LC Update – Moving in Mission


This is an email I just sent out to VC Leaders post our meeting tonight. Thought it might be of blog interest as well…..


There are many things on my mind and yet I feel scattered, unfocused, and lacking in deep reflection…. which is a caveat to say, I’ll try to be as brief and succinct as possible.

We had a good LC meeting tonight at the Pleasant Perk. We had a good gathering of folks, but we did miss those who weren’t there. This email is meant to update those who were missing and provide follow up to those who were there.

1. What we did NOT talk about….. I forgot to check in about our meeting time. I am aware that some can no longer do weekend (or maybe it was just Saturdays?) meetings and I wondered what a better time would be. Please email me suggestions – – BUT we will still meet the 3rd Sat (15th) of October at the regular 5-7 time slot on the new deck at the Brownhouse. (Come hungry.) We’ll decide then on a better meeting time.

2. What we did talk about…… We updated each other on life, house church, work, vacations, family, etc….

Then we launched into a vibrant discussion of Generous Orthodoxy. Most gathered resonated with the “Why I Am Missional” chapter and we spent the remainder discussing that. Good discussion. I sensed no sweep conclusions except that we desire to be a Missional community and yet we’re not quite sure how or what that looks like (I hope I’m being fair to our conversation).

To that end I wanted to offer you this list of 12. After the Gospel and Our Culture Network ( wrote Missional Church (which got most people talking about this stuff for the first time) they were constantly asked for examples…. “what does a missional church look like?” In response they did an in-depth study of a handful of churches and the result was Treasure in Clay Jars by Lois Barrett et al. Included here is a list of 12 “indicators [that] are an effort to identify what might be some of the key aspects that contribute to the church’s unique saltiness and yeasty nature in the varied and diverse worlds within our North American Culture today.”

Here are the 12 (do they characterize VC?):

1. The missional church proclaims the gospel

What it looks like: The story of God’s salvation is faithfully repeated in a multitude of different ways.

2. The missional church is a community where all members are involved in learning to become disciples of Jesus.

What it looks like: The disciple identity is held by all; growth in discipleship is expected of all.

3. The Bible is normative in this church’s life.

What it looks like: The church is reading the Bible together to learn what it can learn nowhere else – God’s good and gracious intent for all creation, the salvation mystery, and the identity and purpose of life together.

4. The church understands itself as different from the world because of its participation in the life, death, and resurrection of its Lord.

What it looks like: In its corporate life and public witness, the church is consciously seeking to conform to its Lord instead of the multitude of cultures in which it finds itself.

5. The church seeks to discern God’s specific missional vocation for the entire community and for all its members.

What it looks like: The church has made its “mission” its priority, and in overt and communal ways is seeking to be and do “what God is calling us to know, be, and do.”

6. A missional community is indicated by how Christians behave toward one another.

What it looks like: Acts of self-sacrifice on behalf of one another both in the church and in the locale characterize the generosity of the community.

7. It is a community that practices reconciliation.

What it looks like: The church community is moving beyond homogeneity toward a more heterogeneous community in its racial, ethnic, age, gender, and socioeconomic makeup.

8. People within the community hold themselves accountable to one another in love.

What it looks like: Substantial time is spent with one another for the purpose of watching over one another in love.

9. The church practices hospitality.

What it looks like: Welcoming the stranger into the midst of the community plays a central role.

10. Worship is the central act by which the community celebrates with joy and thanksgiving both God’s presence and God’s promised future.

What it looks like: There is significant and meaningful engagement in communal worship of God, reflecting appropriately and addressing the culture of those who worship together.

11. This community has a vital public witness.

What it looks like: The church makes an observable impact that contributes to the transformation of life, society, and human relationships.

12. There is a recognition that the church itself is an incomplete expression of the reign of God.

What it looks like: There is a widely held perception that this church is going somewhere – and that “somewhere” is a more faithfully lived life in the reign of God.

(p. 160-161 Treasure in Clay Jars, Lois Barrett et al, 2004)

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