In this 5-on-5 series, we've asked 5 missional thinkers and practitioners 5 questions about the state of the Missional movement. Part 2 is today, and here is the question we posed:
You’ve been a key voice in this conversation and, I’d argue, really important to the shaping of the future of the Western Church. If you had to choose the idea you’ve added that’s the most important for the church at large, what would it be and why?
Part 2: One big idea and why:
Alan Hirsch, 100M:I would say that what I have contributed is perhaps threefold: firstly in helping to land some of the more technical and heady missiology in the average church and so spark the actual grassroots missional movement. The other is in showing that the movement form is the quintessential missional expression and that the future of Western Christianity depends largely on whether we can recover it or not. The third is to show how Eph.4:1-16 (APEST/Fivefold) ministry is critical to the health and impact of the church.
David Bailey, Arrabon:I would say, applying cross-cultural engagement and contextualization skills within a local domestic context. Prior to the missional movement, most of the innovative thinking in cross-cultural engagement and contextualization was happening in an international missions context. The attractional church growth movement adapted Dr. McGavran’s homogenous unit principle to contextualize an experience that would lead to rapid church growth. The missional movement responded to to that and thought about contextualizing the gospel incarnationally within their community, but in most cases, they didn’t cross the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic barriers that exist within every community. My work has been helping people to keep on pressing towards that important Kingdom calling.
Jessie Cruickshank, 100M:Perhaps two things: First, we can't really understand the bride without the feminine voice. I don't think many men know what is means or feels like to be a bride. I do, and there is not small amount of revelation in that understanding. Sons and Brides: we need each other to know who we are called to be. The second is an understanding of how we learn. God created us with specific pathways for transformation. As teachers or disciple-makers, many of our practices are centered around what is convenient for us but work specifically against the biology of the mind and how God made us. If we submit to God's design, we can be vastly more effective.
JR Rozko, Missio Alliance:At 37, I like to think that I am still on the younger side of things in this conversation, so anything that I might contribute a) is primarily me standing on the shoulders of others and b) will have to be vetted by the test of time. That being said, if pressed, I’d say that I've sought to contribute a "theological idea" as well as an "embodied idea." The theological idea is that our loss of a missional understanding of God and the church has severed how we understand the relationship between salvation and discipleship. I have sought to show how a missional theology helps to rejoin them and how a missional ecclesiology would embody this radical alternative. I'd also point to Missio Alliance as an “embodied idea" related to advancing the "missional movement." Coming together in 2012, this initiative is creating a "space" for Christian institutions, churches, and leaders across the spectrum of Christian traditions to connect, partner, and learn from one another predicated on a common desire to explore faithfulness in God's mission beyond Christendom.
Neil Cole, 100M:Making the reproduction of disciples a central mission of the church, and showing them how it can be done by everyone. Getting the church out into the marketplace and out of the meeting space. Setting the tone for multiplication movements. Questioning of practices that take the church away from her true intent and calling. Elevating the priesthood of all believers and subsequently questioning the clergy status and professional ceiling of ministry.
Part 3 of this 5-on-5 series will post on Monday of next week and will explore this question: "How are things unfolding in the Western Church differently than you anticipated?"