journey down we were chatting about the letting go and letting God kind of thing, balloon metaphors ect. It struck me that often we are to let go of stuff for a time and not for ever, maybe like a message in a bottle to God who will take it out on the tide but bring it back at the right time.
May the Lord of the tides, who has navigated the seas of human emotions,
Help us know your time and your way.
Hold us afloat, in our inner being and walk with us on the path of life.