1


“The wind blows where it chooses…. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8).”

I believe the Spirit of God is alive and well today. It’s the only way I can describe my journey, and the journey I see happening throughout the Body of Christ today. Having shared this with our church leaders, I’d like to share my journey with all at Houston Mennonite Church.

You see, at a point in the not-too-distant past, my thoughts about sexual orientation mimicked the thoughts I had inherited from church, culture, and family: godly sexual orientation was opposite-gender attraction only, and therefore marriage was only between a woman and a man.

I believe it was nothing other than the Spirit of God which led me to full inclusion of my gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters in Christ. My repenting toward this position did not happen overnight or in response to cultural pressure. It came through Biblical study, worship that oriented me more intentionally to who and how God is in our world, and through listening dialogue.

I’d like to share openly with you, with no assumption of your full agreement, my understanding of God’s movement in my life.

The Full Witness of Scripture
Over the course of time I came to see the Biblical witness is not “clearly against” gay inclusion.

The Biblical witness never mentions monogamous, loving marriage between two men or two women. Which means it’s neither affirmed nor condemned. It does however, mention in several places abusive, power-imbalanced, dysfunctional or cultic non-loving homosexual acts. These abusive acts are always condemned in the Bible, and would be equally condemned today. As someone who has been sexually abused, I remember with deep clarity how meaningful it was to discover that the Bible condemns in no uncertain terms what was done to me.

That seems to be about the length and breadth of Biblical discussion of “homosexuality.” So more important than what the Bible is silent on, or what it condemns, is what it affirms. Using the same biblical interpretation methods as Anabaptists in regards to war and Sabbath, and nearly all western Christians regarding slavery, I’ve grown to embrace the full witness of Scripture, and in particular, using a Jesus-lens to interpret faith and life.

Jesus’ clearest command is, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another (John 13:34).” Jesus fully embraces those who have been marginalized by misunderstanding, purity laws, unjust religious judgment, and cultural exclusion. The New Testament portrays reconciling love and the breaking of walls that divide as core to his work (Eph 2), even claiming “enemies” as friends (Rom 5). Knowing them to be sinners of the most public kind, Jesus even welcomes Judas and Peter to the Lord’s Table. Jesus love brings liberation to oppressed groups.

Jesus unashamedly changes the religious rules of his day precisely at the point of inclusion: Sabbath keeping, inclusion of women, purity laws, moving the focus from tithing to justice, loving enemies, treatment of sin, Gentile inclusion. It’s hard for me to see anything silent about Jesus’ radical inclusion, or the way he treats “those people” as just people (read more here: https://houstonmennonite.org/sermons-from-marty-troyer/encountering-god-multi-culturally/). While the gospels clearly do not tell of Jesus teaching on or interacting with a gay couple, I find it hard to believe given the wider witness of Scripture that Jesus wouldn’t have loved them in the same way he’s loved me.

My Personal Story
For years, the uncontrolled shame of my own sexual abuse blocked me from any level of openness to a more inclusive stance. I was not only unable to see the nuances in the witness of Scripture, I was fearful of meaningful relationship with gays or lesbians. Further, scapegoating the assumed sexual dysfunction in one group freed me from dealing with the wider issue of human sexuality or of my own fallen sexuality.

And so relationship with, and learning the stories of, gay and lesbian family and friends has been a huge healing experience for me personally. Praise God! The shunning and religious oppression I saw in family and congregational members pained me deeply, and left me longing for wholeness and faith for those who were distant from God because of the exclusive actions of the church.

Faithful Christians who love God and neighbor with prophetic, creative and insightful voices were being excluded, though other “sinners” and their sins went unchallenged. I’m profoundly uncomfortable creating a litmus test out of a sin Jesus never mentions when greater issues such as injustice, wealth accumulation, treatment of the poor and living in empire are mentioned repeatedly and yet are not used as a test.

Through prayer and worship I’ve slowly taken a posture of Gelassenheit: willing removal of all blocks to loving God and neighbor, of which I believe this to be one. The image from Menno Simons, our namesake, of “suiting ourselves to Christ” has had a profound effect on me. He invites followers of Christ to “suit themselves in their weakness to all words, commandments, ordinances, Spirit, rule, example and measure of Christ, as Scripture teaches; for they are in Christ and Christ is in them.” You may recognize this from “Praying the Sermon on the Mount.”

