If you've been reading my blog posts, you know I've been talking about the missional aspect of our life and faith as more than just theology, but as a lifestyle of faith in action. Action that is precipitated by the initiation of the Holy Spirit.
It's "seeing something the Father is doing" (Jn 5:19). No more, no less, and then walking in it with Him.
That's organic. It's all about His initiation and direction.
However, you get to be the vehicle of it.
That's missional. YOU being His hands, His feet, His mouth, His heart.
That's simple right? God directs, we follow.
Simple yes. However, living a simple, organic, missional life requires something of us; foremost, learning to listen. I would guess, that most of us have gotten a bit slack on listening. We likely spend more time in talking to God rather than hearing from Him. We come up with a plan, pitch it to Him and then deceive ourselves into thinking that we are walking in what He wants, when in reality it is what we want.
It also requires some other things we've most likely become a bit slack in.
Things such as; trust (restful peace), humility (it's not all about me), love (it's all about you), willingness (I'll do it), obedience (I'll do it when I don't want to), patience (it might take a while) and perseverance (it might take a long while).
Living by faith rises to whole new levels in this lifestyle. Going from the comfortable and accustomed routine, to live in some degree, as explorers. Stretching our faith with the unknown elements that accompany this course. It's not for those who need a '5 Step Manual to Organic Life Success'. God calls us to live by faith, and that means not knowing all the details. Most of us are not used to that. We have lived with pre-packaged and constantly an abridged version of Christianity for a long time. We are used to having all the answers provided for questions we haven't even asked yet! We are like those in scripture that are "always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth". 2 Timothy 3:6-8 . We've been eating regurgitated, spoon fed food for a long time, and it's become like our processed foods, low in nutritional value and ultimately unhealthy.
We've lost our confidence to see our individual strategic value and contribution to Jesus and His Kingdom. We are like those in the movie (Neil Cole shows this in Greenhouse) called, The Life of Brian. Everyone in the crowd that was gathered calling out to be told what to do and ultimately how to think. We have had top down directed leadership for so long, we have long ago adapted to the group mentality, blindly following and complying to whatever is the latest "vision" promoted to us, and in the process, losing our own unique individuality to be strategic.
Do you know in other countries, where there is a trained leadership vacuum that Jesus is building His Church, disciples are being made, and transformation is happening? Simple, ordinary people who don't have PhD.'s in theology, pastoral leadership, missiology or anything close, and yet they have what they need for what God wants from them, because He is their supply. Completely and sufficiently. They are strategic for what God accomplishing. Sometimes I wonder if we are not seeing some of the same transformations that are occurring in other countries because we have relied upon our own acquired training, qualifications, and techniques to do it.
Your Bible and the Holy Spirit are capable guides. You have The Equiper Himself living within you. The living and active word of God working in accordance with His will, accomplishes His plans if you abide in Him. What else do you need?
"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him."
1 John 2:26-28.
There are helpful tools out there. Great writers, books, websites and blogs that will help you in paradigm shifting. There are a variety of conferences and weekend training opportunities that will encourage and connect you with others on similar paths. But the bottom line is; God is enough.
We are linked and joined in a Body to keep us strong, encouraged and our rough edges smoothed out from time to time, but in the end, you, and you alone have to take your life and allow God to do something amazing and supernatural with it.
More and more people are talking and writing about the new buzz word "missional", but I suspect few actually are living it. Like a lot of things; it's often easier to talk about something rather than actually do it.
Those that are living the mission, I would venture to say, are unknown, nameless and faceless folks that quietly live faithful lives of being salt, light and the fragrance of Christ to those around them. You might think that the simple, organic and missional is all about those few well known names of people actually writing about it and leading conferences on the topics. Praise God for those who can run out front and give us some coaching and inspiration to keep the path. In reality however, it is being lived out daily by folks you have never, and will never, hear or affiliate them with this movement. A movement that is not "top down" led, but from the bottom up. It really is grass roots.
A few years ago, Felicity Dale wrote a book called; An Army of Ordinary People. The book tells the stories of some such unassuming, no name people that are living the organic, simple and missional adventure. Felicity has just revised and updated the book, so you may be interested in reading more about these testimonies of lives making an impact.
In a similar way, let me brag on some of my friends that are 'living the mission' in their own adventures. Each uniquely designed by God to be doing exactly what fits them in "such a time as this" in their lives. They are faithful stewards; living to multiply what they have been given in the time they have been given.
They would be the first to claim that they don't have a clue to what their doing, and isn't that refreshing! God gets all the glory and credit!
I'm privileged to know these and others just like them. May you be encouraged by their stories as well in the next few blog posts, and press on in your own adventure of missional lifestyle.
These people don't have organizations backing them up with support, money, involvement, etc....they are on their own. Most work secular jobs and still live a life in "full time ministry". They will likely never write a book, speak at a conference, be in the "cool" discussion groups online or off. They are divine nobodies. Incredibly, and powerfully impacting those around them. Simply, organically and in mission.
Let me start with Harrison and Aleare.........