In a sense, there is a singularity to God’s mission. We can rightly say that the gospel of the availability of God’s Kingdom in and through Jesus is universal in scope – it is an announcement of good news for all people, across all time, in all places. There is also an inherent unity within the family of God; “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:4-6) At the same time, fidelity to the nature God’s “missional message” means that its communication and incarnational expression will take into account the particularities of the people, times, and places to which it is addressed. That the mission and message of God in the world calls for contextualization is an inherent part of its goodness!
We’d love to hear from you on this…
Given the unique features of the context in which you live and/or serve…
- What does it it look like for the universal mission and message of God to incarnate itself?
- What contextual issues and challenges have been (or are) most difficult?
- What resources have been most helpful as you seek to navigate issues of contextualization?
Knowing that this is such an important topic for a great number of Church leaders, this was the focus of one of our workshops at the Future Gospel gathering this past April. If you are engaging with or interested in this issue, the presentations and discussions that took place in that workshop led by Karen Wilk, Helen Lee, and Justin Fung would be well worth your time!
This panel will consider what missional living looks like amongst particular segments of people (i.e., singles, moms, children) and within specific contexts (urban, suburban, Post-Christian). The panelists will present ideas for ways to spark missional living in and through diverse people groups and places and offer real-life stories to inspire your own imagination. Panelists include Justin Fung, a pastor in Washington D.C.; Helen Lee, author of The Missional Mom who lives in the suburbs of Chicago; and Karen Wilk, Forge Canada National Team and author of Don’t Invite Them to Church: Moving from a Come and See to a Go and Be Church, a resident of Edmonton, Alberta.
The audio download of this workshop is available HERE and is available for free all day today, 8/5/13 (discount automatically applied when you add the workshop to your cart).
If you find resources like this helpful, there are many more available here. You might even want to grab a bundle all at the same time.
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. _____________.
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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.