mtribe_cat-bag.jpg I’ve hinted at it a little already, as have a few others. Today there are some tidbits that are rather beyond “hints” about the launching of a new network, Missional Tribe. It’s been blogged about already by Bill Kinnon, Rick Meigs, Matt Stone, and Sonja Andrews. Watch for more news to leak over the coming week until the public launch on Epiphany, January 6th.

Based on conversations and relationships among a few of us “instigators,” recognizing a need for connecting missional-minded practitioners following a major synchroblog on the topic last year, have furthered a conversation about what a connecting-space of this nature might look like. More recently, it appears that the time is ripe for gathering missional stories and front-line reports of incarnational engagement from those who have been “moving into the neighbourhoods” around them. These stories are meant to encourage and inspire others who are on a similar journey to our own. A group of us have therefore instigated a network called Missional Tribe — more of an egalitarian social network than any sort of commission-issuing authority-bearing network of affiliates. In other words, it is a centered set gathered around a common interest in all things missional rather than a bounded set of those who fit a particular doctrinal statement or denomination. Whosoever will may come.

Until the public launch, we’ve invited in a few folk to help us set the furniture in place and get things rolling. If you hit the link above, you can get a 7-second preview — and you’ll soon be able to join in and help shape the conversation along with us. It is my hope that we’ll pick up some of the themes I blogged about yesterday. As a group, we all have high hopes for the project. From the site, the Tribe …

… offers a collaborative space to connect people and generate an accepting, supportive community that intentionally seeks for diversity.

… fosters dialogue in a respectful environment and gathers grassroots stories for mutual encouragement, teaching, and support.

… focuses on serving practitioners through resources, ideas, and stories from the front lines of incarnational engagement and radical transformation.

… shares the nitty-gritty of living our faith and sharing our life in order to break anyone’s sense of isolation on this journey, especially when a virtual support network may be the only community currently available.

… creates an “evergreen” space to capture and continue the collective wisdom of those seeking to pursue Christlikeness, stewarding it in ways that will keep it accessible beyond the first generation of participants.

… encourages using the website as a social space for befriending people of similar (or opposite!) interests, as a discussion space for interactive learning, and as an archive space for links and materials that might otherwise be forgotten.

… engages in discussion of any topic about the missional journey, with a minimum of gate keeping and oversight to maintain it as a safe place for all so that nothing would be off limits except for bullying or belittling others.

… celebrates both individual and communal expressions of a missional paradigm, and constantly seeks to broaden its demographic reach because of its commitment to embrace and learn from the diversity in Christ’s Kingdom.

Although most descriptions of who and what the tribe is were stated in the positive, there is a place for stating some of what the tribe is not, or does not do. In the tribe …

… it’s not about methods, but about our paradigm and lifestyle.

… it’s not about polishing theory or theology in attempts to get it perfect, but about our movement forward in our practice of a missional lifestyle.

… it’s not about control or ownership by the few, but about empowering each of us to participate responsibly.

… it’s not about celebrities, but about us as everyday disciple.

I hope you’ll join us there in a week’s time, and come prepared to participate with stories and experiences of your own to share!

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