Many of you know that over the last several years, I’ve become enamored with missional ecclesiology and praxis. When I started to read some of Lesslie Newbingin’s work as well as enter into conversation and debate with some leaders and theologians who were bringing thoughtful (and loving) critique to 20th century “church” practice, methodologies and paradigms, many things in my life started to fall into place.
Over three years ago, I heard of an organization called, Allelon (www.allelon.org). I signed up to received their emails and frequently checked out their website. I discovered a deep sense of partnership and camaraderie with the people who live their Jesus journey within different model of doing “ekklesia”. As soon as I moved to Idaho, I had to connect with these people and see firsthand how they were living and enter into the stream of how they were processing the Christian experience.
This week’s Allelon journal features Alan Roxgurgh’s comments on missional life. I would encourage each of you to read these comments carefully and continue to think about how much excitement there is in our time in history…I sincerely believe that he shares an understanding of living in the flow of who God is and what God is about in human history in a manner that is NOT confrontational for the sake of confrontation…it is NOT controversial for controversy’s sake…it is shared in love and with a desire for all of us to experience the depth of the heart and passion of Jesus.
Take a read…enjoy!
“It’s not only possible for all kinds of existing churches to innovate missional life but it’s at the heart of what God does. There are stories out there of the Spirit calling into being emerging missional local churches in congregations some of us would have given up on a few years ago. This is the nature of the God we worship and praise. Our Lord just keeps turning up in the most God-forsaken places. How else do you make sense of the Incarnation and the perduring life of both Israel and the church? These convictions are not based upon new theories of change, complexity and emergence but are a confession about the way God is revealed in Jesus. Those who say the church is dying in the West are mistaking the phenomenon of transition for death. They’re not the same! We may say the church we have known and experienced for the last 150 years or so no longer has legitimacy as the sign, witness, instrument and foretaste of the kingdom. But that’s very different from saying the church is dying. We shouldn’t confuse the two. The church in the West isn’t dying and it wont because God keeps turning up in all these places we so easily give up on because we see them as hopelessly out of tune with the times or just not getting what needs to take place. The stories emerging in these places are harbingers of God’s emerging life in old churches. Emergence theory tells us that when lots of little stories start to percolate you can be sure some strange attractors will start doing uncharacteristic and unexpected things. I believe lots of existing congregations are pregnant with strange attractors ready to do uncharacteristic things. That’s always the way of the Spirit. What a great time to be alive!”
To read the entire article AND listen to Alan’s podcast, click here – http://www.allelon.org/resources/roxburgh/missional_life.cfm