Friend of Missional

We seem to have a new title being bandied about for what we’ve been trying to accomplish with recreating the church that is capable to be in the vanguard into the postmodern culture.

The new title: The Missional Church.

Of course, this has always been the sub-title of the "Emerging Church," but what we are starting to feel is a tension—some in the emerging church conversation have wanted to re-define the gospel in ways that many of us consider to be outside the lines of orthodoxy.

Now, I’m all for exploring what the Bible has to say about the gospel (and not presume that I've figured it out). But it seems trendy in the emerging church at times to say things just to sound heretical.

Most of us engaged in this conversation are simply trying to explore the gospel as it can best be proclaimed in this postmodern culture. This is not changing the gospel, but it does change much of what church has done and said in the past 400 years.

Blogger Robbymac offers this quote from Len Sweet:

"The mystery of the Gospel is this: It is always the same (content) and it is always changing (containers). In fact, one of the ways you know the old, old truths are true is their ability to assume amazing and unfamiliar shapes while remaining themselves and without compromising their integrity."(Aqua Church, page 30)

I am still a "Friend of Emergent," for I deeply respect what the leaders of Emergent Village are trying to accomplish. And I am still a blogger mainly about the "emerging church." It will be interesting, however, to see if this new title for what we are trying to do catches on -- I sort of hope it does in that it better explains the heart of the movement.

Another blogger, The Blind Beggar, has launched a new site called “Friend of Missional.” Check it out.



Marc said...

I still have not drunk the kool aid just yet in reference to Emergent/Emerging Church stuff. I certainly feel more comfortable with the missional "brand", and have been calling myself a missional Christian for the last couple of months or so. Yet I cannot embrace the "emerging" brand for some of the reasons you outline in your post.

Having said all of that, though I am going to be reading and hanging out with all of you missional guys, I am not too sure that I am going jump in and get that cute red sticker. Why do we need these kind of identifiers anyway? In an odd way, it smacks as a sort of elitism to me.

Missional Jerry said...

I think the sticker helps point others to like minded individuals.

Plus to me, my association with FOM is more about promoting the great resource they have over there so more people can have a deeper understanding of what missional is all about.

michael said...

Have to agree with your post, and marc's comment about drinking the kool aid of emerging church also. But the missionla brand which it is in danger of becomming may face some of the same dangers. I believe that we have a responsibility as missinonal leaders (I say that loosely) to ensure that practice follows theory, and that we offer soemthing more to the world, and our Lord other than another name that people don't understand...

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Because FofM is not an organization, I don't think it reflects any kind of elitism. I just posted on why I think identifying with it can, at times, be helpful.


Byron said...

Good post, Bob, saying exactly some of the things I've been thinking/saying about the EC for some time. Praying for you, buddy!

J. R. Miller said...

I see we share the same heart for missional living, glad to make your acquaintance. Stop by my blog sometime if you would like to stay connected.