The missional living concept is rooted in the
Missio Dei, which means “the sending of God” in Latin.
In 1934, Karl Hartenstein, a German missiologist, coined the phrase in response to Karl Barth and his emphasis on Actio Dei (Latin for “the action of God”). It’s rooted in the verse found in John 20:21 where Jesus said to his dicsiples…
“As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
A Missional life is a life that functions on Mission, on Purpose. It is a life that takes seriously the idea of “being sent” by God into the world, to actually be Jesus in every societal demographic. Whether that be the home, the job, the church or the world.
The missional perspective is a lens with which you look at every facet of life itself. A worldview of sorts
Wikipedia defines worldview as “the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it.”
Everyone has a worldview, but not everyone has a thought-through world view. A worldview shapes the way you see life, interpret life, and then actualize life. It is a grid, a filter, a lens, a YOKE…A YOKE?...Yep, a Yoke.
This is what the Hebrew culture called a worldview and when you decided to follow a rabbi, you would accept his yoke, or his interpretation of Scripture and Culture as your own.
Paul talked about this shift of worldview that must occur in order to be a missional Christ-Follower.
Some people call it different things…a way of life, a frame of reference, a point of view…a state of mind if you will.
…but I like to think of it as more than just a state of mind…it’s more like a state of being.
We talk often at our church of a DNA (a culture) that our church longs to live out…an Acts 2, early church DNA. It goes far beyond just coming to church…to becoming the church.
Coming vs. Becoming.
Parishinal vs. missional.
Parishinal believers come to the House of God and that defines the core of their Christian faith. Missional Christ-Followers see themselves as the House of God…they are the church wherever they go.
You don’t simply go to church, no, church has gotten into you.
This is nothing less that a shift of worldview.
It's a shift of paradigm. A missional movement moving from the all-too-familiar egocentric worldview to a Christocentric worldview.
Check out this passage the speaks of a missional mindset that Paul obviously possessed...
A. Though I am free and belong to no man
Definition – free - one who can go wherever he pleases
*This missional mindset does not come from coercion. There is no imposed pressure from a denomination or a religious infrastructure. This does not stem from guilt, shame, or condemnation.
*NO, the missional mindset is self-imposed and completely voluntary. A missional church is nothing less that a volunteer army of missionaries feeling called to serve and love the world.
And we, as a church, must b committed to this idea of “Free Will”. We believe man has been created by God with the gift of freedom. In fact, the first three words spoken to God by man in the Garden of Eden were “You are free.”
Whatever you decide, will be what happens. Your choices will determine the quality of your life. You will make up your mind, no one will do it for you. You will act on your own impulses, your own volition, your own will.
This is a hot Theological debate in case you aren’t aware. There is a much contested argument about whether man is, in fact free to choose, or whether God is the sole source of one’s fate.
It is none other than the age-old war between Calvinism and Armenianism. Armenians believe that man is free to choose his destiny, his destination. Calvinists believe that God’s will does the choosing.
Some call this determinism or fatalism…the idea that your future is chosen for you and you have no say in the matter. It can often lead to a defeatist mentality (or worldview) if you don’t believe your choices matter in the end because your future has been chosen for you (the die has been cast, so to speak).
I don’t know how, but somehow, it is an integrated and coordinated existence between God’s will and Man’s will. He chooses us…and we choose him.
That’s why I consider myself a hybridized version of both…I call it “Carmenian”.
I strongly believe in the power of free will as a gift God has given man to shape his existence with the conscious choices he makes everyday.
I love this exerpt from Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden…
“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the day, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.”
B. I make myself a slave to everyone
To MAKE MYSELF - *We are slowly losing this powerful mechanism of self-discipline that ultimately leads to self-sacrifice.
*Who actually makes themselves do things anymore? People often don’t act until they are forced to or paid to.
I was reading a blog a while back and something this guy wrote really make me chuckle…it was titled…
This guy needs to read this verse...
I mean go look at the self-help section at Barnes and Nobles and you will find countless thousands of books trying to stimulate the “Joe Undisciplined” lurking inside of each one of us unmotivated Americans.
However, this verse in 1st Corinthians isn’t interested in simply trying to motivate people to wake up to help themselves alone…It is trying to wake people up to help the people all around them…
**To make yourself a slave to People…
Definition – slave - δουλόω - give myself wholly to a person’s needs and service, to make myself a bondman or bondmaiden.
One commentary stated that…
*This is what it means to become a bondslave of God and a bondslave of people.
*You see, we are not the Church of the Latter Day Saints, we are the church of the everyday servants. And when we become Followers of Chist…we become servants of Humanity.
*Lest we forget, one of the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:23 is Self-Control. This uncanny ability to be able to act right even when you don’t feel right. How important this is as a Christ-Follower and yet how few possess this illusive virtue.
The passage goes on to say…
C. To win as many people as possible.
There’s A.S.A.P (as soon as possible) and then there’s A.M.A.P (as many as possible).
*I have a question for you…Do you love people?
Do you love people? This is the first sign that you are a Christ follower. If you don’t love people, you have every reason to question the presence of Jesus in your heart and life.
We must know that Kingdom of God is first and foremost, a Kingdom of Kindness. And, just for the record, it is anything but a random act of kindness…it is an intentional missional act of kindness…a self-sacrificial movement of love towards people.
*It is more than simply converting people, too. I don’t really like that term because it sounds so mathematical, a lifeless lateral move from one formula to another. It's more a winsomeness deal…that makes sense to me.
It’s not just that people are lost…it’s that they are losing. Losing heart, losing hope, losing life…they just need something and someone that speaks of winning instead of losing.
And we must win them back to Christ…back to life…back to hope…back to freedom.
A Missional life is about Winning People – or as Jesus called it “becoming a fisher of men.”
As a Christ-Follower…I’m now a people angler. I get out the depth finder to see where the people are. I fish for people.
Or if you’re a hunter it would go something like this…”I hunt for people. I scout people. I track people.”
IT would be like saying…my new business is people.
My job is people. My career is people. My occupation is people. My ambition is people. My field of interest is people. My recreation is people. My hobby is people. My retirement is people.
I now live for the hearts of people…I will die at the disposal of people.
Paul went so far as to say in Acts 20:24…
“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the mission the Lord Jesus has given me—the mission of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” - Acts 20:24
And this making yourself a servant came from the missional model of Jesus Himself…
"Jesus made himself nothing”
κενόω - "to empty".
The Philippians passage urges believers to imitate Christ's self-emptying. In this interpretation, Paul was not primarily putting forth a theory about God in this passage, rather he was using God's humility exhibited in the incarnation event as a call for Christians to be similarly subservient to others.
And Missional Living starts by…
TAKING on someone else’s form…someone else’s likeness…this is Incarnational Ministry. This is the key to missional living…at home, at church, at work, at play. You are entering each environment as a servant who takes on the form of the people present.
To become all things to all men so that may all possible mean I might win some…
This is the missional life.
I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. - Mother Teresa