Platforms are not where ministry happens.

Ministry happens in the neighborhood;

With life rubbing up against life,

With the sharing of the miseo dei,

participating in Christ,

seeing the imago dei in others.

You can’t phone it in.

–Michael Frost, PGF 2007 closing talk

What does this mean for us? Living as Jesus did, being incarnational as He was, “dressed in his cloak” takes on many different faces. How do we do it in our lives? Does this mean we all move to marginal areas of society? Do we abandon our comfortable, banal, middle-class, consumer driven lives?

How will you embody Jesus in your community? Imagine for a moment that you are staying in your particular corner of suburbia (or urbanhood). Imagine living your life counter-culturally with in that context. What does that look like? Do you have the courage for that? Do I? I know that I want to.  I want to start where I am and be faithful countering all the ridiculous cultural baggage that has been attached to the idea of following Jesus. I want to identify it all and burn it up.

Most of the time.

Sometimes, I’m lazy and give in the numbing ready-made society I live in. Looking around, I see my response is not the minority.

My prayer is that I will not close my eyes. I will follow Jesus in the midst of suburbia, taking the necessary risks of letting go…of the institution, of the baggage, of materialism, consumerism, of the creature comforts, of my sin of omission, of not caring for those suffering around me, of the fear of being rejected, ridiculed, ignored…

Will you join me? Can we take in God’s love for us and then live it out?

Yesterday I read this really good article in Leadership Journal on ministry teams. I had been hearing the term “five-fold” ministry lately in the pentecostal circles around town and on the net. My bias is that I always look very closely at pentecostal justifications for anything because there are some important ideas I don’t think are biblical (ie. Oneness Pentecostals and their view on the Trinity).

[And for full disclosure I will say that even though much of my theology falls in the “reformed” camp, I am very open to being corrected and learning more from other traditions and viewpoints. I think that is one of the reasons I enjoyed Brian McLaren’s, A Generous Orthodoxy, because I could relate to developing a theology that spanned traditions connecting the body of Christ v. dividing it. Additionally, I believe in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and am not a cessationist.]

So, when Steve Hickey (a C. Peter Wagner fan) pointed out in his post that this article was in leadership I was intrigued. (more…)