In working on putting together this Missions Discipleship Project, we've been hammering together something like a missions statement. It's divided into three parts: the why, the how and the what.
The Why: In everything we do, we seek to transform the status quo in evangelical missions. We believe in doing things differently.
The How: The way we are working to transform the status quo in the world of evangelical missions is by building a new type of missions organization which would disciple a new breed of missionary and connect the gospel of the reign of God with an interconnected, globalized world.
The What: From our home base in Monterrey, Mexico, we assemble and facilitate the training of multinationals to live, work, play, serve, be creative, and minister locally as well as in other global locations. We do all this together, which means in vital relationship both among ourselves and with those in the communities in which we operate. We go to great lengths to remember the human scale of life and ministry - as exhibited, for example, by the lives and ministries of both Jesus and the Apostle Paul - which means to keep it simple, love God, love people, lead by serving and by tapping into our creativity, among others.
Won't you join us?
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Here are some other thoughts ...
We take the cheesy old saying Live Locally, Act Globally quite seriously. We are proud to be evangelicals but we believe evangelicals have personalized and commercialized and institutionalized the gospel almost to irrelevance. In American culture at least, the "gospel" has all too often been presented as nothing more than Jesus the personal Savior giving a personal salvation to an individual personally and this personal salvation has little public value, i.e. social justice engagement. Personal salvation is, as if we have to say, important but it's not the whole of the gospel message. For example, it's like saying that all of a marriage relationship is about sex. Of course sex is a part of the marriage relationship but to say that sex is everything about it ignores all the other aspects. As such, the personal salvation focus on the gospel has ignored many other aspects of what the gospel really is. Yes, we were individually saved but we aren't left just to be individuals. Have we forgotten that we are part of that numberless sand on the seashore or stars in the sky known as the children of Abraham? The Apostle Peter called us a "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" and this, we believe, supercedes our individuality. In this spirit we want to be in relationship with our brothers and sisters who live all over the planet.
We believe that the government of Jesus, God's Davidic Messiah, will be extended to all nations, which are, by the way, our inheritance. We, being a part of this great scattering of Abraham's seed, believe we 've been sent as heralds into the nations bearing God's grand announcement: the government of God has been made manifest in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. This "gospel" is more than just the message of personal salvation - it's the consummation of Heaven and Earth, the opening of a worldwide government of God's Shalom peace and justice proclaimed in the name and authority of the Master Jesus. It is made manifest by His people, the Church Universal, who have for centuries borne His standard of righteousness. Today we are the heralds and standard-bearers and we've been called into the nations. Our message is public. Our message is political. Our message is provocative. This message will challenge all other political orders - whether it be the globalized, democratic neoliberal world order, the Islamic ulama or the dictatorial and communist regimes scattered across the face of the Earth.
We want to challenge this generation with the reality and commitment of the Great Commission. These are big dreams but they've got to begin somewhere. They've got to begin with somebody.
In the words of one of our mentors and heroes, Professor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
Here and there people flee from public altercation into private virtuousness. But anyone who does this must shut his mouth and his eyes to the injustice around him. Only at the cost of self-deception can he keep himself pure from the contamination arising from responsible action. In spite of all that he does, what he leaves undone will rob him of his peace of mind. He will either go to pieces because of this disquiet, or become the most hypocritical of Pharisees.
Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God - the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God.
Where are these responsible people?
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison)