Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Missional in Seattle 2

Todd Hunter made two major presentations. The first one on Friday evening was on the meaning of missional and I didn’t take as many notes as I might have because I was listening so intently. Todd, I should mention, is President of Alpha in the USA and lives outside Boise, ID — and he’s got all kinds of emerging movement connections.The sort who has been there from the beginning. I agree with him that a central issue in the emerging movement is living a missional life.
We met at Buca’s, an Italian Restaurant, and I knew he was special when he said he was a catcher in college and wanted to be a professional baseball player. I could go on …
In his session Friday night, Todd suggested that we need to re-think our story, the gospel of the kingdom of God, and learn how to speak it in our generation.
Second, he reflected on the form of our participation in the kingdom work of God.
And he made an important point that goes far too deep if you care to listen: missional is not something to add to an already over-busy life. It defines or it is not present.
I wish I had more notes on that session, so maybe some who were there would detail their own notes. I got caught up in the dynamism of the session and didn’t write down as much as I wish I had.
On Saturday afternoon Todd talked about how to be missional without being mean. Some are missional zealots and they cause problems. The soul of meannness is contempt, and contempt grows into a willingness to do others harm regardless of the cost. Man, did this little introduction create some spatial silence. So, then, how can we be missional without being mean?
1. You can’t strive to win. Great line of the day: “What does it mean to be a leader of a group of people who are following someone else?” I had not heard pastoral leadership quite like that. To quote Rose: “I love that.”
2. You can’t manipulate.
3. You can’t start from a basis that desires and seeks power.
4. You need to practice the Golden Rule.
5. You need to practice the Great Commandment (now, Todd, this is called Jesus Creed).
6. You need to relax. (Good reminder.)

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posted March 28, 2007 at 2:33 am

Wow – great points.
Nothing makes me lose respect for a pastor more than when they try to manipulate.
In an article that Todd has online along the same subject, Todd has a great quote…
“In the little community I intentionally started and led in Southern California, I had a saying everybody knew about and hopefully experienced: I do not want things from you; I want things for you. But you will always be free to pursue the course that seems best to you and the Spirit.”
I think that attitude would change things a lot.

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Greg Laughery

posted March 28, 2007 at 3:29 am

Excellent. Re-thinking our story, should translate into
Re-living it? If we are going to reach a lost generation with the gospel of the Kingdom of God, revealed through Christ and in the power of the Spirit, these points will have to be deeply woven into our Re-living the story.

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Ted Gossard

posted March 28, 2007 at 4:14 am

Amen. I had the privilege of hearing Todd along with Dallas Willard.
This stuff is rich. I especially like the thought that mission is not something tacked on but something that is to define all we do, or it’s not present. This is challenging to say the least. Reminds me of Jesus’ words about the baptism he was to undergo. He seemed to see all else in relation to that. And like Paul says, we’re to live as those who using the things of this world, are not engrossed in them, the time being short. I take that as missional as well. Isn’t all of life to be?
This is so healthy. We need to keep (or become) strong in our commitment to missionaries serving in far away and difficult places. But we need to see ourselves as those always on mission as part of the holy nation of God’s kingdom in Jesus on earth. Yet at the same time, relax. His yoke is easy, and his burden light.

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posted March 28, 2007 at 6:55 am

Just a reminder that Todd’s talks are available as podcasts here. (Scot’s are also, on the same page)

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Joseph Holbrook

posted March 28, 2007 at 7:02 am

is this the Todd Hunter that is in the Vineyard? I used to know him in Ohio. I strongly agree with his profile of the attitudes of a missional leader, and that is what I have been attempting to project in my involvement on the university campus.
Did he elaborate any on how to tell the story of the good news of the kingdom of God for the new generation? That is what I am wrestling with now.

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posted March 28, 2007 at 7:18 am

I love Todd’s points about being missional without being mean – so simple, yet profound and helpful to my own soul.
I was also wondering what the context was for the quote –
“What does it mean to be a leader of a group of people who are following someone else?”
What was he referring to?

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Scot McKnight

posted March 28, 2007 at 7:32 am

He was referring to leaders who need to know that they are leading folks who are trying to follow Jesus.

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Jeff Hyatt

posted March 28, 2007 at 7:59 am

Okay…I’ll put myself out there on this one. I really appreciate the application pieces of leading in a missional way. But it won’t always be that others perceive you in all of these ways, even when that is what you are pursuing.
This past week I had to end the employment of one of our secretaries because of patterns of interaction with me, other staff, and others that were combative and hurtful. For 3 three years I have been trying to work with her in moving towards more loving patterns of interaction, but we have not seen any growth.
Her response has been that I have been manipulative in orchestrating her employment demise. I have been accused of not living out application points 2-6. I have been reviewed by our Church Council and have been found to have handled things appropriately, however the perceptions of others are often outside of our influence.
I have been finding in our context that opposition to kingdom oriented living comes more from within the church than from without.

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posted March 28, 2007 at 9:27 am

Beautiful stuff. Not to get off point, but when you say Buca’s, do you mean Buca Di Beppo’s? We’ve got one of ’em here in Austin and it rules the Italian food world!
Later on,

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John Frye

posted March 28, 2007 at 9:58 am

I’d also like you elaborate on “missional meanness” or missional zealotry. I appreciate that missional is a way of life, not a compartment of it.

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Matt Stephens

posted March 28, 2007 at 11:06 am

In my experience of missional leadership, the relaxation factor has probably been the biggest challenge. It is, however, something I’ve come to embody the more I’ve seen what uptightness can bring to a conversation. Although, it drives people nuts who are fidgety and uncomfortable with pauses in conversation, and people who are addicted to hype. Sometimes, in the context of missional ministry, I’ve been known to just sort of sit back and watch. I like watching people. And letting them come to me. For example, several of us from The Core would spend time every Saturday night hanging out in conspicuous areas, playing music, talking to folks, drinking 10 cent sodas and the like. And every single time I was down there, without fail, someone I’d never met would approach me and start talking to me about religion and God in their life. One guy just out of the blue told me all about the abuses of his childhood and his struggle to understand God as a loving father. He talked to me for about an hour. I mostly just listened. In my experience, that’s what people want (and need) more than anything. Someone to listen. To me, that’s how you show someone you actually care about them.

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Jay Lewis

posted March 28, 2007 at 11:33 am

I love Todd’s quote: “I do not want things from you; I want things for you. But you will always be free to pursue the course that seems best to you and the Spirit.”
I wish I would have had this understanding years ago as I entered vocational ministry as a pastor. I think I would have saved myself and others a lot of misery!
Coming to this understanding a few years ago (as well as some of the other 6 being missional without being mean points Todd shares)has truly set me free in leading others that follow Jesus!

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posted March 28, 2007 at 12:05 pm

The exercise that Todd had us do where we looked at how Jesus proclaimed the “Gospel” and how Paul proclaimed the “Gospel”, was very eye opening for me. I loved his catagories of the Gospel of Jesus and the Gospel about Jesus. and his comment ” The Gospel is not a message to proclaim but a forum for our participation in what God is doing”
Good stuff

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Michelle Van Loon

posted March 28, 2007 at 2:33 pm

For all of you in the Chicago area (northern `burbs) – Todd Hunter will be speaking at the Catalyst quarterly meeting at Immanuel Church in Gurnee on Friday morning, April 13. Here’s a link with all the details:

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Rick Meigs

posted March 28, 2007 at 2:59 pm

I was bless to be able to attend this Seattle session, and it was really great. Todd and Scott did just a super job. I’ll be blogging on both Todd’s and Scott’s presentations.

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