A friend recently pointed me to an article called Why the Missional Movement will fail by Mike Breen on the Verge blog which surfaced the following...
"We took 30 days and examined the Twitter conversations happening. We discovered there are between 100-150 times as many people talking about mission as there are discipleship (to be clear, that’s a 100:1). We are a group of people addicted to and obsessed with the work of the Kingdom, with little to no idea how to be with the King."
I am as grateful as anyone for the voices within the missional movement but I'm especially encouraged to hear some healthy self-criticism. Regarding this idolizing of "missional" I was reminded of the following powerful scene...
My concern for missional ideology is that for many it continues to be about a new kind of success and accomplishment without much real change to the consciousness of the church. Will it prove to be a movement that is producing wise spiritual directors and elders who help us discern, grow up and see our own poverty? Or is it just another form of merit-badge spirituality dressed in red diverting our attention away from the still small voice?
When I pause long enough to hear God I sometimes recognize that even in my best work for the poor I'm working independently for God rather than collaborating with the Spirit to work with God. It's when I'm most in touch with my most poor and human self that transformation appears most visible. And that doesn't happen near as often as I'd like...
Getting caught gawking at the woman in the red dress (ego-driven missional) doesn’t surprise or embarrass me near as much as it once did. Thank God the gospel writers included the many humble moments of the Apostle Peter so that I see that I’m in good company in my desire to join Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration or my attempts to cut the ear off the enemy.
It's hard in today's world of social media along with the strange publishing and public speaking machine to not fall guilty to at least a little bit of silly self-promotion. It's a struggle I face every time I simply post something on the blog. It's why we must carry the tension of both action & contemplation. It's in the stepping back and observing of myself that I'm reminded of my own neediness, immaturity... poverty. I'm reminded of what it feels like to be drawn by the soul rather than driven by my ego.
"If there is such a thing as human perfection, it seems to emerge precisely from how we handle the imperfection that is everywhere, especially our own. What a clever place to hide holiness, so that only the humble and earnest will find it! A "perfect" person ends up being one who can consciously forgive and include imperfection rather than one who thinks he or she is totally above and beyond imperfection."
~ Rohr, Falling Upward