Wednesday, November 19, 2008

some days are better than others

I’m tired of missional church. Too inward a conversation. Isn’t it richer to live a missional life in God’s missional world. Or too broad?

I wrote near 3,000 words today, working on the sabbatical book project. My task was exploring the book of Ruth in terms of mission, change and leadership. Part of my hope is to shift the word missional away from it’s current pairing with the word church, and instead to pair it with lived life. Hence narratives like the book of Ruth, in which missional is not formed around church but around God at work in the life experiences of poor migrants and wealthier business people.

3,000 words is probably my best day’s writing ever, so I’m stoked.

With hindsight, four things helped the writing and one did not. What did help was:
– an emergency pastoral visit, which as I processed it in a cafe afterward, suddenly released a flow of words and got me over the initial writing block
– preaching on Ruth as a peacemaker at Grow with peace a few weeks ago, and the act of preaching forces one to clarify one’s thoughts
– doing a staff/student colloquim at Parkin-Wesley a month ago, on the topic of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz as a missional leader, and the resulting discussion, which was all grist for the mill
– my research assistant, who did a fantastic job working up the Ruth text in preparation for the above colloquim

And what did not help?
– getting up early! I set the alarm for an early rise. But I simply stared at the screen for over an hour, until taking the kids to school and the pastoral appointment kickstarted some writing.

So, today I thank God for the practices of ministry – for pastoral moments, preaching experiences, teaching times.

Posted by steve at 08:45 PM


  1. Maybe it’s impossible to truly write about a missional life unless it’s being lived.

    It’s surely no surprise that the lived life of ministry inspires the reflective practice of writing?

    What are you doing with the writing when it’s finished – publishing or uploading anywhere accessible in the UK?

    Grace and peace

    Comment by Jonathan — November 19, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

  2. good point jonathan. i’d missed the irony. duh!

    the writing is for publishing, i’ve got a contract to turn my missional leadership course i teach into a book. so it will be available in UK, once i get there


    Comment by steve — November 20, 2008 @ 7:16 am

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