Monday, September 04, 2006

Contextualized Ministry...and Mission

Very short blog, but too long in the works! Doubtless I'll be writing lots more about this as I make my way through a Generous Orthodoxy.

A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative,...emergent, unfinished... by Brian McLaren on Amazon

A Generous Orthodoxy coverY'all you-all know all about contextualizing ministry and mission; reportedly and reputedly we're currently living not in post-modernism but more like post-post-modernism. So how, then, do we contextualize our worship, teaching, preaching and service to suit a post-post-modern culture and population? As individual(!) Christians, how to we present ourselves to the world? Does the world out there already own a caricatured distortion of the idea of Christian? The reality of Christian? Yes, in many quarters it does.

Albuquerque, Boston, Paris (Maine), Haarlem...

...your neighborhood, my neighborhood, wherever, whenever: Labor Day, Valentine's Day, Easter Day! Contextualized in space and in specific linear time, often in terms of a generic calendar event; frequently in terms of someone's life event. Several times today during the news our local ABC affiliate showed a feature about the hazards of starting kindergarten—that's precisely the kind of happening into which individuals and churches could imagine tons of potential for evangelism, mission and ministry: the parent whose first, or middle or maybe last child no longer will be at home; parents whose other siblings are in school or at home; a parent or parents' changed or modified work and social schedules; teachers, principals and other school personnel returning for another year or beginning their first year in the system. You know! In other words, all these situations easily can become live opps for direct service types of ministry as well as for discerning where the persons or families could fit into existing, emerging and not-yet envisioned church and neighborhood programs. How routine it is for people who have grown up in the church to leave but then return when they think they want their kids to get a moral or religious education or training? Even parents who haven't had their kids blessed or baptized? Even parents whose own parents haven't urged them to do so?

As I stated at the outset, this has been short.

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