Friday, October 27, 2006

An Absolute Story of Living a Missional Life

Here’s a Letter I received recently and have permission to post here:

Dear Jerry...

I followed a link from The Schooley files to this blog, and It seems that we are developing in a similar way in our village in Germany. You'd rarely hear the phrase 'Missional church' outside of a Willow Creek conference-first time I heard it was on your blog- but the description of a missional church on the powerpoint download is pretty well what we are trying to do.

Our experience of being relevant has brought us to a little village just outside of Stuttgart in Germany. We are here because we are called here. I'm a Brit and my wife is Japanese so it isn't the 'Natural' place for us to end up.

We speak German. Not well, and for my wife that's her third language, but we do try, and we find this opens doors. A number of English speaking missionaries don't bother with this. My widest vocabulary is ways to apologize for being badly organized which is a major handicap in this country...

We work alongside the local Lutheran church, even though it is a very traditional church, (Liturgy from 160?) even though it is strongly Calvinistic and we are equally strongly Armenian, because we have found that in Germany this church (The state church) is by far the best placed church for reaching the country as a whole. If you aren't Catholic or Lutheran people think you are a cult. The Lutheran (Or Catholic) pastor is second only to the Mayor in the village and if you work against them you make life very difficult for yourselves. God brought us to work with one of the most outspoken evangelicals in the area!

To give ourselves a 'Status' in this work-focused culture, I'm officially self employed as a writer, which makes it easier for people to relate to us. (Saying "We're Missionaries" was a conversation killer- people thought we were Mormons) A few months before God brought us here there was a revival among the local young people, and we plugged into that in a small way. We are working on a new service that has come out of their desire to worship God and reach out to people, but mainly we try to love our young people and disciple them one on one. We help them move house and do English homework, we pray with them and one has recently approached me to co-lead a cell group, which he sees as a training ground for young believers and future leaders. My main job in the church is to do theatre with a group, and we are working within this group to "be church": to live a radically different way, and to give people a safe place wherever they are with God. We're trying out new forms of theatre and trying to get out of "Church skits" and into more challenging drama which will meet people where they are, challenge them but also and to give them hope.

I hope that rather long response to your "Missional Living" blog is encouraging, it's great for us to see we aren't alone and I'll be bookmarking your blog for more ideas. It seems we are one of many such small groups in Germany and Europe who are exploring this way of living. It's hardly a new idea- it was tried in Acts! But it is an exciting thing to be a part of.

By the way, we also have a focus in the ministry to reach out to environmentalists, so we use energy efficient light bulbs!

Andy Evans

As you can see there are others attempting this living a missional life. My prayers go out to Andy!

Thanks Andy! You can Visit Andy’s Blog here.

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1 comment:

BlindBeggar said...

Great letter Jerry. Thanks for sharing.