>Missionary God — Missionary People — Missionary Church

>20110606-20110606-IMG_3424Image by Paul C Reynolds via Flickr

We have a “missionary God that calls us to be a missionary people and in turn requires the church to be a missionary church.”

HT/ Almost an M

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>Forgotten Missional Impulse of the Methodists

>Logo of the United Methodist ChurchImage via WikipediaGreat quote from missional leader, Alan Hirsch, when talking to Steve Manskar of the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church:

“I love the Methodists! Of all the denominations you have the best missional impulse. But you’ve forgotten it.” 

See the whole article (It’s a good one) HERE.

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>What Can Apple Teach Us About a Post-Church World?

>Steve & Apple Inc.Image by marcopako  via FlickrI’m sort of an Apple fanboy.  I admit it.  I type this on my MacBook Pro.  I have my iPod in my pocket.  I’m a new user of an iPad.  We have a PC, too.  I’m comfortable on Microsoft products.  But, I really like the Mac stuff.  It just seems to make sense to me.  I know others have different experiences, but this is mine.  I switched to Mac about 8 years ago after a Dell laptop went dead with a motherboard problem and I was struggling with Windows ME — which was a waste of an operating system.  I thought I’d give Apple “a fair shake” and haven’t looked back.

One of the things I’ve bee interested in is the very different business model that Apple plays by.  I’m sure they’ve wanted a bigger piece of the PC pie.  But, even at 5-7% or whatever it is, they’ve made their money and they’ve made their fans.

But I’ve been amazed at how they’ve functioned.  In my PC days it was always a matter of getting faster, bigger, more powerful hardware.  And it was cool.  And, while it’s still cool to get faster, bigger, more powerful hardware on the Mac, they’ve been much more holistic in their approach, looking at the total experience.  Perhaps it can be analogous to bigger, more powerful churches not necessarily providing the best experiences.

I read an article yesterday that furthered my thinking on this.  It’s from Eric Jackson from Forbes Magazine.  It’s called “Apple Doesn’t Have an iPad Strategy, It Has A Post-PC Strategy.”

Here are some select quotes:

We are looking at the forest instead of the trees when it comes to the current tablet wars between Apple, Google’s Android platforms like Motorola Xoom and Samsung’s Galaxy and Research in Motion’s soon-to-ship PlayBook.

Apple doesn’t look at their businesses through separate product groups.  They don’t have an iPhone strategy conceived of by people who never talk to the iPad corporate strategy people.  Take a step back and look at the forest: Apple is following a Post-PC Strategy.

Apple used the term “Post-PC” at least a dozen times in its most recent iPad keynote last month.  Apple doesn’t just slip words and phrases in its corporate messaging at random.  They are always deliberate.

So what is their Post-PC Strategy?  It is an iOS strategy.  They want to be the dominant operating system through your life – at home and on the move.  That sounds a little geeky but it means that they want you to be so delighted with your experience on the iPhone’s operating system that you want that same experience on your tablet.  After you are satisfied with that experience, you start to wonder why you are still using a PC versus a Mac or MacBook Air as your “desktop computer.”  And then that will extend to your television.

So, could this be telling us something about a “POST-CHURCH” World?  Are we, perhaps, putting too much energy on failed systems or, perhaps, missing out on the holistic view of faith?


So…I sat with that for a while.

And then here comes a video by George Bullard of the North American Baptist Fellowship with a very solemn look at the decline of denominations.  I thought this was really good and made me scared and excited at the same time.



Are we looking towards a post-church, post-denominational world out there?

If so, what can we learn and do?

Looking at Apple, what is the iOS, the operating system, the building blocks of faith that we need to be building across platforms?

What does a missional outlook on ministry mean to this?

(I realize I say this as pastor of a church with a new building, within a denomination that has been declining in the US.)

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>Missional Leadership — By David Fitch

>Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...Image via WikipediaThis is from over at his blog, Reclaiming the Mission:

We need a different kind of leadership from you.

