Any Moment Now!

mtribe_logo.jpg I’ve be tweaking and the other instigators have been tapping away, and the final moments are upon us. Launch day for Missional Tribe is on Epiphany, January 6th, and we have a few real goodies in store — for instance,

Missional Conversation for 2009

2009.jpg As I was compiling my 2008 review post, I gave a bit of thought to what the missional conversation for 2009 would hold — or what I hope it will hold. There are a few areas that we as a — what are we? Conversation? Movement? ?? — need to talk more about, and I hope that 2009 will see us tackle some of these areas in greater depth. And what are they?

1. Discipleship — this is a bad word, but it may be the commonly-used one for the topic that needs attention, which is spiritual formation. Some discussion has already been had around the subject of missional orders and rules of life, but the heart of all this is spiritual formation. This is an important subject that needs further shaping to describe what this looks like and how it is intentionally integrated into the missional way of life.

An Incarnational Christmas

footprints_snow.jpg “Incarnational” is of course that other word for missional, and the theory behind it. So as I was considering this idea, it occured to me that Christmas is perhaps the chief holiday for missional folk — after all, it’s all about the inauguration of the incarnation of Christ, the sending of the Son by the Father to trod the sod of this earth, as it were.

This got me to wondering, if Christmas is a missional season, what would a missional/incarnational Christmas look like? If we want to walk as Jesus did and engage people missionally, what would that path look like specifically over the holiday season? I know how some churches do this with big programs, but if we’re specifically considering a missional expression of Christmas…. how does one incarnate the celebration of the incarnation?

Just wondering….

What’s a Megachurch to Do?

lakewood-megachurch.jpg Just when you think the conversation might go away quietly, Bill Kinnon sticks his nose into it. But then again, he can have that way of hitting it spot-on in his commentary. Like this time. So in this running dialogue, I was going to title my post Maynard on Kinnon on Keller on Fitch on Kimball — because that’s the rough outline of the conversational thread — but then just the title of the post would be too hard to follow. As it happens, Tim Keller has responded to David Fitch’s response to what it sounded like Dan Kimball was saying on the Out of Ur blog. Keller outlines some of his experience in small and large churches, then summarizes,

The Missional/Attractional Divide: Dan Kimball Unpolarized

road-through-woods.jpg In case you missed it, Dan Kimball wrote a post at Out of Ur, and like many others, I responded. Then Dan responded to my response. Other great points in this discussion are made by Julie Clawson, David Fitch, and Erika Haub, including front-line reports from missional churches. (I found myself defending missional theory.) Once you read his followup comments, you realize that Dan’s original post was edited in a way that shifted its emphasis somewhat. I said right off that he had a point, and with the updates in mind one begins to to understand better — he isn’t as polarized on this issue as the original post makes him sound, and his questions are genuine. In fact, Dan is involved in starting a new missional network. Even so, Dan’s questions raised some further issues and highlighted some differences of opinion which nevertheless remain.

Missional Misgivings, or Missional Misunderstandings?

scoreboard.jpg Dan Kimball says at Out of Ur today that “Small, indigenous churches are getting lots of attention, but where’s the fruit?”

My first thought was that we’d seen this before, a year ago when Mark Driscoll said pretty much the same thing, to which I responded about measuring converts, and based on that, David Fitch explains why he misses the point. So I thought we’d already addressed this — and I thought Dan Kimball should know better. And maybe he does… because he’s got a point.

Allow me to highlight a few points of departure from and agreement with Dan’s position.

Emergent Terminology: It’s Not About Fracturing

fragmenting-cube.jpg Yesterday I wrote the introduction to this post, which ended up being about as long as the next bit that contained the important stuff I wanted to say, so I split it up. Feel free to start yesterday, then continue on below, which is about the whole mess of misunderstanding over networks that are not called Emergent.

We return to the assertion that nobody’s mad at anyone, and add a caveat for the possible exception of those who have been grossly misrepresented in the fray. The essential take-away here is that the forming of a new network is not to set up an alternative one, but to found something for people with a specific focus. Undoubtedly, people both within Emergent Village and outside of it, within or outside the missional conversation, and within and outside of the emerging church. This should not be a surprise, and should be considered a form of progress. Not in the sense of “better than” another network or anything of that sort, but better in the sense that it represents a form of self-organization that is necessary for the inclusion of more conservative Christianity in the thick of what we’ve all been on about for a number of years already.