We’ve spent the last three months talking about unity in the church today, and what it all means for the mission of God in the world.
But to finish out 2014, we are turning our attention to a different conversation:
#ChurchTrending: Cultural Currents & the (mis)Shaping of the Church in Mission
Amid God’s desire for the Church to reflect vast amounts of diversity, one unifying reality that is true of the church in all times, places, and expressions is its need to wrestle with the cultural currents of its day and context. Of course these ebb and flow and manifest themselves differently across time and space, yet the challenge is the same, to answer the question:
“How will we faithfully embody what it means to be the people of God in our cultural context?”
The response of the church, in both its local and corporate expressions, to this question creates trends which then shape its life and witness in God’s mission. Even more, in a world that is more globally interconnected that it ever has been, what “counts” as our cultural context isn’t always cut and dry.
To round out 2014, we want to invite articles that reflect on the relationship the church (in its many expressions) to the cultural currents that are shaping, or misshaping, its engagement in mission. In this vein, we are looking for articles that, beyond offering a critical analysis of this relationship in a specific area, also seek to provide stories and theological perspectives that can impact our thinking and practice in meaningful directions.
These articles could address topics right across the spectrums of politics, socioeconomics, arts & media, education, community development, global human crises, and still others.
Looking forward to your contributions around this topic.
If you’d like to submit an article for this series…
- Download and read over the Missio Alliance Writing Framework to get a sense of what we’re after.
- Draft a post of ~600-1,200 words and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be sure to include a brief (<100 words) bio including any social networking links and your picture.
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.