By Cam Roxburgh
In part one, we began to discuss what it means to live on mission with God. “What might this look like when we land?” Besides defining what it means to be missional, and the looking at the foundation of missional church, we need to look at a possible framework for living on mission with God.
When it comes to then describing what Missional Church practically looks like, and coming up with indicators of whether we are missional or not, we need a framework to act intentionally within. Admittedly, there are many frameworks, and it may be unfair to say one is the best. However, we should continue to be partial to those we glean from scripture.
Two such frameworks have been central to much of our discussion over the past four years. First we might use either the Shema (Deuteronomy 6) or the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisee about the greatest commandment. Both articulate in some way that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, and strength, and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves (one another). This is a wonderful framework that can be used to describe what it means for us as God’s people to bear witness to who He is by the way we are formed in His image and live this out in our neighbourhoods.
Another framework that is proving to be quite helpful is around Peter’s words in 1 Peter 2:9. “For you are a chosen people (identity – new Father and family), a royal priesthood, a holy nation (character – be holy like our Father), a people belonging to God (vocation – join family business of God’s mission), that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness.”
Over the next number of months, we will look at each of the areas of loving God (Heart, Mind, Strength, Neighbour, One Another) and articulate a number of ways in which in each of these areas we can learn to bear witness to God as we live in the world, or—said in another way—to be missional.
Our world is rapidly changing, and we must come before the Lord as His people and evaluate our life together. Here are three simple statements that will get us leaning in the direction we want to go.
- We must not forget or trivialize the past, nor settle for doing things the same way and expecting different results. We need to begin to talk about how we are both formed in the image of Christ in an increasingly secular world, and how we bear witness to the reality of a living God.
- However, we must not just talk about what the present holds and the future could be, we need to act with conviction as we follow Christ.
- But we must not just act, we need to become witnesses in every way possible. This means both being formed into the image of Christ, but also paying attention to be able to point to the activity of God at work in the world.
I believe that when we live this way, our lives become simply irresistible to others around us. I look forward to fleshing out what it means to live as Christ in these areas in the months ahead.