In the month of October we want to round out our 3-month series on “Why Unity Within Diversity Is Vital To The Future Of The Church In God’s Mission.”
In August we focused on the “Biblical and Historical Basis for Christian Unity,” which helped to ground our discussions in both God’s design for Christian unity as well as the concrete ways (positive and negative) that this has unfolded. In September, we looked at “Restoring Unity in the Church Today,” which provided space to reflect on ways that Christian unity is manifesting itself or is being threatened in our various contexts today.
In October, we’d like to open up a discussion on missional-ecumenism. This is a term that we are borrowing from John Armstrong’s book Your Church is Too Small. If August was a look at the past and September a look at the present, October is meant to provide a window into the future. The phrase “missional-ecumenical movement” refers to a growing inclination among many church leaders and systems to seek out and create mission-centric opportunities of connecting with and learning from those of other tribes and traditions. The idea of “missional-ecumenism” is predicated on the idea that participation in the missio Dei is a common frame of reference for Christians of all varieties and thus provides a natural on-ramp to conversation and collaboration. This growing “missional-ecumenical movement,” then, seems to provide an opportunity for acknowledging and honoring difference (ecumenism) within that which God means for the Church find and express unity (mission).
Thus, in the month of October, we invite articles that can help lead us into developing a imagination for God’s work of helping the Church, in all of its diversity, to continue to develop a lived sense of unity in God’s mission for the sake of our witness in the world.
Articles might include…
- How your theology and practice has been shaped by those of other tribes and traditions.
- How the church, denomination, or network you are a part of has sought to engage those of other tribes and traditions.
- Proposals (theological or practical) for the furtherance of “missional-ecumenism” and the “missional-ecumenical movement”.
- Reflections on resources that can aid in the development of relationships and engagement across common lines of division.
Send your article submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
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.