Over time I came to see the assumption of “sin” surrounding the LGBT community to be oppressive, exclusive, and theologically misguided. I see inclusion of gay Christians as a major justice issue of our time. I believe my past assumption that a person’s sexual orientation could be a sin has been a significant block to the GLBT community as people and as followers of Christ. For this I repent, and long to live into Jesus gospel which he believed brought liberation to all peoples. I believe gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are as fully human, fully image-bearing, fully faithful and able to lead in ministry, and fully able to live in loving marriage relationship as I am.

I welcome LGBT people into all depths and arenas of relationship with myself and my family.

LGBT Christians are as in need of grace and community as I, though not because of their sexual orientation. Actually, it’s likely they need the grace and community of Gospel-formed communities even more precisely because of the church’s posture against them. I’ve found that learning from the experience and spirituality of ostracized members of the LGBT community can even be a key component in the revival of our own Anabaptist faith.

Living in Love at Houston Mennonite
I stand firmly on the truth that all individuals at HMC have a voice, and believe we’re stronger and wiser when all voices are heard. So please share yours! I want all voices on how to relate to the LGBT community to be welcome today in our church, even those who disagree with me or who may feel more comfortable with a traditional ethic. And so I share my thoughts humbly as your pastor, not as a conclusion to this conversation (the pastor has spoken and now we must all agree!) but an invitation for us each to explore our own faith and story in more intentional ways than HMC has invited in past years. We’re a family of faith where safe, respectful dialogue has allowed us to explore the “What’s” and “Why’s?” of our belief together. This was modeled so well for us in September by two of our dear sisters who disagreed and yet remained deeply committed to each other and our church (Kristi and Kathryn in our “fish bowl” dialogue).

I believe my inclusive stance is at odds with some and in agreement with others at HMC. My pastoral role is not to be dictator but listener, facilitator of dialogue for the sake of discernment, encourager of Christ-like faith, and shaper of a church culture where faithful ministry as each understands is lived out. None of us can mature in faith without growing in capacity to love!

I also appreciate how much respect and spiritual authority HMC has given to me. I believe you’d all want me to live with integrity out of personal conviction rather than a fear of what you might think. And I’d desire nothing but the same from you! Though, to be clear, the goal is not to “be myself” but rather to “be faithful to God’s call.”

Living into my convictions, I recently signed a letter from 150 Mennonite pastors and leaders inviting Mennonite Church USA to take a more open approach as we discern faithful discipleship together. You can read that document and an article about it here: www.themennonite.org/public_press_releases/150_leaders_call_for_change_in_policies_toward_gay_Christians.

While I respect that some at HMC may disagree, and that we have made no congregational decisions, I feel the Spirit leading me to inclusivity and Christ’s gospel of liberation, and to include the gay experience into my understanding of discipleship and ministry. The letter states we “feel called by Christ to welcome and bless LGBT people who are seeking to follow Jesus.” I believe silent and exclusive communities potentially destroy rather than bless the faith of gay and lesbian Christians. I’m not ashamed to say, blessing anyone who seeks to follow Christ is my desire.

To be clear, I could never take a stand I believed to be at variance with Jesus’ gospel or scripture. But this is a stand that is at variance with current Mennonite Church USA guidelines. I’d like to help people understand and close this gap. The letter was sent to executive board members, conference ministers and other leaders.

We all have family, friends, coworkers and sisters and brothers in Christ who identify as gay or lesbian. Perhaps some reading this have felt, or currently feel, confusion with your sexuality. And we are nearly guaranteed to have future people who join us at HMC who are gay. I’ve leaned more toward my own silence on this issue in order to be an objective facilitator, but no longer feel my silence is a faithful response within HMC, our shared Houston community or within Mennonite Church USA. More intentionality in our actions will serve us well.

So what is, and what isn’t this letter saying?

For starters this is not the church’s new official position (only we, not me could decide that). And it’s not me asking or demanding that you agree with me. We’re not leaving MCUSA nor do they want us to leave.

This is my statement as one member of our faith family. This letter is an invitation to listening dialogue with each other, and an invitation for you to do your own work regarding relationships with our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters; especially exploring the Why of your thought. As mentioned, this is your pastors attempt to express conviction with integrity.

More than anything, I believe that each and every one of us desires faithfulness to God and to have the capacity to love our neighbors as ourselves. Together we’re more equipped and able to empower one another to do just that! I’m thankful to be a member of Houston Mennonite Church and to be your pastor for such a time as this.

