Tuesday, November 15, 2005

how missional are you?

i found this chart on brother maynard's blog - subversive influence. it is a helpful diagram by len illustrating brian mclaren's seven layers of emergent that was posted by out of ur, a blog hosted by the editors of leadership journal. you have to read the article to really get a sense of what the chart is talking about. i think the question that the brian is asking is: how engaged is your congregation or house church in transforming the world? or to what degree is your congregation bringing more of heaven to earth?

these missional questions are important. they remind me of a question that graham tomlin of oxford posed at a lecture. a question that has never really left my head or heart: if God's reign were fully realized in my neighborhood, what would be different? that question should guide the mission of the church. of course the church must do what she needs to do to stay healthy herself, but she moves toward health and wholeness for the sake of the world.

we are blessed so that we might be a blessing to the world. i'm pretty sure that is the promise that abraham was given, as well as all who are of his seed.


At 7:18 AM, Blogger Ross said...

Hahah, that was a great article! I love services with an 'X' in the name.

The whole emergent thing is weird to me. Lots of kids I know are tired of and extremely suspicious of the whole "emergent/seeker-sensitive" churches. Lots of them dig hymns and liturgy. But at the same time very few of them have found a church in Richmond that they attend regularly. The say they are too "stuffy." It is a fine line to walk between so far out there that you are fake and cheesy, and not out there enough so you are stuffy and oldskool.

Of course, lots of them come regularly to beerble study. But that might just be because of the beer?

At 11:24 AM, Blogger J.R. Woodward said...


for me i am wary of seeeker sensative churches and probably a little less wary of the emergent churches. i prefer "practicing churches." i do like some of where brian mclaren has been going and appreciate my friendship with him, though some areas i have a very different sense on.

when we started kairos, i moved pretty far away from a "seeker sensative" model, i have also moved away from a "large church" model, both for many reasons. i think that your beerble study sounds more interesting than most things out there today. it sounds communal and real.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger J.R. Woodward said...

also ross, i think that this model is highly skeptical of "seeker sensative" churches, because in many ways they are just "arranging deck chairs" on the titanic. what is needed is that we move to phases 6-7 and have a deeper sense of theological engagement, dreaming new dreams and questioning practice in light of the gospel. maybe that is what you guys are doing?

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy birthday JR!!

At 5:59 PM, Blogger J.R. Woodward said...

thanks for remembering. i appreciate it.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Ross said...

Yeah we are trying to do new things that's for sure. It's so counter intuitive when "doing new things" means "being real with people and drinking beer."

I think our goal is to start "doing more things" -- as we say -- which moves us more and more into layers 5+. That excites me a lot: becoming a fixture in the community, you know light, salt, etc.

An interesting problem that we are soon to run up against is size. Currently our group fluctuates between 8 (perfect) and 15 (way too big). Managing success I think will prove to be as big if not bigger challenge than *becoming* successful.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Hikari Nakane said...

Have you heard about the BRAND NEW book called "The Emerging Church" by Ryan Bolger and Eddie Gibbs? It's supposed to be fantastic. Both are Fuller profs and are very reputable. According to Dr. Gibbs, the book is supposed to basically outline a class they're co-teaching in the winter quarter. FYI it's at the Fuller bookstore.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger J.R. Woodward said...


i hear you man. keep being salt.


thanks for the tip. i do think that book should be really good. i always hear great things about eddie gibbs.


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