I’ve discovered from the many conversations I’ve had since announcing my resignation that one of the most difficult questions to answer is, “So what are you guys trying to do?” Explaining a missional community can be a difficult task. Why? I think it’s because our experiences and understanding of the church eclipses any discussion about the nature of the church. We’re so embedded in our current experience and understanding of the church, that we don’t know anything else. This makes it difficult to imagine or discuss another reality other than what we already experience or understand.
So what are we trying to do? Ultimately, a missional community is about one thing — re-presenting real human life under God’s reign. It’s about being, doing and speaking (embodying, demonstrating and announcing) every aspect of daily life as a human being who is truly submerged, engaged and submitted to God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is God’s constant attempt to re-create all of creation by bringing all of his goodness, rightness, love and power to bear upon it. It’s his intention to move creation not only back to its pristine state, but to move it to its intended maturity and fullness.
God’s redemptive and re-creating influence (God’s kingdom) invites human participation. It’s been his dream from Day One for human beings to cooperate with him to nurture society and creation to its intended maturity. But sin has brought corruption and crisis to both God’s creation and co-workers. Jesus came to show what a human being who completely embodies the fullness of God and total participation in God’s order can accomplish. He then makes this new way of being human available to us by his death, resurrection and ascension.
So the question we’re posing as a newly forming missional community is “What does a community of Jesus’ followers, who desire to be participants in God’s redemptive work in creation, need to do in order to become the same kind of people as Jesus so we can re-present God’s redemptive reign in our world?