This is just an early report — we had a good time last evening with Alan Roxburgh of Allelon. About 60 people turned out, representing a good cross-section of people including a few pastors and others in “full-time ministry” (forgive the phrase, but you know what I mean), as well as folk from various church or denominational backgrounds. We Alan open up with some introductory material, then spent some good time in Q&A/dialogue between Al and those gathered. After a couple hours of that, we used the offering to shift gears and invite people to hang around and dialogue informally with Al, with us, and with one another… many stayed for another hour.
Jamie and I were able to spend a few hours this afternoon (and will be again this morning) in dialogue with Al as well, and this connection-time I believe will prove invaluable.
Overall, Al has giving me a few things to think about, including a few fresh perspectives I’ll have to sift through… such as Jeremiah 27 describing Israel rediscovering her story and finding hope not in Jerusalem, but in Babylon… as well as Jeremiah 29 and Luke 10 as examples of missional imperatives. Recognize of course that this brief mention doesn’t provide the whole story, which does need a bit of telling.
Some good discussion on the definition of “missional,” which was likened to attempting to define the Kingdom of God by reading through all the texts where Jesus says “It’s like….” and then tells a parable. Hardly clear-cut.
There were a few, er, loaded questions, but a lot of very open and honest ones and the room seemed to be generally characterized by open listening and honest dialogue. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to further dialogue with the folk who turned out, I’d welcome that. More processing to do before concluding, but I’m sure some of these thoughts will leak into future posts around here.