Our local paper recently had an article about a powerful little concept. I could not find the paper, of course, when I was ready to write this … but the concept was powerful enough that I could Google it. (I really do appreciate Google!). This is what I found: SMITH Magazine’s new book: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure:
"Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking our readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet … and poignant … to the inspirational … and hilarious….”
Now I just happened to be reading Neil Cole’s new book, Search and Rescue, when a rush of six-word thoughts about “missional” began to pop into my head. So I began to write them down in the front pages of Neil’s book. (Note to Neil’s book designer: red paper looks cool, but is a real drag for writing notes – too hard to read!)
I transferred these notes to a piece of notebook paper and began to continue my list … and add to it … and prioritize the entries. And what I ended up with is a series of 45 six-word stories about God, God’s Eikons (human image-bearers), God’s mission, God’s missionaries and what my friend Brad calls Kingdom Culture … and it’s title is this little six-word story:
Covenant Community, Mission, Ambassadors and Hesed.
- Right reality. Right response. Right representation.
- To be is to be perceived. (Bishop Berkeley understood the essential truth.)
- Because God perceives us, we exist.
- God created, regardless of the method.
- Eikons bear God’s image. Respect that.
- God IS community; we can join.
- God’s invitation must be accepted unconditionally.
- God’s love builds and restores relationships.
- The Jesus Covenant transcends all predecessors.
- Jesus is Lord. Understand the implications.
- Adopted. Joint heirs. Ambassadors. Siblings.
- Kingdom heirs share in Kingdom responsibilities.
- Jesus is Lord – we’re his ambassadors.
- Ambassadors are sent on Kingdom mission.
- Kingdom ambassadors are the King, incarnate.
- Jesus became human to transform humanity.
- In Christ + Like Christ = With Christ.
- Apart from Christ, nothing can grow.
- Every privilege given serves a Kingdom purpose.
- God’s mission – search and rescue – is participatory.
- Covenant making implies faithful covenant keeping.
- Hesed is covenant keeping’s essential description.
- Understand hesed; everything else explains itself.
- We are responsible for one another.
- Hesed is right attitudes lived out.
- To really know is to do.
- Knowledge without obedience is basically worthless.
- God does not fear our questions.
- Hesed glasses focus on right response.
- Hesed glasses reveal appropriate covenant context.
- God’s missional covenant requires hesed glasses.
- Availability, vulnerability and the heretical imperative.
- Sin is failure to practice hesed.
- Discipline includes making timely course corrections.
- Proper pruning requires contemplation before cutting.
- Timely pruning is much less painful.
- Healthy cells result in healthy organisms.
- An interrupted life manifests kairos time.
- Interruptions are frequently appointments from God.
- Servant leaders know how to submit.
- When perceiving needs, become God’s provision.
- God’s community has unity. Get it.
- Unity is the fruit of hesed.
- The few. The faithful. The Hasidim.
- Following Jesus. Using gifts. Loving all.
And don't forget to check out the rest of the synchrobloggers:
Cobus Van Wyngaard
Be blessed as you ponder the importance of the term missional and its impact.