Is There Really a “Missional Crisis”?

Dave Kludt, a pastor/equipper at Kairos Hollwood, writing at The Burner Blog last week suggested,

'We <3 Crisis' photo (c) 2009, Alex Guerrero - license:“The missional church faces a crisis of information saturation. Much of the missional conversation has centered on ideas — brilliant ideas, ideas rooted deeply in theology and the sending nature of God — good ideas shared over coffee, blogs, and breakout sessions — but primarily ideas.

“It’s been a conversation — an exchange of words and thoughts — a cerebral and theological exercise that allows for something akin to Bonhoeffer’s cheap grace; as long as you can talk the missional talk, the shape and structure of your church and your leadership doesn’t actually have to change.”

He goes on to give a simple answer to this pressing problem: discipleship. But not just discipleship, Kludt gives a resounding endorsement of exactly the kind of discipleship produced by Mike Breen and books and resources like Multiplying Missional Leaders produced and distributed by Breen’s 3DM organization.

Hmmm. I think Kludt has a point about the danger of the missional conversation being just that, a conversation, which could very well never lead one to take action. (Although missional people seem like some of the most motivated people I know!) And the existence of yet another missional church blog (like this one) could just be more fodder for Kludt’s argument, more talk about good ideas that goes nowhere.

I agree with him that discipleship is the answer. And I understand the appeal of Kludt’s simple solution to the proposed problem. The 3DM model seems to be a compelling and successful strategy. But …

But it’s just one model, one way of doing missional community. I doubt Breen or anyone in 3DM would argue it’s the “only way,” in fact that would be somewhat un-missional to suggest a “one size fits all solution.” I mean, how un-contextual would that be?

As the old saying goes, if everything’s a crisis then nothing is a crisis. Right? OK maybe I just made that up, but you know what I mean. We love a good crisis. And I’m not sure this is a crisis. A tragedy, maybe, yes.

It would be a tragedy to just talk about all this stuff and never take action. Fortunately, I don’t see that happening. I see people taking action and doing wonderful things all over the place. And some folks are using 3DM’s model and others are riffing off Hirsch and Frost, and others are building missional businesses or forming neo-monastic intentional communities, and and and (the list goes on).

Am I wrong? Is there really a “missional crisis”? What do you see?

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