The 4 Ds of Missional Engagement

Over at The House Studio blog, Brad Brisco writes,

“When we begin to see the church (individually and collectively) as the sent, missionary people of God, we no longer view the church as the jumping off point when thinking about mission. Rather, we look for God’s activity in our local setting as the place to begin our missional engagement.”

He offers these four Ds of missional engagement (click through each of these points to read more from Brisco):

    Brad Brisco
  • Discover — “If it is truly God’s mission and not ours, then we must discover where God is at work. … We are not always attuned to his activity. In many cases we have to be awakened to what God is doing around us. Therefore, the first step in discovering what God is doing comes through listening.”
  • Discern — “Participating in God’s mission will involve the difficult task of discernment. Not only will we need to discern what God is already doing, but we will need to ask the follow up question, ‘In light of my (our) gifts and resources how does God want me to participate in what He is doing?’ The fact is we can’t do it all.”
  • Do — “The process of discernment is useless if we do not obey what God is calling us to do. When God prompts us to participate in what He is doing in the lives of others, we must be obedient to respond.”
  • Debrief — “Throughout the process of engaging God’s mission we must create opportunities to reflect on our missional involvement. Sometimes this may simply mean we need individual ‘down time’ to reflect upon our activities. We may need to ask God to affirm our involvement, or to ask for clarity of direction. But it will also mean we must carve out time to reflect with others among our faith community. We need to hear what others are seeing and sensing concerning God’s activities and to hear the stories of how others are engaging God’s mission. It is important for us to be in the position to offer feedback on what we are sensing.”

What do you think of Brisco’s four Ds of missional engagement? Would you add any other Ds to this list?

  • John

    I would add Debunk.
    Before even the stage of discovery we need to rid ourselves of christian-speak, churchianity and bibliolatry so that we hear the Holy Spirit properly and can be understood by those we will meet.

    • Steve Knight

      I thought you might go with “Deconstruct,” John, but “Debunk” works just as well. Thanks!

  • Dave Daubert

    This 4 D material was published in 2009 by Dave Daubert, Kelly Fryer and Tana Kjos in the book “The Future Starts Now” (ISBN 978-0-9842356-0-5). When publishing blogs, you should look for related material, previously published information, etc. and then reference that or choose a new topic to write on that week. I contacted this site several weeks ago when I saw this material without appropriate references but have not received a response from the site managers so I am posting this here. If anyone wants the original material with a fuller theological framework you can go to at the ARE Books site.