I feel, once again, the intrinsic link between mission and discipleship has come into sharp focus in a whole variety of situations. At last, today, I've begun reading Alan Hirsch's 'Untamed', which he says is essentially about re-activating a missional form of discipleship. One thing, which disappoints me hugely is the way people use words to avoid the imperatives of Jesus - especially Ministers who use theological language and yet ignore the practical implications. I like the straight-forward application of Alan Hirsch - 'you simply cannot be a disciple without being a missionary - a sent one'. The opposite truism also needs to be stated - 'you can't be a missionary without being a disciple'. It feels almost stupid even saying these things, but there's no doubt in mind they need to be said and done!
Another feature of this week has been the breadth of conversations across the evangelical spectrum. I guess the evening with Bill Johnson at the Colston Hall was one end and I greatly enjoyed being in the thick of that again. I was sorry to miss Shay Claibourne as I was diverted with a pastoral visit, which meant I didn't get back in time - I need to listen to the recording apparently. One thing I did appreciate was the desire to marry mercy and ministry - I realise many have serious questions about the healing ministry and it's not that I don't, but Bill reminds me a lot of John Wimber - generous, sincere, humble and my hunch was 'a good bloke'. Back to today's starter - he does model the marriage of mission and discipleship very well.
Church planting is increasingly on the agenda, which has to be good news. One thing I'm discovering is sometimes the Lord simply waits for us to catch onto his good ideas. It feels like some of prayers recently have merely been waiting for me, or someone, to utter them - why am I so slow/ You don't need to comment on this one!