If one more person writes another book that says we need to be missional I think my head will pop. Enough already I keep saying: yes, missional. But define and show us what it means. That is why I like Helen Lee’s book, The Missional Mom: Living with Purpose at Home & in the World. It’s missional, but it’s concrete and it’s local.
And it also why I like Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford’s new Right Here, Right Now: Everyday Mission for Everyday People. Here is a book that is both theoretical and yet carves out how this stuff works and what it looks like in the everyday.
I will say it again: missional takes place at the local and in the concrete; it’s not an idea; missional is an act of love to the neighbor we confront. One can’t set up a “missional program” because being missional means responding to the question: How can I help you … right now? Missional isn’t an alternative to evangelism but a kingdom environment for evangelism. Missional seeks to participate in what God is doing in this world. We don’t become missional; we are missional because God is missional and the church is missional. OK, enough preaching.
What’s missional to you? Where do you see it? How can we awaken the church to a missional approach?
Alan writes a couple chapters, Lance writes most of it, but Alan worked on all of it. Lance’s sections are filled with good stories and practical illustrations of missional living.
Alan maps four moves in “missionality”:
Move out (into missional engagement).
Move in (burrowing down into the culture).
Move alongside (friendships and relational networks).
Move from (challenging the dehumanizing and sinful aspects of our culture).
Lance addresses some of the most concrete elements of missional:
1. Daily life with a missionary’s eye
2. The habit of beholding others (I like this one a lot).
3. Believing and being the gospel
4. Western affluence and spiritual bankruptcy
5. Freeing ourselves to live missionally
6. When things go wrong in the suburbs
7. House churches and small groups as communities of mission (now we’re talking)
8. Joy of hospitality
9. Power of scattered saints