Monday, July 07, 2008

missional discussion

Brother Maynard at Subversive Influence has a serious series of posts exploring the idea of "missional". I came across it this morning looking for something else of course. He calls this his appendix. Coming in at the tail end maybe I'm living backwards.

I haven't really read through all the links, yet, but it made me ask myself how I define "missional". In it's simplist form I define it as living with a sense of purpose - to love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, strength and to love my neighbor as myself whatever I'm doing, wherever I find them. Not talking about it, just doing it. "Living" suggesting a flesh and blood expression as someone else mentions - Sonja, I think.

So then I asked myself, how does "missional" translate for children?

Children learn through the actions, ideas, and attitudes they see and experience. They learn to think, respond, act in ways that we encourage and reinforce. This includes not only the things we encourage and do with them but also behaviors and attitudes that we allow without correction. Not correcting bad behaviors and attitudes says "that's ok." Making excuses for bad behavior sends the same message.

The alternative? How do you want them to behave? "You can have fun [or] you can be confident [or] you can be flat-out-honest, but what you're doing - that's not how we treat people."

Step 2 , you have to teach them a different way to react and respond in that same situation. What is appropriate? Give them an alternative. "You're being sarcastic. Find another way to say that."

Step 3 Catch them doing it "right." And tell them. "I know ____ upset you but I saw how you handled that. Great job!" "I know you don't like ____ but that was a really kind thing to say."

This is the passage that sums up "missional" for me. It's not that the big social justice projects (giving to the poor, sending $, building houses, etc) aren't important but if I'm not learning to treat every person who crosses the paths of my life with love, dignity, and respect, I don't really understand what Jesus did.

These are just extras:

I Cor 8:1-3(NIV)

I Cor 13:3 (NIV)

Gal. 5:22-26

2 Pet 1:3-11

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