While reading Total Church, I found this section to be particularly interesting. While talking about living missionally, the authors talk about the gap between rhetoric and reality in our practice: the struggle of thinking practically about how we actually live missionally. They offered a short exercise to help people to think a bit more critically about their context:
We sometimes ask people to imagine they are part of a church planting team in a cross-cultural situation in some other part of the world:
- What criteria would you use to decide where to live?
- How would you approach secular employment?
- What standard of living would you expect as pioneer missionaries?
- What would you spend your time doing?
- What opportunities would you be looking for?
- What would your prayers be like?
- What would you be trying to do with your new friends?
- What kind of team would you want around you?
- How would you conduct your meetings together?
We find it easier to be radical in our thinking when we transplant ourselves outside our current situation. But we are as much missionaries here and now as we would be if we were part of a cross-cultural team in another part of the world. Mission is central to us wherever we are. These are the kind of questions we should be asking wherever we are?
How would you answer those questions?