Monday, April 24, 2006

Missional Practices

The Open Door has been talking a lot about how we can congeal and orient our life together not just around the worship gathering or a set of doctrinal beliefs (although important) but around a way of life or what some are calling missional practices. What are missional practices?

Missional practices are specific, intentional, organized and purposeful ways of living that a community agrees to live out together. Missional practices form us in Christ while propelling us into the mission of God. Missional practices orient us around the common pursuit of loving God, one another and the world. Missional practices for us at the Open Door are focused and ordered ways of living that enable us to fufill our mission of creating passageways to God, one another and the world.

Alan Roxburgh and Chris Erdman said, “Without missional practices it will be impossible to cultivate the kinds of imagination and encounters among God’s people that will birth missional congregations. The cultivation of these practices will take time for a number of reasons. Congregations have ceased to be covenant communities. Modernity transformed them into voluntary associations of free individuals who join congregations out of needs and stay out of personal choice as long as those needs are met. Missional practices question the core of these assumptions and are, therefore, strongly resisted by many of those who currently populate congregations.” from their blog called Oddesy.

I am interested in other people's thoughts on the purpose of missinal practices.


ty said...

Great Post! I would comment that missional practices, by definition can't be ecclesio-centric. There is a great danger in taking a seemingly productive path, that on closer examination is antithetical to missional. What do missional people do? If activity is focused within the church by the faith community, is it missional? If the language used by those of faith is different from the community the church is reaching to - is it missional? If the general needs, wants and desires of the faith community are different from the general needs of the host community - is it missional? If the praxis is atractional to the church, is it missional? Can an atractional strategy to the church, bringing people in for events, even worship - be missional? Can I be missional at my job if i don't participate in any ecclisial missional activity? It strikes me that a missional praxis to be explored is equiping those of faith to be missional not in program participation, but in day to day, minute to minute activity. what types of organizational structures would encourage and promote that? Perhaps something as simple as debriefing meetings to exchange "war stories", a safe place to explore ideas and incidents? A great line I had read about a few European missionaries that went to Asia is they became Asian in all they could, then proclaimed. they didn't try to make Asians into Europeans. Hope all that helps :)

PS I posted way back in November about i guy work with i called TD Bill. If missional writes him off - its not missional. If missional says He is unreachable for Christ, its not missional. He is part of the mission field

terry timm said...

our community is pushing deeper into a missional rule of life. we are including not only practices that will help shape us as a missional people but also attitudes (love, forgivness, and humility), and rhythms (work and rest, solitude and community). this is a work in progress and i hope mc will share more as this develops in our community.