ben edson spotted this report from MTAG (think tank in the c of e on mission - a good one at that). the report has researched some churches and mission agencies around mission praxis, language and theology.
there are interesting issues around language in mission – transformation, hospitality, openness, generosity being the most warmly received terms.
my favourite section was from ann morrisey who concludes with this...
Jesus lived his life in a very distinctive way. This included:
• Eschewing Power – Being alert to how easy it might be for him to become powerful in the land. He seems to make a point of resisting the thingsthat would lead to him becoming powerful in the world’s terms. (Being
powerful and being authoritative are not the same thing.);
• Willing to risk being overwhelmed – Always risking the possibility that he might be overwhelmed, not feeling he has to be in control all the time and being willing to take risks that might make the establishment people
furious with him;
• Subverting the ‘status quo’ – Challenging the taken-for granted ways of doing things and understanding things, including religious practice;
• Wide ‘ fraternal’ relations – Seeing our concern for others as going well beyond our own family or neighbours or ‘tribe’. If God is our heavenly father all his children become our brothers and sisters;
• Avoiding tit-for tat’ behaviour – Avoiding escalating differences and trying to get one’s own back and have the last word – but also standing his ground;
• Investing in the most unlikely – The people whom Jesus chose were not the most obvious ‘top team’, in fact very often they were people whom others had written-off.
My thesis is straightforward:
When we muster an intention to do things like Jesus, i.e. to follow Jesus – even in the most modest of ways – we arrive at the portal into the economy of abundance, where virtuous processes flow and grace cascades; By doing it like Jesus (even just a tad, and even just with the intention – because there is so much grace around) we trigger virtuous processes that gain momentum;
This relevance and transformational power of faith make it urgent to articulate and promote the resources at the heart of faithfulness that lead to human flourishing. And we need others to help us pass the test of public reason – it is not sufficient for our theologians or evangelists to simply assert the virtuous processes that faith sets in train.
[for those people who were at apple last night with pete rollins maybe this connects with the ensuing discussion about once we have been de-narrated how we then live a live without having to morph into mother teresa?]