3. I want to be part of the future that is coming.
In some ways people may look at those who speak/gather around Missio Alliance and it’s hard to “peg” exactly who this is becoming. There are Wesleyans, Arminians, Reformed, Charismatic, Baptist, Anglican, Anabaptist, Catholic, and many other kinds of leaders here. There are large churches and small churches and high churches and low churches. There are women and men (it may be surprising to say that – but some conferences are decidedly male-oriented) and there are a growing representation from different parts of the “people of God," be they African-American, Asian, Anglo, Latino, etc.
Some describe Missio Alliance as a “3rd way” or “center space” or “alternative to the new left and right dichotomies”. Those are good descriptors in some ways, but insufficient in others. Instead, I think something deeper is happening that is certainly aware of the conservative – progressive spectrum, yet in some ways trying to reach beyond it, but with a long-standing rootedness in the historic beliefs of the church.
I believe this “fusion of horizons” represents a sign of what the Holy Spirit is doing theologically and missiologically in our time. There is an important collapse of our long-standing Christendom birthed categories and a melding or fusion of something new (and previously impossible on a practical level) possible. For instance, I’ve heard one leader part of the Missio “tribe” describe themselves as Catholic-Anabaptist. They also happen to lean Wesleyan in terms of sanctification and are open to the work of the Spirit, but in more private than public exercise. Another speaker told me, “I am a Free Church Anglican.” They are also both reformed in some ways and mystics in others.
What are we to make of all this?
I believe that while this may not look like our historical categories, communities like Missio Alliance are cultivating, usually unintentionally, but by the work of the Spirit, a way forward in a new era. It is a collective future being built upon, but not limited to, our distinct pasts. It’s not a reprise of the past or a bowing of the knee to cultural norms – it’s something different – a new(er) grid for the mission of God in a new time.
If this story resonates with your story, or as Wesley said so well, “if your heart is my heart," then let us join hands and hearts and minds and meet together in Alexandria in May.