May God continue to lead us where the Spirit is blowing! Grace to you all and peace, with deepest love,

Pastor Marty Troyer
martinbtroyer@gmail.com

Who are we and how we are called to be in our world?

This is the work members and delegates of Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA is our denomination) will gather June 30-July 5 in Kansas City to engage.

Together we’ll worship, train, fellowship, debate and dialogue our way through our common identity and 5 proposed resolutions. Convention is first and foremost a fantastic disciple-making event! Seminars and relationships are the very core of what we do when we get together.

But these statements are the core of what we can prep for as far as the delegate work and “agenda” goes. As these are statements that will potentially speak for you (whether you agree with them or not) you’re encouraged to read them here.

The first two speak directly to our identity as peacemakers in the world. And the last strengthens HMC’s ongoing commitment to address sexual abuse and its prevention.

The two resolutions creating the most anxiety and anticipation address ways of relating to the LGBTQ members in our churches and families. Please read them here:

The first conflates unity with the majority position by affirming the traditional stance that marriage is only between one man and woman; thus forbidding pastors from performing same sex ceremonies. The second sees unity as a big tent with room for all practices. Notice that no progressive resolutions have been accepted at this time, though one has been submitted.

Last week I answered the “Why” of MCUSA and our Convention by saying, “Peace is the mission of God and peacemaking is the vocation of God’s people.”

If this is so, let’s humbly acknowledge our LGBT members and family have repeatedly stated that traditional non-affirming policies are dehumanizing and experienced as violence. Regardless one’s opinion, the LGBT community is statistically the most vulnerable to sexual abuse (Resolution #3 should make that important to us), and overwhelmingly find non-affirming policies leave them with no other option but non-participation in the life of the church.

The KC Convention provides the space to interpret what it means to be peacemakers in a world desperate for the repair of broken relationships.

So PLEASE mark your calendar for the afternoon of Sunday May 31. HMC will hold a congregational dialogue following our potluck fellowship meal.

In the meantime, I invite you to sit with the following desire for 5-10 minutes sometime this weekend – “God… Come and fill our hearts with your peace.”

Pastor Marty Troyer

“Prayer is thinking deeply about something in the presence of God.” (Wayne Cordeiro)

Where do you think deeply ? What spaces in your life do you have enriched conversation filled with honesty, probing, curiosity, and dialogue that stretches you? Where are you permitted to ask the hard questions?

For many at HMC, Sunday School is that space where organic deep thinking happens in God’s presence. The traditional phrase “Sunday School” conjures the wrong image of what happens at 9:30am each Sunday. Perhaps faith formation, dialogue, or multi-logue is more appropriate. I think on our church voicemail I said “faith-forming dialogue.” 

“Deep thinking in God’s presence” doesn’t fit the mental model many of us have about Christian education; which is why I like to speak more about formation than information. But perhaps formation is even a bit scary.

  1. We might be afraid of revealing our own ignorance about our own faith, the Bible, or ethics.
  2. Perhaps we’re uncomfortable with new answers to tough questions.
  3. We go to church to receive information, not formation.
  4. Or maybe we’re just stuck in our spiritual lives.
I invite you to pay attention to where you have enriched conversation without veneer or fear, to peel back the comfort of inherited standard answers and jump right in! Be curious. Follow the truth wherever it leads. And think deeply in God’s presence.

Along with our Sunday School (which is now studying The Jesus I Never Knew, a book that was life-enriching for me) FaithWalking is also a world-class, Houston-born, cutting edge journey of personal growth and formation. It is without a doubt the safest and most transformational space I’ve participated in to “think deeply in the presence of God.” Sign up today for the first step in the FaithWalking journey – a weekend retreat (called FW101.Click here to register for a FREE retreat Feb 27, March 6, April 17, May 15 or a google hangout version)

Whether with us or in the safety of a retreat, folks do this all the time as a way to Love God with everything we’ve got.

I hope you join us soon.
Peace,

Marty

Today I wrote the following letter to Greg Abbott, inaugurated today (Jan 20, 2015) around noon.

