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.)