24 February, 2006 11:50 AM
Just had an email question from someone who came across this site. it's a question that I've had on a number of occasions so thought i'd blog my answer:
'I've been traipsing around your site, (niceely constructed, by the way,) and impressed with both the sophistication and honesty of thought that i find. However as seems to be the case with a lot of emerging church talks, blogs etc, there's a lot of talk about mission and being incarnational etc but very little about anything practical that folks may have done....
I would love to have some practical examples of what real incarnational mission can look like.'
I think you're right in your observation but I would suggest that the reason why you probably don't see many examples written about (or at least it's why I don't do it) is for three reasons:
1. I don't write about this type of thing because the missional encounters that I/we have are with people that we love and care about who we don't really want to write in a public setting about. ie for me - a lot of my mission is done through my work which is in the 'virtual world'. Work leads me into all kinds of great relationships of different kinds and levels, but it's not really appropriate to talk about them in this setting (or perhaps any).
2. The other thing is that most of the mission LivingRoom people do is very 'ordinary' and 'everyday' type relational stuff and I suspect this is true for many. Perhaps the idea of writing about the coffees we have with people or the bbq we put on or the food we drop around to someone etc are not very 'bloggable' in most people's minds. It's a tricky one I guess because in a sense incarnation is about 'doing life' with those around you and sometimes that doesn't make very exciting reading :-)
3. Probably the third thing that I'd say is that to this point LivingRoom hasn't really engaged in any formal or program oriented missional activities. For us mission has been much more about the everyday. We're not anti programs, and have talked about doing mission in this way, but to this point we've had a different outworking of our outward journey of faith. Perhaps this is really the same as point 2 above, but I think it'd be easier to write about a program than actual relationships - maybe?
For these reasons I don't really have too many stories to tell.
What does mission and incarnation look like in practice? For me and most of LivingRoom mission is about friendship and relationship. It's about letting our world's collide with each other and getting to know each other's friends. It's about being aware of our community and the issues it faces and challenging ourselves to look for what God is doing around us and to find ways of joining in. It's about going about daily life attempting to find God in the everyday stuff of life - it's about living with 'holy intent' to coin a phrase a friend of mine uses a lot.
In practice this means coffees, bbqs, emails, IM conversations, talks over the fence with neighbors, getting involved with the local sporting club, parties and many other aspects of normal life.