Friday, January 12, 2007

More Than Missional

I'm hearing a lot of talk by eager Christ-followers about being "missional" (myself included). And while I'm stoked for how people are becoming mission-minded, I've recently been experiencing a bit of a furrowed brow as I begin to notice signs of polarization regarding two essential values. One value is for fully surrendered, intimate, spiritual connection with Jesus in His Spirit. This is the "Abide in Christ" or "Love God" group. The other value is for redeeming the world & fulfilling the mission Jesus gave. This is the "Great Commission" or "Love People" group. What's been a bummer for me is that I'm finding a lot of zealous Christ-followers who champion one or the other of these values.

So I've been thinking about it... about how God created & redeemed us to be both 1) His Family & 2) His Team. Thru our adoption in Christ, God made us His family... His children, fellow-heirs, & bride. Thru our stewardship as bond-slaves & servants, we are also God's team... His body, hands & feet, ambassadors, stewards of the Gospel & ministry of reconciliation (not to mention co-rulers of the world via Genesis 1). People who always talk about intimacy with the person of Christ must be emphasizing their identity as family. People who always talk about participating in the work or mission of Christ must be emphasizing their identity as team.

(By now, you I'm sure you know where I'm going with this... ) The Christian Reformation / Cultural Revolution that's upon us is about both. Thru God's grace in this perfect moment of history, we have the opportunity of fully realizing & living out our reality as BOTH God's family & team. Which works out pretty well ... 'cuz He calls us to both abide in His person & cooperate with His powerful work without sacrificing either grand reality!

As primary participants in this redemptive revolution (a very, very exciting stewardship to have) I was thinking it might be a good idea to work hard to avoid being simply "missional". Really, all the smokin'-red-hot-blessings from God are about wholeness ... about becoming fully connected to God & everything that bears the hope of reconciliation (our "ministry of reconciliation") .

Cool, huh? Person AND Work. Family AND Team. Love God AND Love People. Sounds like a Jesus thing to me.


Destination...Gloryland! said...

Aaaaahhh, now this was truly refreshing!

To not be polarized, but to be whole...

To bask in His love and presence while sweating in the trenches...

To draw close and abide while letting our light shine...

To love the family of God deeply and welcome others in.

Makeesha said...

I love it and I so agree with it. This is really a huge rally cry in Revolution. Thanks John

Missional Jerry said...

In all things balance!

Balance is a missing quality in the church.

We gather at our churches mainly because of what separates us, not what joins us. (i.e. we dont believe

Because of that we lose balance.

I pray the leaders of the missional movement will lead the charge in balanced view and more importantly, LIVE IT!

Mark H said...

Right on!

We cannot separate the inseparable. If we lose one then we lose the other. If we rediscover one then we must rediscover the other.

Can I offer a thought about balance and suggest thinking in terms of "tension" instead? Tension demands EXPANSION in BOTH directions, not merely equilibrium. Ta :-)

Lord, draw us nearer to You, so near that we are compelled to go into all the world. As we go into all the world, may we find our joy in You becoming more and more complete. May our love for You and our love for people grow together.

John Lynch said...

Mark... That's a perfect prayer! Thanks, man. I'm agreeing with you in my own prayer, even now! Thanks again.

Michael said...

Awesome stuff... It's like peanut butter and Jelly. You have to have both for it to be considered a peanut butter and Jelly Sandwich!!! (The theology of A 22 year old College student is astounding isn't it?? LOL)

Mark, That is the prayer of my Generation.... That's so rad!!

Mark H said...

So I really AM as old as I feel, and not as old as I look! Thanks Lord!


Adam Gonnerman said...

Thanks for that post!

It's all about being Christ's community AND carrying the love of Christ to the world. A couple of verses I really like that more or less fit are are the following:

"For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NRSV).

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NRSV).

John Lynch said...

Hey Adam -

Thanks for citing the 2 Corinthians 5 passage. It's one that's been HOT on my mind these last two weeks because of its inclination toward the Reconciled Life or the Connected Way of living. I've been working through the idea of The Connected Way... a way of living that is about reconnecting to God, His person & work, His creation, His found people, His lost people, His whole reality.