Discerning Mission

New Book Explores Spiritual Formation from a Missional Perspective

Cultivating Sent Communities: Missional Spiritual Formation (edited by Dwight Zscheile) has just been released by Eerdmans. This volume of essays from the 2010 Missional Church Consultation at Luther Seminary engages the question of how leaders can help create missional faith communities that participate in God's healing of the world. It reimagines spiritual formation through the lens of mission, covering such topics as the role of Scripture, congregational discernment, and short-term missions.

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A missional imagination

Gary Simpson offers some insights into how the confessional and missional are spliced together:

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What supports evangelism?

Here's an interesting reflection by a Lutheran pastor in Chicago, as he ponders the success -- and lack thereof -- of his efforts to invite his friends to church. I was struck by this comment, in particular:

Perhaps the power of God to call people through the church resides not in familiarity, or comfort, or the safety of an extended prior relationship. Perhaps it comes through an encounter with something new, surprising, even a little scary.

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Embracing relevance, letting go of survival

Here's a powerful and interesting take on the challenges facing mainline churches, from Mike Rinehart, who is the bishop of the Louisiana Gulf Coast synod of the ELCA. Among other things, he writes that:

The turnaround of the mainline churches will happen when we in those churches care as much about those outside the church, as we do those inside. To embrace relevance, we will have to let go of survival.

What do you think? 

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Go >> communities

by Joshua Linman

Take about 3 minutes and watch just the beginning of this video:



What I loved about this sermon starter video is more than the solid production values and great storytelling -- it was the message shared.

Instead of re-reading our original instruction manual we have been trying to produce a discipleship harvest by pushing and pulling the Church under our own power. We have created programs and structures that distort the true purpose of faith communities and box in the Holy Spirit.

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