Tuesday, March 10, 2009

missional signs as locally homegrown

One of my concerns about the missional church is the way that it can disappear into ever-tightening theological circles, full of Trinitarian depth and ecclesial rigour, but strangely divorced from the reality of church life and mission. While I don’t want to create a dualism between theory and practice, at heart the missional church is a pretty simple understanding that God is in the world and we’re called to participate in that. In essence that’s the awareness that the Spirit of God is becoming visible, however faintly, among our local and homegrown communities of faith.

So, as I’ve looked around Opawa over the last few weeks, the missional signs I’ve noted have included:

1. The hall smells of cigarette smoke as community people drop by needing food.

2. The kids who break into your church four times over the weekend, when caught, are invited into restorative justice.

3. The 24/7 prayer room, which has a combination code for afterhours access, increasingly becomes an emergency refuge at times of domestic violence.

4. People are becoming honest enough to wonder aloud if the Bible narrative might be unfair and in then ensuing conversation, to find their patterns of parenting and living under gently critiqued.

5. The conversations with those struggling with change have a sense of respectful listening and awareness of the other.

6. People from the local community call your church home, and safe, even if they visit rarely.

7. You find people having an afternoon-nana nap on your foyer couches.

8. You watch your 10 year olds help lead worship and your 11 year olds voice their praise to God.

That’s some locally homegrown Opawa missional signs in the last few weeks.

Posted by steve at 09:34 PM

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