Those who know me best know that anything that becomes too predictable or monotonous drives me crazy. Repetitive tasks are my least favorite although I do feel a sense of comfort from a schedule and relational security. Go figure? Reading is no exception to this for me. I read in manic phases. Literally consuming books at a ridiculous rate and then going months not touching one. Right now, my nightstand has a stack about 8 high and I am making my way through them. Not just any old books either...some greats. I've got Halter & Smay's And sitting there. I have a Nouwen one waiting on me. I have a Miller and a Bell. All of my favorites calling my name. And still others.
Besides the few contemplative pieces tucked in my stack, most of them are about missionality and the missional conversation. But I got tired of reading about Missional church. Tired of reading about it and not living it. Tired of wanting it but not being prepared to do what it takes. Then we did. We stepped out and made some huge shifts in our life and I couldn't read about it anymore. But, I'm ready to read again. Ready to enter the conversation again trying to sink my teeth into what this looks like lived out. Ready to see where our disciple making ways seem counter to the life of Jesus. Ready to reflect on what it looks like in community.
Of course I read a few pages and my mind races. Questions. What if's. Doubts. More Questions. Definitions. You know how that goes. And in the midst of all of it, it struck me today that I had blogged a definition of Missional Discipleship back in Sept. 2006 - yes almost 5 years ago. I dug it out and got convicted all over again.
It starts with Missio Dei - the very nature of God is that He calls and sends. He forms us into distinctive communities that reflect the redemptive reign of God through justice, mercy and reconciliation (Kingdom) in the coming of Christ and in the becoming like Christ (Incarnation). Together we journey(Community), maturing into Christ formed followers (Spiritual Formation) who in the power of the Spirit begin shaping others into Christ formed followers (Equipping).
Yay for reading and the waters it stirs.