Thursday, 29 January 2009


missional DNA ?! Jargon, or helping us get closer to what the heart of this whole missional adventure needs to be all about? The more I think about it, I’m veering towards the latter. There’s no doubt in my own mind that Christianity is much better when it’s caught than when it’s taught and the evidence is all around us among our churches. Pop someone new into a community of faith and they take on the behaviour of those around them much more easily and naturally than what they’re taught from the front. If you talk to churches about what makes them tick, you invariably discover things at their heart (their mDNA), which were either part and parcel of their beginnings, something significant in their past. The question is what should it be? Of course, one step on from this one is ‘how can we change it’? I’d be interested to hear how people express what they believe the dna of a church should be and look like in the lives of the Christian community. I’m experimenting at present, for example, with working out how the mDNA can be encouraged to become real around three areas of relationship – with God, one another and those beyond the church. About 80 years ago this worked by attending church on Sunday’s and listening to a preacher and then going out the rest of the week and working it out in practice – pre-dominantly through personal bible study and prayer and good works of service towards others. Whatever people say about longer working hours today, it was much harder then, so I’m told. Today, that’s not working, so we need some other mechanism. Small groups could help – lifeshapes is a great tool, which encourages a degree of personal accountability, but it’s still pretty structured. What if we encouraged people to meet up simply to pray and ask one another what the implications of what they’re reading about Jesus might look like in their lives – similar to an old Methodist class. I’m in a triplet, which meets before work on Friday mornings – I reckon it provides a better impetus to my own spiritual walk with God than many of the small groups I’ve been in, or led. What is more, it takes little organisational energy – although two of us slept in last week, so that’s not quite true! Anyway, I’m pondering writing up something on this so am really after picking other people’s minds to help determine how it needs to be shaped up, so nay ideas gratefully received.

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