book review: Creating A Missional Culture

creating

When I consider books about the missio dei that have most profoundly impacted my life and my missional worldview, Creating a Missional Culture, by JR Woodward ranks highest on the list.

I’m on my third read through this book and I am wearing out another highlighter as I consider all the ways I can live missionally in my church, my community and the world.  Even more than how it applies to ME personally, this book offers incredible insight into engaging my already existing church family in the mission of God.

After reading thru his chapters on the 5 equippers (from Ephesians 4), I felt more empowered than ever to fully embrace my gifting of apostle/prophet.  That empowerment – along with the encouraging words of another strong apostolic woman – pushed me forward into ministry that I had never considered before.  To be reminded that all the equippers were meant to work together and in harmony for the cause of Christ and His kingdom was just the picture that I needed to more fully serve the church “for the sake of the world”.

My personal story involves frustration with the status quo of the church in America today.  The insights in this book, along with a heart submitted to the Holy Spirit’s leading, moved me past being a common cynic and into being a leader filled with hope for all the church can be!

What do we bring?

I’ve been reading through Romans the past few weeks.  This morning was a collision of reading Romans 10 and thinking about an upcoming trip I’m taking.  (Am I the only one that noodles together those sort of things???)

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:13-15

Isn’t that an amazing apostolic scripture?!  Clearly, as I’m preparing for a mission trip of sorts, I would take special notice of this “sent” passage, but one little word stands out today:

Bring.

What should I bring with me on my trip?

Good news.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations. Isaiah 61:1-4

As apostles – or sent ones – we have the opportunity to bring something as we go.  Let’s be sure that what we are bringing is truly what is needed.

Good news.

romans10

 

Fog

I awoke this morning to the sun shining and a beautiful sky.  I pulled the curtains open in my living room to reveal the early dawn landscape out my back window.  The colors were magnificent!

Within an hour, the color is no longer visible.  A fog quickly rolled in and robbed me of the bright blues, pinks, oranges and purples that I was enjoying just moments earlier.

fog

A few quick thoughts:

  • How quickly things can change!  The atmosphere changed and my perspective is different!
  • The colors are still there!  I just can’t see them through the fog.

I am thinking a lot about the Kingdom and mission.  The atmosphere seems thick right now; some of the things that seemed so clear are now super foggy.  My continued prayer has been that God would “change the atmosphere and build (His) Kingdom”!  I’m going to amend my prayer a little: God – lift the fog that seems to have set in and restore the clarity and vibrancy!

It’s there!  We just can’t see it!

This morning I am thankful for the hope that God has firmly planted in my heart!