Friday, May 26, 2006

Adrian's Blog: Mark Driscoll Defines Reformission

Adrian's Blog: Mark Driscoll Defines Reformission

Adrian Warnock links to this good quote from Mark Driscoll on defining missional.

"...a radical call to reform the church's traditionally flawed view of missions as something carried out in foreign lands, and to focus instead on the urgent need in our own neighborhoods, which are filled with diverse cultures of Americans who desperately need the Gospel of Jesus and life in his Church"

Here is what puzzles me about all of this.

So many respond to Driscoll's words as if they are completely novel. In my own experience, I have always been a part of churches that are very active in pursuing the lost souls around them and around the globe. I am sure every one of those churches would say they see ways in which they could do both of those things better, but to suggest that they were unconcerned or oblivious to the diverse cultures around them would be silly.

It is in that sense that I don't see much that is "radical" or in need of "reform." I understand that many churches in broader evangelicalism may find befriending ones neighbour with the express purpose of preaching Christ to them as novel. And I suppose that is to whom Driscoll is directing his comments. But I think he makes the error that so many make within the emergent camp also - a form of backlash against their own experience. The trouble with reacting like this is that it writes off whole sections of the church that have been "missional" for centuries.

If there was less painting up of this stuff as the "newest and best thing since sliced bread..."
Less "do this or you are not in...."
More careful research into groups and sub-groups within evangelicalism that are essentially missional even if they have never heard that word....
More reflection on historical churches and denominations that practiced local and worldwide evangelism....
I think the whole concept would gain a wider audience and have more effect for good.

We don't need new ideas, we need the practice of Biblical ones.