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You hit the nail spot on with the Skinny on hipster christianity. will have to remember this one!
This is good stuff! I don't think that Alan and Michael "de-ecclesiologized the church" with their challenge to the church to be missional. However I think maybe that the trend to be missional has caused many of us to be more individualistic in missional church/community planting. As a result, maybe it has become harder to see the church being visable and it takes more work to be unified and therefore more work to make the church visable as a whole? As a result of this individualism, the church has become less visible and that makes unity amongst groups difficult. Only with some form of unity will we really be visible to the world without having emphasis on church buildings. I'm all for individuality but individuality cannot be expressed apart from some sort of community which is based on unity. As someone who is involved in missional church/community planting and have several friends who are involved in it as well, I think there's a danger that not a lot of people are talking about when it comes to being missional: having a lack of healthy boundaries. For example, I know some people who were called to start a church community with the poor and homeless and so they moved into the inner city to live among them. But due to the constant toll of living among the poor and homeless constantly caused one of them to get really sick with an illness that doctors didn't know what it was. As a result, the family had to move out of the area into the suburbs for the sake of their health and in order to continue working with the poor and homeless on a long term basis. Another example: I know some friends who are called to reach out to New Agers, Wiccans, etc. So they moved into a hotspot area where these people are. They go out daily connecting with these people and it has been a real battle for them spiritually. However they lived next door to some people who practiced witchcraft and they regularly casted spells on them. Not only did they have to fight out on the streets but also at home when they came from being out all day working with people. Home should be a place where you don't have to fight all the time. Consequently they got drained really fast and they had to leave the mission field and go home in order to take care of themselves. I am for being incarnational and I believe in being missional but I think there's needs to be a healthy discussion of knowing what our limits are and setting up healthy boundaries.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2010 on At Global Connect at TallSkinnyKiwi
That was a great reply you gave! Thanks for setting the record straight for many of us EC leaders!
Yeah reading it was a jolt. In terms of church planting, sometimes I think we confuse the world's definition of success with God's definition of success. The world tells us that success is about getting results whether that be how many people we lead to Jesus or how much money or how much possessions we acquire, etc. Success in God's eyes is measured by obedience. If we look at the heroes of faith chapter in the book of Hebrews we can see how everyone listed in that chapter was considered to be a hero of faith even though some of them never lived to see what they worked towards, etc. If we look at Jesus life, one could argue that his life and mission was not a success because many people to this day refuse to acknowledge him as Lord. But Jesus was successful not because of numbers but because of his obedience to do the Father's will even unto death. While it makes me sad when I hear about churches or new efforts not succeeding, I am coming to that place in my life where I don't care if my efforts succeed or not but care about being obedient to what God has told me or called me to do no matter the outcome. It reminds me how a seed must die in order for a tree to come forth.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2009 on a jolt at jonnybaker