Dear Governor Abbott,

Congratulations on your inauguration as Texas’ Governor today! I too claim to be a follower of Christ and to work for the common good of all Texans.Gov. Greg Abbott, right, bows his head during the benediction as his wife Cecilia Abbott holds the family Bible used in the Inauguration Ceremony of Texas Governor in Austin, Texas.  Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Photo: Bob Owen, San Antonio Express-News / ©2015 San Antonio Express-News

As a fellow Christian I’m deeply saddened by your refusal to believe and live by your church’s pro-life stance. The sanctity of life is a beautiful foundation upon which stands staunch and near total support for the abolition of capital punishment. How is it you can support killing in the name of Texas?

In an interview with the San Antonio Express-News you said “there is no conflict” between your eager support for and your Church’s stance against the death penalty. I do not know whether your statement was out of ignorance or intent to mislead. But whether you were mistaken or chose to lie, one simply cannot promote the following words as truth as you did, “Catholic doctrine is not against the death penalty.”

Catholic social teaching as found in statements, catechism, and through the words of your popes clearly state that state-sponsored killing is far outside the will of God or the needs of the common good! In Texas, life sentences as an alternative to the death penalty are not only available, they are far more economically viable.

Read the rest of the letter here:

http://blog.chron.com/thepeacepastor/2015/01/governor-abbott-is-a-catholic-lone-wolf-on-death-penalty-refuses-to-be-pro-life/

I long ago reconciled with the fact I’m not wired for resolutions that demand a determined decision to a specific course of action. They’ve always felt like a teacher assigning daily busy work I was bound to turn in late or never at all.eyecare-optometry2

However, optically speaking, “resolution” simply means having the capacity to distinguish or discern objects clearly. And I’m always working to see more clearly. New reading glasses, followed by new prescription glasses this last year are a physical reminder of high and healthy optical resolution.

But what about spiritual resolution; or political, pop cultural, or racial resolution – is it possible to clarify or even improve how we see ourselves, God, and the world? And if so what would that look like; and what would it require from us?

I think it’s indeed possible, and abundantly necessary, to have clear spiritual sight. What’s required from us for high resolution spiritual optics is unwavering commitment to seeing the world through the lens of Jesus’ Gospel about the restoration of all things.

Like prescription eye wear, micro and tele scopes, a Gospel lens will necessarily change how you see almost everything – such as religion, relationships, reputation, politics, justice and what it means to be fully human. In fact, I think it clarifies pretty much everything!

In this regard Gospel is intimately connected to truth, such as the truth about yourself. As Paul says, “with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power (Eph 1:18-19).”

Gospel is also truth in that it shows the world at is really is. Wealth, power imbalances, peace through violence, and self-righteousness are all unmasked as morally missing the mark through Jesus’ Gospel lens. Such as the truth, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God…. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation (Luke 6:20,24).” Gospel truth isn’t always easy to hear! But it is always good (usually first and foremost for the marginalized (Matt 21:31-46) and those in need of a doctor (Matt 9:12-13)), and it always leads to personal and public transformation.

Sometimes the gospel requires us to discard old wineskins and mental models, throw around some tables in the robbers den, or painstakingly unmask some lies before the seeds of transformation can bring new life. Jesus, after all, fulfilled the prophecy that he would not stop “until he brings justice to victory (Matt 12:15-21).” Truth-telling is at the very heart of the restorative justice which will bring peace to our cities.

see-clear1I need to be able to see issues like immigration, affirmation of my LGBT friends and family, racialization in Ferguson, and war propaganda in film honestly before I can understand how God is present and calling me to act. The Gospel gives us the spiritual resolution to see these and other issues “with the eyes of our heart enlightened.”

So this year, here’s to good eyesight! Sight for our physical eyes to keep us in the right lanes of traffic and for our spiritual eyes to keep us on the straight and narrow!

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas my dear friends! 

What a joy it was to sing these words Sunday in worship,

“O come thou DaySpring come and cheer, our spirits by your advent here. Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadow put to flight.” 

I for one needed to sing in order to have hope the darkness will not prevail; either in my heart or in our world.

Ya know, in a very real sense our Christian identity is birthed in the same way as Jesus was- through the Holy Spirit. John (3:3,6) and Paul (Rom 8:7-16) reflect on the Spirit’s necessary presence in forming faith- “you must be born of the Spirit!”

Which of course Mark and Luke suggest was central to the Christmas story about Jesus. We too are children of the Spirit.

But what does that actually mean? 

God's Christmas promise has both personal and public implications, all of which are best understood in shalom-peace, God's movement to restore all creation.

