Missional Order?

I am particularly attracted to the monastic tradition – my Roman Catholic upbringing and  personality I think are key in this regard. I’ve been thinking about the type of community Mosaic is (and aims to be) as well as how we as a team work with one another. Although we haven’t gone through a particular rule or ordination within the team, we do operate as a missional order. Here is why I think that:

  • Wes, Stuart and I spend time in the word together, pray together and confess our sins to each other. Since we have this level of relationship we also have agreed to hold each other accountable in life with grace, truth and love. Honesty and humility is needed here.
  • We try to spend time together and look for ways to work not in isolation but together – yesterday I joined Stuart as he painted at the Annexe.
  • We share our possessions – our car is used as a team vehicle – and we look for creative ways to share resources. Swaping books is quite common.
  • We break bread together by having meals twice a month after our time as a church planting team.
  • We have deliberately centred our lives (and thus our families lives) around a specific patch of the West End. We try to take advantage of the activities, establishments, and lives of this patch. Whether it be attending a folk night at the Annexe, going to the Cafe Rio for a meeting, banking in a branch in that area, or just walking in prayer around the patch. I particularly enjoy the friendships I am making – Michael the street sweeper, Rosie at the Annexe cafe, or Tony also at the cafe. Upon my return to Glasgow, I realised I missed them and they me.
  • Hospitality is critical – Wes & Stuart detailed our car for our return and stocked our fridge. We try to pass this onto others. This weekend we are with Australian friends for Chinese food and games with all our kids. The guys will make dessert.

I could go on, but I think the idea is that we are pursuing a radical life of love for one another and others. We don’t pursue a new legalism but have found a rhythm of life and a set of practices that help us live in unity with one another through the power of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, there is actually great freedom in this as the world lives in such great disunity, hyper-individualism, and self-power.

Attractional Church vs. Missional Church?

Here is a quote for you if your wondering what the difference is:

“The missional church goes back to the life of Jesus. It submerges itself into the culture it is reaching. He did not construct a building or start a service. Rather he walked among the poor and hurt and lost. He incarnated himself. He became flesh; God came down from heaven and lived among us. He was born poor and grew up in a despised town called Nazareth. He had a questionable birth and in all likeliness lost his earthly father at an early age. He became close friends of sinners and was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. (Luke 8:34)”

Attractional of course would represent some of the opposite – ‘we need to get more seats or we’ll lose them – if we lose them, there go our salaries!’, ‘what’s the latest music to attact kids?’, ‘quiet down back there you (visitors), we are tapping this service and we’ll have none of those shenanigans!’ (actually heard of a story like this last example!).

The quote is an excerpt from http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/567.htm and the ‘Characteristics of Missional Church’ I think Attractional Church has served its purpose but now the culture and the state of the Church demands we live out our true calling  as the people of God in a fresh way that speaks & listens to the culture. We have a lot of unlearning, new learning and appreciation for tradition to explore. We don’t have it figured out but we are trying to be faithful to what the Spirit is saying to Mosaic….