We met up with another Concordia family, the Kerspiens, on Friday afternoon and for a barbeque together. That Concordia bunch are very friendly! I'd have loved to stay longer into the evening, but had already arranged to meet a blog-land friend, John Jensen. John is a missionary over in Melbourne, who drops by my blog from time to time, and - though we'd not met in person till now - is good-friend-enough to pray for us.
The adjective "interesting" is often used when one is too lazy to think of something better to say, but in John's case it truly applies, along with other words like "colourful" (though, being American, I guess he'd call it "colorful"). One facet of John is his life as a professional cage wrestler - though you can see from my photo that these days he's reduced to wrestling high-backed chairs...John was sharing with some of us about mission; I kicked myself for not bringing a pen, but here are some of his thoughts that stood out in particular for me:
- When it comes to determining the validity of something, Modern people judge/d the message; Postmodern people judge the messenger.
- Our mission is to inflitrate culture / the community...and to have something to say about the things that are central to the construction of that cultural identity. [The church has often failed to do either.]
- The businesses in a community relate to each other in a symbiotic relationship - e.g. the people who work in those offices eat their lunch in these cafes. The church has not been / is not part of that local economy: an analogy [and sometimes a factual description] would be buying a prime shop-front and then doing nothing with it all week except on Sunday - the one day when everyone else who works in the neighbourhood isn't there...
- When Jesus used illustrations like, Look at the flowers of the field, or bread and wine, he wasn't just using images that people were familiar with and could identity with; he was using images that they could not avoid...every time they saw the physical thing they would be confronted with Jesus' words. [It would, in one sense, "spoil" that image for any other purpose; this also ties in with the genius of iconic imagery I touched on in my last post]
Each of these stand-out points got me thinking - though I've tried to limit my thoughts [in editor brackets] in noting his. I'll let them turn over more in my own mind first...