Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Missional Living: #1

The Open Door is a new community of faith which is working and struggling to understand what it means to be the church in 2005 in our specific inner city context. One of the things we are committed to is living missionally within our larger communities. Living missionally, in my oppinion, involves a joining or fusing of evangelism, social justice, and... partying. At the Open Door we've talked a lot about the middle way, a theological and political place where ideologies from the left and right can come together in dialogue, hopefully finding a better middle way. So living missionally involves doing evangelism like the right side of Christianity and doing social justice like the left. As the church in North America struggles to define itself as either right or left I beleive the gospel of Jesus Christ is being forsaken. Mission is being neglected for political maneuvering within denominations as our culture moves further and furher away from Christendom. Both the right and left within our churches seem to be polarizing themselves and defining themselves in ways that alienate and separate. I think missional living by Christians is the only way people who are not Christians will ever come to know the love and present salvation of Jesus, that has little to nothing to do with denominational junk. So... I'm happy to say I will try not to write any more about political fighting within denominations!

A few weeks ago we began a spiritual formation group to start thinking about what spiritual formation would look like for a community so committed to being missional. We came up with a phrase to describe what we hope spiritual formation will do at the Open Door... we hope it will create "a theological reorientation toward a missional lifestyle."

So tomorrow (or the next day) I'll write about the "theological reorientation" aspect of being missional and early next week I'll write about the movement we are experiencing "toward a missinal lifestyle."

Personally I'm pretty excited about the "party" aspect of living missionally. I'll cover how that fits in too.

The Picture above is of the signs at the Union Project, the place we will begin worshiping at in September of 05. They express a missional which we want to be a part of.


David said...

I'm into faith images and stories in the movies, culture in general really/ Long story short, googled Creasy and faith in the movies and got your blog. I like it. If I lived there I'd want to know more. I'm an anglican priest in Knoxville Tenn doing missional work on the UT campus. we are planting missional community and doing the kind of spiritual formation you're describing, or trying to. Anyway I thought I'd leave a note and say way to go! I'm reading Transforming Mission by David Bosch. If you've not read it (and it's a textbook not Blue Like Jazz so it's not what I generally grab for a good read) take a look. It's excellent. Also Church Next is the book our staff is going through and describes some of the very points you made in your blog.
david freels

John said...

Thanks David, I don't have any email address for you, but contact if you would like via my address, john @ pghopendoor dot org.