God’s Christmas promise has both personal and public implications, all of which are best understood in shalom-peace, God’s movement to restore all creation.

Buried beneath the tinsel and chocolate of our cultural Christmas, it’s always difficult to see Biblical truths for what they are. In absolutely no way does “spiritual” reference a disembodied, invisible, ethereal, otherworldly or non-physical essence; as if ‘the spiritual’ were somehow more important than the material world of bodies, blood, and budgets. No it’s much better news than Plato could ever offer! To be ‘spiritual’ means we’re infused with the values and passions of God’s Spirit. We’ve been shaped by Spirit ethically and volitionally to reflect divinity.

Take Isaiah 9 as a great example. The Promise of Christmas bursts into both the personal and public realm through Isaiah’s imaginative symbolism. The light shines in the darkness, putting death’s dark shadow to flight! A truly miraculous message for those struggling with mental health, the crushing weight of depression, or for the 22 military families a day who loose loved ones to suicide. This good news flows into the deepest recesses of our soul, cleansing shame and buried memories that hijack our best intentions.

As amazing as this message is for me this Christmas, the caring of God’s Spirit is much more limitless. Isaiah also celebrates the Spirit’s work in ending oppression (9:4) and warfare (9:5) as we know it; oppression is broken and violence sees its’ end through the powerful symbol of burning military garments.

This powerful symbolic speech challenges the mistaken belief in violence’s power to transform, and helps us imagine the pathway of nonviolence as a viable option.

Indeed, not only is it merely viable, nonviolence has a stunning record of effectiveness far beyond that of violence and warfare.

Scilla Elworthy’s powerful TEDx talk asks us, “How do we deal with extreme violence without using force in return? When you’re faced with brutality, whether it’s a child facing a bully on a playground or domestic violence — or, on the streets of Syria today, facing tanks and shrapnel, what’s the most effective thing to do? Fight back? Give in? Use more force?”

As we remember the angels’ songs for “peace on earth” heralding the birth of the “prince of peace” no one should be surprised at the efficacy of nonviolence and the power of peace.

Arming Ho Chi Minh to resist the Japanese in the 40’s didn’t work, nor did our support of Osama bin Laden to fight the Russians or Saddam Hussein to fight Iran. Why do we persist to believe the lie that warfare can bring peace?

Militarizing Ferguson hasn’t work. Torturing suspects after 9/11 didn’t (as it never has! Read this stunning article about how the US ignored ALL it knew about responding to security threats!) work. Ratcheting up violence to meet violence only forces the other side to ratchet even further.

Art Gish, non-violent resister to imperial war.

Art Gish, non-violent resister to imperial war.

MLK understood this, and resisted ratcheting up Bull Conner’s brutality when strong voices suggested it was the only way. Aun San Suu Kyi knew this as well in Burma, as did Ghandi who overthrew 200 years of imperial exploitation without firing a shot in India. And Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for his violent resistance but returned to transform a country through radical commitment to nonviolence rather than returning evil for evil. The twentieth century and early twenty-first century has seen hundreds of working examples of the power grassroots movements have in bringing change to oppressive and violent situations.

Elworthy asks of about the effectiveness of nonviolence, “Have you asked yourselves why and how so many dictatorships have collapsed over the last 30 years? Dictatorships in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mali, Madagascar, Poland, the Philippines, Serbia, Slovenia, I could go on, and now Tunisia and Egypt. And this hasn’t just happened.”

She points directly to the work of nonviolent expert Gene Sharp, whose books outline over 200 strategies and tactics of nonviolent resistance to brutality that actually have worked in the 20th century.

Let’s celebrate more of that this Christmas!! The promise of Christmas captures the fullness of Gods peace, brought through justice by the baby who grows into our king.  The promise of Christmas flows not only into the deep recesses of our minds, but into the hidden patterns of racism, colonial resource grabs, and extreme power imbalances that fuel violence in places like Ferguson, Syria, and the Halls of our own government.

May God’s Spirit disperse ALL the gloomy clouds of night on this beautiful day- both far and nigh, personal and public! This is, after all, the breadth and beauty of Gods peace. In the Spirit we can (and must) courageously resist the temptation of color-blindness and embrace the path of color-bravery. Likewise, through the Spirit we can connect the wealth gap with global imperialism and the lies of militarism.

