Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kimball's "missional"

I have always liked the way Dan Kimball thinks. In fact, I think he is my favorite church thinker. I wish I could be more like him. Balanced and patient in his explanations, but not afraid to speak his mind. I would rank he, Scot McKnight, John Ortberg and Jim Martin as the top four guys I look up to in my "field."

Scot had a post yesterday asking if the two terms "Emerging" and "Emergent" should be used for two different and differing segments of the larger emerging movement. Personally, I don't really even care anymore. I'm burned out on the whole thing at the moment. But eventually Dan had a long, long comment that included this definition of the term missional:

I personally see missional as meaning you are foremost living as worshipers of God and following the teachings of Jesus, but your whole life blood and decision-making and intentionality as a Christian community is designed around evangelism - that of course includes social activism in helping with the physical and holistic emotional needs of people locally and globally and it also includes the eventual Spirit-produced action in seeing those who weren’t Christians becoming Christians.

Howeber, I am more and more finding it a paradox that in my experience, a significant amount of the missional talk that I personally have been hearing is not including or giving specific stories or examples of people who were not Christians becoming Christians as an eventual result of being missional. I am not embrassed whatsoever to say in as I think of missional and what that looks like in our church - is that we pray, hope, dream and passionately long to see God move in people’s who are not aware of the grace of God and salvation through Jesus and what happened on cross - discover who He is, repent, trust in Him and become Christians (in the healthy definition of “Christian”).

I think he was maybe in a hurry, as the spelling and grammar look like mine, but... I like what he had to say. We're either sharing the Good News or we're not. And there are boatloads of ways we can do it. But whether it's in big ways, small ways, loud ways or subtle ways... we need to be doing it if we're following Jesus.

I think I will start going by the name "Dan" myself, since he's so smart. So from now on please call me Dan. Okay?