The Cambridge Dictionary defines disruption as “the action of preventing something, especially a system, process, or event, from continuing as usual or as expected.” Doesn’t this definition hit the nail square on its head in describing, well, pretty much every aspect of life in the Church over the past few years?
As we pray and plan towards this crucial hinge point in Missio Alliance’s own story, our conviction is growing that communities of Jesus followers worldwide are undergoing a similar seismic shift in their praxis, values, and sense of formational approach to the challenges of our day. We find ourselves asking crucial questions of formation, justice, and mission, including:
- Where is the Spirit of God on the move – in surprising, unexpected, and prophetic ways? (A question of missional praxis with God)
- How are the people of God being transformed to respond to the presence of God in this cultural moment? (A question of communal formation in Christ)
- What is the Church’s response to the deep and often chaotic disruption of the past few years? (A question of holistic justice in step with the Spirit)
We invited our writers to speak about this disruption in the life of the Church through the lens of culture, formation, the global church, theology, and witness – historically, the central framework through which we have written. Do these lenses still help us see with clarity? If not, how must they be adjusted for the Church to see the Kingdom in our midst once more?
We now extend this invitation to you, to dive into our first long-form writing series, “Refining Our Writing Collectives in a Season of Disruption.” Over the next few months we will tackle questions like these as we sit in the discomfort of this moment, seeking a way forward.
Missio writers such as Rich Villodas, Carolyn Custis James, Juliet Liu, Mandy Smith, Dennis Edwards, Kyuboem Lee, Andrew Arndt, Miranda Zapor Cruz, Ian McFadden, Kris Beckert, and our National Director, Lisa Rodriguez-Watson will set the table for this conversation. We’ll also welcome several contributors to dialogue with us, including Sahr Mbriwa, Michelle Sanchez, and Gino Curcuruto, among others.
Our hope is for a theologically rich, thoughtful dialogue to emerge, setting the table for the return of our National Gathering in April 2023, “Awakenings: Disruption in the Life of the Church.”
As only he can do, Rich Villodas graciously and prophetically set the tone for this series with a provocative piece entitled “Formation for a Newly Disrupted Generation.” Rich wonders, “We must ask a deeply penetrating question—an important formational one—namely, what is the Church to be for Christ today?”As you read and listen, what is your initial response?
Our 5th National Gathering, Awakenings: Disruption in the Life of the Church, will convene in Chicago this coming April 27th – 29th, 2023.