Thursday, June 6, 2013

Global from Home: or It’s a Small World After All (Missional Myths 1)

There seem to be three (at least) Missional Myths that people are embracing to one degree or another these days. They are all born out of solid ideas, but taken to extremes they are detrimental. And the more people buy into these myths the worse it is for their impact on the mission.

The first of these could be labeled the “It’s a Small World After All” myth. It looks at the way our global community is growing, and how that seems to blow away barriers of distance and language and says, “We can now impact the world form Christ right from our own home.” To a degree this is true, but where the myth goes south is where it says that we no longer need “sent out ones.” At least not in a permanent, sacrificial way. To put it in a Biblical image, it is as though God had approached Abraham and said, “Go to the land I will show you, I need you there for a week or so.”

We are now creating a generation of believers who, when they feel the Macedonian call to go where people have not head the good news, they think it is something they can do without ever really leaving home. They go for a week or two, at the most a few months. Maybe as a church, they establish a “relationship” in the area they are trying to reach and travel there multiple times. However, they are not sent really out from a church to help establish new ones. They take a break, have an adventure, but never really leave one home for another.

On a global scale this has a huge impact. Fewer and fewer believers are truly crossing cultural boundaries. Less work is being done in people’s heart language. The danger of transposing culture alongside the Gospel is greater than ever. Contextualization is occurring less and less. The bottom line transaction that is occurring is financial, and maybe a little bit of culture is being transported as well. What doesn’t always make it into the mix is the story being told in a way that transforms the new culture. The sacrifice and obedience that Abraham exhibited, and that God used to bless all peoples—that that demands someone leave one home for a true new one—is a rare thing indeed.

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