Christian vernacular changes constantly, and definitions change as a result. The meaning and value of words change with the wind, and because of that, I want to make sure we are using the term in the same way for the purposes of this particular Track in the conference.
Many books have been written and will continue to be written as people grapple with the word and how to define it. I think personally, that the essence of 'missional' is described well throughout the book; The Shaping of Things To Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. I'm not a smart as those two, nor do I think I have the complete understanding as of yet. However, I have to attempt to communicate what I believe about the word missional, for the Track's description in today's blog.
Being missional is NOT a new word for the Emergent Church. It is NOT something only a few do "full time" or on special "mission trips" slotted into convenient spaces in our lives. It is NOT a program to be instituted in a traditional church or house church to be highlighted every once in a while.
The word missional is an adjective. In grammatical terms, it describes; "what kind of" in reference to a noun. We are the nouns. You, me, us, as the Body of Christ.
Simply put: we are the message.
Jesus calls us salt, light, fragrance, witness's. All of those have emitting qualities. All are adjectives describing us.
We are in a working partnership with the Creator.
He has allowed us to be a part of the Missio Dei; the extension of the Kingdom of God. As Jesus was the representative of God, so we represent Jesus. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year, our lives are a constant living epistle to the realities of Jesus and His Kingdom.
If we are part of the Body of Christ we ARE missional. We are those who represent the King and the Kingdom.
Whether we do that well, or choose to ignore it, it is part of our identity in Christ.
This Track will be exploring this paradigm and removing the obstacles that have hindered us from living more fruitfully in our missional identities.
On Thursday night, Neil Cole will be discussing how Jesus makes disciples. How He empowers us to partnership with Him in this process in the session called; Search and Rescue.
Ed Waken will be inspiring us to see the simplicity of living as representatives of Jesus and what things have kept us from doing so on Thursday night and all day on Friday in his sessions titled; Discovering What Has Been Stolen.
Finally, Tony Dale will explore the variety of avenues that are available to us as we live missionally in the business sector on Friday morning in the session called; Kingdom Apostles/Entrepreneurs.