1.) We need a leader who puts forth ideas, vision by I saying “This is where/how I see God working. This is where I hear God calling us” and then ALWAYS submits that to the other person(s) asking – what are you seeing? Where are you going? Is this the way you are being called as well? NOT SOMEONE WHO SAYS “OK THIS IS THE VISION GOD HAS GIVEN ME FOR THIS CHURCH – CAN YOU FOLLOW ME? OR DO YOU NEED TO GO TO ANOTHER CHURCH?

2.) We need a leader who leads by listening and then knows when to ask (out of relationship) “can I speak truth into your life?” NOT SOMEONE WHO TELLS PEOPLE WHAT THEY NEED TO HEAR/DO BEFORE HE/SHE EVEN LISTENS

3.) We need a leader who never presumes authority but whose very presence and life makes people want to trust him/her and follow him/her. NOT SOMEONE WHO SEEMS TO ALWAYS BE ACTING OUT OF HIS/HER KNOWLEDGE, EXPERTISE OR PERCEIVED OFFICE.

4.) We need a leader who serves first by example, who embodies the disposition of being in everyday ministry/service to the hurting and then asks someone “can you join me on this?” NOT SOMEONE WHO RUNS THE CHURCH AS IF HE/SHE IS A CEO

5.) We need a leader who can unfurl the reality of the Lordship of Christ in the world and in each one’s life via Scripture, and then invite/challenge people to live there. NOT SOMEONE WHO USES SCRIPTURE TO PREACH A PRE-SCRIBED PRE-DETERMINED AGENDA FOR THE FUTURE ORGANIZATION OF THIS CHURCH.

6.) We need a leader who can cultivate the Kingdom in people, who can sit down with people over a cup of coffee, ask questions, and help each person see that God is “breaking in” through Jesus Christ working for the salvation of this person’s entire life and the people around him/her. And then ask, “how do you respond, how can you be faithful, how will you join in?” NOT SOMEONE WHO HAS A SET OF PRE DETERMINED PROGRAMS THAT HE/SHE WANTS EVERY PERSON TO VOLUNTEER FOR.

7.) We need a leader who can teach many more leaders how to be this kind of leader. NOT THE KIND OF LEADER THAT RECRUITS MORE LEADERS UNDER HIM/HER TO CARRY OUT HIS ORDERS.

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>Mission vs. Membership

>Michael Frost speaks of Mission and Membership in the video below and gets at one of the main shortcomings of membership.  By focusing on membership, we focus too small.  We focus on the individual and their “personal” relationship with Jesus.  But, the mission of the church is much larger than this an involves participation in the unfolding of God’s reign here on earth.  And, while we can talk about that in general terms, this really happens at a specific level.  It happens in specific places, gets recognized at a local level and gets celebrated there.  So, instead of trying to “fill the pews” we open people up to what the kingdom of God is already doing in our midst.

What does place have to say to the word “missional”? from Parish Collective on Vimeo.

(HT — Brad Brisco)

>From Missions to Missional — Quote from Leslie Newbigin

>Cover of "The Open Secret: An Introductio...Cover via Amazon“Allen’s charge against modern missions was that they had been tempted by their alliance with colonial powers to act as though the mission of the church could be pursued in the style of a cultural educational campaign, as though the object was to multiply replicas of the sending churches. In contrast Allen rightly saw that in the New Testament portrayal of mission the central reality is the active work of the living Holy Spirit himself. It is the Spirit who brings about conversion, the Spirit who equips those who are called with the gifts needed for all the varied forms of ministry, and the Spirit who guides the church into all the truth. The Spirit is not the property of the sending church or the missionary who is sent. It is not part of the missionary’s duty to mold the new church in to the style of the old. The Spirit is sovereign and free…”

Newbigin, The Open Secret, 130

(H/T — The Next Reformation)

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