Ok, I'm still struggling with how to put together my thoughts on the next step in my Missional posting. Unfortunately, that's only part of why it's been 3 weeks since I posted. I got out of the habit and into the thought of "if I can't make it perfect, it doesn't deserve to go up" - which is wrong. If this is indeed a Spiritual Discipline, as I've planned this blog to be - not just for everyone else, as if I'm publishing something millions are reading, but a way for me to interact with God & myself, then it simply needs to go up. Well, here's the middle ground: I'm adding a step in here, to say simply, that Missional is not simply bringing 19th & 20th Century "missions" into a more prominent place in the Church.
Granted, I'm less than 2 weeks from returning to Honduras with another Mission team from our church. This will be my 4th team in 15 months, and I've only been at Liberty for 2 years come July 1. So, there's still part of me that is taking part in Missions the "old fashioned way" if you want to say that, but that's not all missional is. And, this probably doesn't get much better of a segue into what I've been wanting to say than this - being Missional, being the church, isn't just about doing missions "out there." While the outward focused, living for the world is a the heart of Missional, at the heart of the church (since it, by it's very nature exists for the world), there still remains a certain interior life, and this interior life of the Church is not divorced from God's Mission, it is not secondary, it is not tertiary, it is not subservient to the outward movement of the body of Christ. The Life Together to borrow from another German Pastor/Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is that other side of the Christian Community's life lived for the world. And if it is indeed the hand-in-glove, mirror image of that, Missions, as experienced and participated in for years by the Christian church in the West is NOT what it means to be missional. It's not something we do apart from the "regular" work of the church. It's not something others do apart from what we do that is the work of the church.
So next, on to this interior life and how it IS part of a proper understanding of the Missional Nature of the Church...
Missional - Part I: The New Christian Buzzword
Missional - Part II: The very Nature of the Church
Missional - Part III: Living For the World