A Different Kind of Conversation: Why I AM Attending and Presenting at #TrulyHuman

I have the distinct honor of working with followers of Jesus from every Christian tradition. Seminary teaching, Acton Institute efforts, serving the Oikonomia Network and my work with global leaders on whole life discipleship helps me see God’s work in the world through many eyes.

Missio Alliance is a feast table of family conversation aimed at empowering effective mission in the 21st century. It is a large family gathering with many branches and personalities. We are not gathering in reaction to one crisis or tradition. We are not meeting in order to issue a declaration that solves every pressing issue. We meet, pray, converse, debate and labor with one thing in mind: resourcing one another so we are representing Jesus faithfully.

What makes Missio Alliance distinct? We create space for a different kind of conversation, a safe place to wrestle with issues and opportunities without ideological scorecards (Right or Left). To use another metaphor, we are like a jazz ensemble of groups that play really well in their own venues, but want to learn new variations and enhance their repertoire.

Our conversation on “living a resurrectional life” is not a rejection of substitutionary atonement or the centrality of the cross. We are creating space for believers to live the future now in the power of the Spirit. We are asking ourselves what it means to experience “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” in all domains of life, inside and outside of worship gatherings.

As I gather with my family, I will have some awkward and wonderful moments. There are sisters and brothers that see the application of the Gospel differently that me. As a passionate advocate on some issues, I will press for my ideas – but always with civility, love and respect, wanting for others the hearing I desire for myself.

I expect lively exchange. I carry out my mission in the epicenter of deconstructive/postmodern thinking and I affirm rather traditional moral and theological positions. I need my Missio brothers and sisters to inform me and prophetically challenge me – and embrace and pray for me as I navigate personal and ministry challenges. I have found a deep well of compassion among the Board and others as I share my struggles.

We need more safe places for leaders that love the ways of God to gather. Welcome to the Table as we allow the Bread and Wine to unite and transform us.