09 April 2009

Missional Activity (according to Larry Crabb)

pegs-1I want to share a few thoughts that Larry Crabb presented at the School of Spiritual Direction this past week.

It deals with the idea of what it means to be missional. Yes, of course, I’ve been a fan of the emerging church and what it means to be missional, but there always seems to be something missing.

I think Scot McKnight’s comment about postmodernism and its relationship to the emerging church in the April 2009 issue of the UK Magazine Christianity,

We found that it tasted good, even if at times we found ourselves spitting out hard chunks of nonsense.

I can concur with that sentiment. However, Larry Crabb gave a short overview of what he thinks it means to be missional, which I would like to reproduce here.

Disclaimer: Any cloudiness or murkiness engendered by this article is my fault and not Larry Crabb’s.

Larry suggested that often we approach the missional activity like this:


This is based on our Passion, message, vision, and Strategy.

What do we do? We dialogue, organize, and initiate. And we end up with:

  • Package the message
  • Get a plan
  • Create a team
  • Pray

The result? We make it happen!

This is linear, systems thinking at its best.

Larry Crabb suggests another path: Reflect, repent, and release.

Again we start with an Idea:

1. We begin by reflecting as asking the questions: What is my ruling passion? What is God’s passion? What other passions do we see?

2. We look at Relationships. The questions we ask may include:

  • What is my lifestyle?
  • Am I weary or tired?
  • Can I say “no”?
  • Am I appreciative of others?
  • What kind of feedback am I getting?
  • What is my history?
  • Do I have self awareness of this idea?

3. This leads to Repentance.

  • Where’s the fire?
  • Is there a spirit of rest?
  • Do I have the courage to say no?
  • Is it attractive to others (especially to those closest to me)?

4. This leads to a Release to Ministry. This leads to:

  • Prayer
  • Discerning a commitment
  • What has God provided
  • The message is developed
  • There is a deliberate strategy

This is definitely not systems thinking. It is also not how we usually do ministry. Think about it, and work through it, and give me any feedback you may have.




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1 comment:

  1. Some years ago I visited a women's monastery. They saw themselves as missional, but they rejected any of these "business plan" models of mission. They did not plan, so strategise. They prayed. And when a mission opportunity came their way, they prayed about that too, and if they believed that it was go God, they went for it.