Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Missional not Just a Word

It's a lifestyle

It's a life lived

It's a life given

It's a manifestation of Jesus here on earth.

Stop talking about it - start living it.

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Shannon said...

So much is said in this little post.

I agree, the conversation is great but action is better.

Barry said...

Dear Missional Jerry,
It isn't a lifestyle, it is a life in submission to the Lord.
It isn't a life lived, it is death. No Missionality. until we die in Christ.
It isn't a life given it is a life taken. We do not have the power to chose Christ Jesus. He takes us.
It's a manifestation of Jesus here on earth. Hmmm! I will concede it is through Jesus but Missionality. is the manifestation of the Third Person in our hearts and soul and conscious thought.
"Stop talking about it - start living it." Nice thought but it is not about an act of our will it is the manifestation of our sanctification. Sadly most "Christians" especially in the US see God as an ends to a mean. They see God as a tool to be used when we need him. They see their faith as a choice they made, a role they fill, and salvation as a culmination of their own actions. If one truly submits to the Lord they do not have to "start living it" being Missional is merely submitting to God in our life. He will tell you what he wants you to do. Just listen to that small still voice.
Best wishes,
Barry the Cranky Christian

Webb Kline said...

Webb's rebuttal of Barry the Cranky "Calvinist." Tongue-in-cheek, Barry. Just jokin' wit ya!

It isn't a lifestyle: Of course it is. As believers we are to be a missionary people--sent ones. If it is our passion, it will most certainly be our lifestyle, just as a car-fanatic centers his lifestyle around cars, or a sports fan around sports.

If we don't live our lives for serving Jesus--extending his love, mercy, grace and compassion to others, then we aren't being missional. I'll agree that it is a result of dying to one's self that brings us to that place. But, once we see how much joy it gives us, it becomes hard to call it self-sacrifice.

Again, if we don't give ourselves to the mission, we will ultimately give it elsewhere. There are a lot of people whom Christ has chosen whose entire Christian experience is centered around going to church expecting to be fed, yet doing nothing to advance God's kingdom or share his love with anyone.

Stop talking and start living it--I see a lot more Christians sitting around talking about God than I see them living their lives for Him. This is one of my biggest concerns with the emergent community. When you meet kids who live in sewers, are brain-damaged from sniffing glue because it gives them a sensation of warmth so they can endure the cold Ukrainian winters and it takes away hunger pains, when you hear them praying asking God to not let the men be too hard on them at night when they must sell their bodies to survive, you have to ask yourself, when are people going to stop talking about it and start doing something about it? It seems to me that there have been for-too many still-small-voices that have told people to build yet-another church building for themselves, and not enough still-small-voices telling them to be the hands and feet of our Lord to those who are desperate.

I always liked that one Keith Green tract: "Lord, if you want me to go over and witness to my neighbor, make this lightbulb above my head explode right now!" As ridiculous as that seems, I've heard just as lame of excuses for not serving God time and again. Some things God shouldn't need to explode light bulbs to spur us into action.

John said...


I agree with you. What Barry forgets is on the other side of dying to yourself is resurrection in Christ. Becoming missional often is dying to self at least initially. There are other things we might want to do... or for me another cold Saturday in downtown Dallas ...UGGGGGG.. But then Jesus resurrects us with his life... and you're right it's hard to call it self sacrifice.

Thanks for writing the rebuttal... You're so much better at it than I am...

Barry said...

Hello Webb,
I will get in touch some time since it turns out we are neighbors. Maybe we can get together for tea or something.

Here is the point I was making.

If you are not Missional Are you really Christian!

I have a fear that non-missional Christians are not really Christians. How can you surrender your life to Jesus truly if all you do is pay him lip service Holidays and most Sundays? If you are really saved then the good you do is really God in your heart and by what right to you take credit for God’s work. So God bless you for your work in the Ukraine but if you are really saved how could you do less? Most people who talk about God without measureable fruit in their lives merely acknowledge God without submitting. They are like the Demons who acknowledged The Christ, merely knowing God without submitting is a waste. You do your mission thing in the Ukraine and I do mine in the Middle East but we both have to remember that our mission field includes the pew in front and the pew behind us as well. Face it Webb, Many are called but few are chosen. Many of our friends and loved ones are going to hell. If someone is not Missional what makes you think they are going to heaven.
By the way I feel Calvinists are practicing a serious error. My Theology falls closest to Conservative Lutheran in nature.
Best wishes,
Barry O’Connell

Missional Jerry said...

Great Comments Guy!

Webb Kline said...

Barry, that makes my day. I thought it possible that this is what you were getting at. If you were of my theological perspective, which I see you are, then that would be so. Of course, taken from a predestinational standpoint, what you said would have been in error in my opinion--that's why I made the Calvin remark. ;)

I concur 100% with what you said, with the exception that I would say it is possible, given the kind of Christianity being espoused from most pulpits today, that someone may have saving faith, yet still be misled to some degree. I think Jesus' word about "the more that is given, the more is required" (can't remember the verse w/o looking it up), might come into play here. Given that, I guess I know enough that I can't possibly not respond.

So, you're a neighbor, eh? Jerry is from Williamsport. We had lunch/church with our wives at Charlie Brown's last Sunday. We're going to have church there again later this month with others joining us. We'd love to have you join us. My email is jwkline@verizon.net. Drop me a line and we'll hook up if you'd like.