If you are new to this blog....

Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i - defining missional

The following is part of a workshop I taught at the Presbyterian Global Fellowship (PGF) “Gearing Up” conference in Atlanta. The content and illustrations are from life at Good Shepherd, but I was trying to identify key transferable concepts, particularly for life in smaller churches (though I hope they would transfer into any context).

I intentionally avoid using the word “missional.” It sounds like a buzzword and a fad. Plus, I was sold on being missional before I ever heard the word. (I am going to use it in this series for search purposes.)

Further, to really understand and BE missional, one has to understand the word, not just use it. It’s not enough to slap the label on a program: “we’ve renamed our men’s ministry M3: missional men’s ministry.” In order to live it, preach it, develop it, etc. you’ve got to “get it” (understand it).

At Good Shepherd, a two-fold master analogy and image emerged as I tried to internalize, embody, and communicate these themes.

LIGHTHOUSE is an image that describes God’s rescue, redemption, and calling of a people out of the dark world. The gathered community serves as a lighthouse to the surrounding community: housing the light, harboring those in need of refuge and sanctuary, and serving as a secure beacon in the midst of storm and darkness. (Clearly, if no one knows your church is on the corner, it’s hard to be a lighthouse!)

SEARCHLIGHT is an image that that describes participation in God’s mission to seek and save the lost. It is the gathered community getting up and getting out to bear the light into the dark world. I will further explore these two images in a subsequent post.

When I first encountered Presbyterian Global Fellowship (PGF) in 2006, they didn’t use the word missional either. They talked about being “inwardly strong and outwardly focused.” This is helpful: it describes to people what it means to be missional in a memorable way.Figure out how to talk about “being missional” in a way that people can understand… and then don’t stop talking about it and living it out!

NEXT: communicating missional

Tag Cloud

2014 2015 accountability acts advent archive art arts ash wednesday aslan assurance audio auditions bands belief bigotry blessing blob bloggers blooper reel bluegrass body of christ book book reviews boomer boundaries breadth of worship builder bus calling Calvin Symposium cd ceilidh change character of god chart christmas church church partnerships civility commandments commentary communication community con ed confession confirmation contemporized hymns crisis culture D.Min. dance darkness death definitions denomination depth of worship discernment discipleship discourse dismissal dissertation drama early church easter ecclesiology ecpc emergent church error evangelism excellence exile exodus experimentation facebook failure faith family of God father fear fellowship fellowshippres following forgiveness friendship frost fruit frustration funerals GA ga219 ga220 GAhelp generations genX gift gifts girl scouts good news Google gospel grace gracious witness gspc youth hands health highlights holy spirit holy week hope hospitality humility humor hymn image of God imago dei improvisation incarnation inclusion index information insider language institutions interns invitation iTunes james jazz Jeremy Begbie john piper jonah joy judgment Keith and Kristyn Getty kids kindness language law lay renewal leadership legalism lent license life light lighthouse linked articles links listening liturgy loneliness love lyrics maddie shuler meme mentoring mercy metanarrative mgb commission millenials ministry networks miscellaneous mission missional missional identity missions moderator montreat mumford music narnia neighborhood neighbors new wineskins new year news newsletter NEXT NEXTchurch nicaragua noticing obedience obstacles organizations outreach palm sunday parenting participation pastor pastoral ministry pcaus pcusa peace performance peter pgf pictures plagues planning podcasting poetry politics ponderings pornography post-modernism prayer preaching presbymergent presbyterian global fellowship presbytery publishing questions racism reader reconciliation recordings recycled goodness redemption reflection refugees relationship relationships retreat righteousness risk roadblocks rss rules sabbatical safety salt samaritan satan satire scotland searchlight searchlight 2.0 sectarianism self-righteousness seminaries sermon snippets sermon-song sermons shalom sheep shepherding sin small church social media song songwriters songwriting spheres of influence spirit spiritual lessons spiritual power stewardship stories story sub-culture summary sunrise talent challenge tears technology teenagers Ten Commandments terrorism testimony theater theft theological education top posts tragedy transformation translation travel trees trinitarian worship trinity trust truth twitter union with christ valentines VBS video virtual reality vision waiting website wednesdays out wee kirk welcome witness word cloud wordle words workshop worship writing year-end YL you tube youth