I stumbled across this blog, The Outbox, via Technorati and would recommend these first two posts I read there. One is from Clark Cowden, Is Being Missional Contagious? Clark riffs on the latest science that suggests obesity may be contagious. (God help us all. Why can’t thinness be contagious, but I digress.)
As I read this article, it got me thinking about the gospel, the church, and our culture. How does Christianity spread from person to person? Does it spread in the same way as obesity? If one person becomes a Christian, or if one part of a family or one part of a social network becomes Christian, will it spread to the rest of the family or social network? It’s not 100% guaranteed to do so, but the conditions are such that it can.
What if there are a small number of people in a congregation who have a heart and passion to be missional? Can the missional virus spread throughout the rest of the congregation like obesity does? It is not 100% guaranteed to do so, but the conditions are such that it can.
The other is from
I had the opportunity to meet with Alan Roxburgh (author of The Missional Leader) yesterday and there’s a phrase he used that keeps coming back to me: “restoring ‘free speech’ to the people of God.”
As Roxburgh put it, “If missional life is about asking what God is up to in community it’s got to be rooted in the word … and the word doesn’t belong to the people anymore. We’ve schooled people to believe you’ve got to go to seminary to learn the Bible.” One of the exercises Allelon puts congregations through is to engage with a scripture passage, read the text, listen to the text, read it again, then “listen the other into free speech” – to listen for what the other has heard in the text.
A student here said to me that her pastor told her, “You don’t know as much theology as you think you know.” Now while I’m certain he did not mean that accusation to cut as deeply as it apparently did, the inference was that only trained professionals know how to speak truthfully about God. But God-talk is not reserved for professionals. The Word that was made flesh and moved into the neighborhood invites each of us into conversation with Him.
I’ll be adding The Outpost to my Google Reader.