This space is reserved for talk about things of spiritual significance. Often my words rough up the church a bit, talk about real life and occasionally some fresh words about faith. These seem like common practices of one of my heros. So, I am in good company.
My time in Pasadena is part of a journey of learning. I sat in a class with Alan Roxburgh and Mark Lau Branson entitled "The Missional Church." I read several of Alan's books and met him and Mark at different places last year. This chance to sit and learn was one I could not pass up. They are helping ministers and churches re-imagine what it is like to be followers of Jesus in the third millenium. Me, too. I cannot say that the course broke any new terrain for me or had many aha moments about "missional churches." It confirmed my journey and gave me more resources to explore. It did challenge many of my assumptions about the world and the country of which I am a citizen.
If I had to define this "missional" journey, I would be hard pressed to say it in a few words or stories. Here are my random thoughts anyway. I believe that God is alive and that God reigns. I believe people can enter into relationship with God. I believe we experience God's reign over our lives and participate with him in bringing his reign to the world. This is a voluntary offer given to humanity and not a crusade of overpowering people. We can enter the Kingdom of God as servants in an eternal kingdom or remain rulers in our own kingdom that will end. To be a missional church is to be transformed (changed) by relationship with God and to want God's very best for the world. It demands an attentiveness to the stories and context and culture that shapes us. So that we can be the gospel to the world.