I'll discuss truthiness more at a later date (suffice it to say that while our politics may or may not agree, I think Mr. Colbert has hit the nail on the head about a major issue for the way we view life & our decisions)... but all of this froo-froo about Comedy Central is really just introduction to what feels like another made-up word: missional. Last Friday night at the NewLife Family Dinner, I used this word to set out a vision for the kind of church I believe God means for us to become. And, because it's become kind of a buzz word in church leadership circles, I tried to define it as clearly as I could in "real live people" terms, rather than "look at our hip lingo" terms. My definition is culled from a lot of study... but mainly influenced by Ed Stetzer. I believe, as Ed says, that missional is the adjective form of the noun, missionary. In other words, if a church is missional, it is choosing to do things like missionaries would. The people of the church see themselves as missionaries, called to a particular place & people. When you hear me use the word "missonal" (and you will), I'm not talking about sending money to the Cooperative Program to support missionaries overseas. That's a very good thing, by the way. I'm all for that - but the heartbeat of a missional church is not supporting missionaries, it is being missionaries. So what do missionaries do?
It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything... What is important? What you want to be true, or what is true?...
Truthiness is 'What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true.' It's not only that I feel it to be true, but that I feel it to be true. There's not only an emotional quality, but there's a selfish quality.
- They get to know the culture, language, & history of the area & people they're called to.
- They live amongst the people, not set apart in some kind of protective bubble.
- They communicate in ways that those people can understand.
- They go out & live the truth of Jesus Christ in the middle of everyday routine, rather than simply wait for folks to show up on Sunday morning at 11 am.
- They are not as concerned about their comfort & preference as they are about what will help people cross the line of faith.