Monday, June 23, 2008

What Is Missional? Six-Word Stories

I am relieved that Alan Hirsch had already posted his “What is missional?” contribution to this synchroblog before I did my final draft. And that so many others have already posted by the time this posts. That takes all the pressure off! ;^) So, AbiSomeone is going to go if a completely different direction ….

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.

  1. Right reality. Right response. Right representation.
  2. To be is to be perceived. (Bishop Berkeley understood the essential truth.)
  3. Because God perceives us, we exist.
  4. God created, regardless of the method.
  5. Eikons bear God’s image. Respect that.
  6. God IS community; we can join.
  7. God’s invitation must be accepted unconditionally.
  8. God’s love builds and restores relationships.
  9. The Jesus Covenant transcends all predecessors.
  10. Jesus is Lord. Understand the implications.
  11. Adopted. Joint heirs. Ambassadors. Siblings.
  12. Kingdom heirs share in Kingdom responsibilities.
  13. Jesus is Lord – we’re his ambassadors.
  14. Ambassadors are sent on Kingdom mission.
  15. Kingdom ambassadors are the King, incarnate.
  16. Jesus became human to transform humanity.
  17. In Christ + Like Christ = With Christ.
  18. Apart from Christ, nothing can grow.
  19. Every privilege given serves a Kingdom purpose.
  20. God’s mission – search and rescue – is participatory.
  21. Covenant making implies faithful covenant keeping.
  22. Hesed is covenant keeping’s essential description.
  23. Understand hesed; everything else explains itself.
  24. We are responsible for one another.
  25. Hesed is right attitudes lived out.
  26. To really know is to do.
  27. Knowledge without obedience is basically worthless.
  28. God does not fear our questions.
  29. Hesed glasses focus on right response.
  30. Hesed glasses reveal appropriate covenant context.
  31. God’s missional covenant requires hesed glasses.
  32. Availability, vulnerability and the heretical imperative.
  33. Sin is failure to practice hesed.
  34. Discipline includes making timely course corrections.
  35. Proper pruning requires contemplation before cutting.
  36. Timely pruning is much less painful.
  37. Healthy cells result in healthy organisms.
  38. An interrupted life manifests kairos time.
  39. Interruptions are frequently appointments from God.
  40. Servant leaders know how to submit.
  41. When perceiving needs, become God’s provision.
  42. God’s community has unity. Get it.
  43. Unity is the fruit of hesed.
  44. The few. The faithful. The Hasidim.
  45. Following Jesus. Using gifts. Loving all.

    And don't forget to check out the rest of the synchrobloggers:

    Alan Hirsch
    Alan Knox
    Andrew Jones
    Barb Peters
    Bill Kinnon
    Brad Brisco
    Brad Grinnen
    Brad Sargent
    Brother Maynard
    Bryan Riley
    Chad Brooks
    Chris Wignall
    Cobus Van Wyngaard
    Dave DeVries
    David Best
    David Fitch
    David Wierzbicki
    Doug Jones
    Duncan McFadzean
    Erika Haub
    Jamie Arpin-Ricci
    Jeff McQuilkin
    John Smulo
    Jonathan Brink
    JR Rozko
    Kathy Escobar
    Len Hjalmarson
    Makeesha Fisher
    Malcolm Lanham
    Mark Berry
    Mark Petersen
    Mark Priddy
    Michael Crane
    Michael Stewart
    Nick Loyd
    Patrick Oden
    Phil Wyman
    Richard Pool
    Rick Meigs
    Rob Robinson
    Ron Cole
    Scott Marshall
    Sonja Andrews
    Stephen Shields
    Steve Hayes
    Tim Thompson
    Thom Turner

    Be blessed as you ponder the importance of the term missional and its impact.


    Anonymous said...

    Abi’s story. Abi growing. Abi going.

    AbiSomeone said...

    Abi blushes in shades of purple. ;^)

    Thanks for stopping by, Rick. You've had lots of blog "encouragement" rounds to make today!

    I forgot these three:

    Hesed's attitudes: love, grace and mercy.

    Hesed lived out: submit, serve, lead.

    Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

    Anonymous said...


    Wonderful post. Your six word stories really hit mark when thinking about incarnational and missional.

    AbiSomeone said...

    Thanks, Rob! I was surprised when I read Mak's blog ... of three-word phrases! There were lots of really good posts out there... I hope to have more time to read them this week!