And, as children of the Spirit may we enter ever more deeply into the fabulous world of the physical here and now; where a table filled with bread, wine, and good friends is all that’s needed to believe in the Christmas promise- we like Jesus are born of Spirit. We can indeed be the peace we long for our world to know.

Isn’t it great to be human? 

Merry Christmas friends! Have a fantastic new year.

Watch Scilla’s TEDx below.

What’s all this talk about being “missional” mean anyway?missional-300x240

This is a strange new word I and others in Houston use a lot these days. But what do we mean when we say “missional”? For starters it might help to contrast it with the classic understanding of mission.

Foreign missions has to do with a sender (local congregation or mission agency) sending special people (missionaries) to a special place (over there!) to do special things (missions).

That’s not what missional living is all about.

Missional language invites us to imagine a new sender (God) who sends all people to the places they already live to restore all things. No longer do we compartmentalize super Christians who respond to God’s call to go and second class Christians who choose to stay. The concept of missional living infuses the very definition of “Normal Christian” with the call to partner in God’s shalom project right where we are by doing the very things Christ would do if he were living our lives.  It invites us to imagine things differently: God, the gospel, the time we are living in, the location we live in, and the ways we’ll spread and live the good news.

So when I say “missional” here are 10 Core Components of what I mean:

10. The core of the core of missional living is the missio dei (the mission of God). The “sender” is no longer church but God, who sends the Son, Spirit, and all followers into the world to join what God is already performing. All theology is viewed through this missio dei lens. Placing mission at the core of theology broadens our vision to see God’s loving restoration for all creation- things on earth and things in heaven.

9. The assumption of missional living is Post-Christendom.
We are living in a new epoch in which we can’t take the Christian-ness of culture for granted. Rather than assuming the culture is Christian and therefor all that is needed is to slip a new evangelized soul into an otherwise  Christianized cultural glove, missional sees culture itself as no longer “Christian,” and understands that significant portions of western Christendom have always been antithetical to Christianity.

8. The energy of missional living is outward. The church is no longer an “attractional” body but a sending body. God is already present in every human community, which is itself filled with assets and expertise. Thus our ministry is performed with people and never to them. Missional projects partner with and follow the lead of those we’re called to love. This allows us to resist classic missions which too readily lends itself to patronizing and patriarchal colonialism, replicating patterns of the “sending” culture.

gospel of westheimer stop sign7. The locations of missional living are the places where we live, work, and play. No longer the “special places” associated with foreign mission, but our context, our relationships, our cities. Missional thinking is thus radically contextual rather than universal.

6. The duration of missional living is sustained consistent long-term relationships over time rather than one-off events or projects. Mentoring, and relocating into the neighborhood you are called to restore are exceptional examples of this component.

5. The instrument of missional living is we not me: a community approach rather than the sending of individuals. Missional communities such as congregations or missional covenant groups act as a sign and foretaste of gospel for those they are called to love.

4. The goal of missional living is the restoration of creation (including people!). Christ followers demonstrate the gospel by seeking the common good, interpreting their actions with words. Missional views restoration – of both souls and systems – as one and the same project of partnering with God.  It’s not a new word to describe old actions (for most but not all of us). And because the goal is for “all” creation, it means that our context is intimately connected to the global village. War, fair trade, oil… all these issues are both global and local, what some call “glocal.” Fine examples include 19th century Evangelical’s social concerns, Germany’s Confessing Church, the Anabaptist movement, the Community Development Association movement, the black church’s role in liberating America in the 1960’s and infrastructural/economic development overseas.

3. The mobilization of missional living is of every person to join what God is doing. Missional living is a new movement to equip the laity, returning to the people what never should have been taken: ministry. Every Christian and person of good will is “special” and sent by God into ministry through vocation as much as volunteerism to bring restoration to our locale and global community.missional

2. The promise of missional living is transformation. God’s quest for the Peace of the city and salvation of humanity reveals a breathtaking love for “the world” God created and is recreating. It is loving restoration of both what is broken and those who are lost. God’s missional promise that “I am making all things new!” is intimately connected to the “abundant life” that Jesus promised.

1. The new normal of missional living is that everyone is called to be a disciple not just a church member. Daily discipleship to Jesus in a community on shared mission is normative Christianity.  Following Jesus is both an invitation and a deep challenge.

Hope this helps! What would you add? How does your faith community speak about or live our missional?

Next Page »