Friday, June 24, 2005

Beginning the Missional Conversation

One day I want to write a book. It has become a dream of mine. And as I read more missional literature and become convinced that it is the heart of God for the church today, I hope to write a book that can continue the missional conversation especially as it pertains to Churches of Christ with the benefits and setbacks that presents.

As I read the book Confident Witness - Changing World, a book put out by the Gospel and Our Culture Series, I sensed the challenge we have ahead in the section written by Jon M. Huegli. He quotes Kennon Callahan and Lesslie Newbigin to help people get a sense of the need for this conversation. They write,

"The day of the churched culture is over. The day of the mission field has come. In such a setting, the church's role is to bridge the gap between God's kingdom and the context of the culture in which it finds itself." - Kennon Callahan
"Ours is not as we once imagined a secular society, it is a pagan society and its paganism having been born out of the rejection of Christianity is far more resistant to the gospel than the pre-Christian paganism with which cross-cultural missions have been familiar. Here, surely, is the most challenging missionary frontier of our can we be missionaries to this modern world, we who are ourselves part of this modern world?"

I believe this to be true and though this challenge is difficult, we have a God who is bigger than the challenge. We cannot cross this chasm alone. God will have to be the key player as he always is. As we start this conversation of missional faithfulness, we must remember this is God's kingdom that he is building, not our kingdom to build. We are to receive the kingdom, not construct it with our rationality and goals. God is the architect. Let's have fun praying about the blueprint and how we can enter each room in time. God bring your kingdom and we will receive it and enter into it.

Maybe these are the beginning thoughts of a book someday, or maybe it is just a conversation that will transform the church to the faithfulness God is always calling it to. Either way, it is exciting and I invite you to join me on the journey.

What does it mean to be missionally faithful in the church?

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