Inward and outward forces

July 22, 2005

Pressure out / Gravity inKevin Rains is further ahead than most of us, yet he shares this caution:

Gordon Cosby said something a few years back that haunts me. He said that in all his years of service he has never (and he emphasized ‘never’) seen a group go from community to mission. Rather, he said one should organize around mission and community will follow. I’m paraphrasing but that is the basic idea. This haunts because most things I have done over the past 10 years have been attempts to create community that will eventually be on mission together.


Note to self: As much as I long to be emergent, I must focus on being missional. The rest will take care of itself.

Note to self 2: After I finish reading A Generous Orthodoxy, I should go back and re-read The Shaping of Things to Come.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

3 responses to Inward and outward forces

  1. Our pastor did one of his more memorable sermons on that topic, contrasting fellowship and community. He used the Fellowship of the Ring as the example. They are very disparate people (and I use that term loosely, with all the different species involved) thrown together for a purpose/mission. Community arises out of fullfilling that mission together. A bunch of people having a common purpose (a fellowship), even though they are vastly different, will develop community.
    Throw Legolas, Gimli, Merriadoc, and Aragorn in a room together without that common purpose and tell them to develop community – well, I don’t think that would work very well. 😉

  2. Good call jon!
    I reckon this is the right ordering.
    Cosby was an amazing man

  3. i had heard the term “emergent” a couple times before you posted those pbs videos and didn’t know it was a “movement.” seems like the guy was doing everything he could to not mention Jesus in anyway. maybe that was just editing.
    about being communal vs. being missional — they fall in together when the focus is on Christ. maybe that’s what you meant by “focus on being missional,” but i just wanted to state it a little more explicitly. our efforts to not scare people away sometimes water down the message.