"missio Dei"

 

 

        The Copernican revolution of this concept came along to the churches around the world on behalf of Leslie

Newbigin and inaugurates the foundation for missional theology and the view that a church wanting to be a true

church must be a church in mission.

       Missio dei is only happening in our communities and neighborhoods. The church needs to realize the adaptive challenges it is facing and use a recontextualized message of the gospel and especially the great commandment every time the church meets both its members and dissenters in worship-services and churchly activities[1] and definitely such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals, if it is still to be called a folkchurch in some ten years.

       Very few people have come to grips with what missio Dei and missional church truly mean—namely the Trinitarian and the sent aspects [2] and that “God enters among people who don’t get it.”[3] Since Guder’s Missional Church in 1998, the discussion has spread throughout North America and eventually to Europe and Scandinavia; but, sadly for the most part it has been a discussion of the elite, as Gary Simpson suggests. [4] If one were to ask one of the leaders in any congregation, “What does Fostering a Missional Imagination mean?” the answer would be quite dubious.

       In their book, The Missional Leader, Roxburgh and Romanuk advise leaders to “foster a missional imagination in the church.”[5]

In a similar way, Socrates invented and became famous through his meiotic method of asking questions “to evoke self-discovery,”[6] instead of presenting answers to people. He was like a master or a midwife, fostering what was already there but maybe still hidden.[7]

He called it forward, gave it nutrition, and made it grow; he promoted and supported some intrinsic values and perceptions—and remarkably, not so much for his own sake, but for the sake of the person of whom he asked the questions and in the end for the present society.

       Later Jesus through his teaching, and particularly through his parables,[8] also used of a kind of meiotic method, under the cover of keeping listeners in the dark and for instance maintaining the Messiah Secret,[9] which in the end made people wonder even more about their own questions concerning God.[10]

      The Church is sent to the world, the local church is sent to the World and is not an end in itself. Only in becoming a counter-culture to society and fostering a missional imagination lies the hope for the local as well as the national and international lutheran church.

[1] Smith, James K.A.Who’s afraid of post modernism? (Baker Academic, grand Rapids, MI 2008) 77: “authentic worship does not have to choose between reaching seekers and building up the saints. Incarnational worship does both. “

[2] Craig Van Gelder, ed., “Introduction,” in The Missional Church in Context, 9.

[3] Van Gelder, “How Missiology Can Help Inform the Conversation,” 30.

[4] Simpson, “A Reformation is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” 76.

[5] Roxburgh and Romanuk, The Missional Leader, 150.

[6] Richard Pascale, Mark Millemann, and Linda Gioja, Surfing the Edge of Chaos (New York: Tree River Press, 2000), 254.

[7] Roxburgh and Romanuk, The Missional Leader, 94.

[8] Mark Lau Branson, “Ecclesiology and Missional Leadership for the Church,” in The Missional Church in Context, 99.

[9] David Rhoads and Donald Michie. Mark as Story: An Introduction to Narrative of the Gospel of Mark (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), 83-89.

[10] Roxburgh and Romanuk, The Missional Leader, 135..