This post by Seth Richardson on the Missional Alliance web page caught my attention. It’s titled, “Addicted to Dysfunction: Healing from Missional Misery.” Part of his point is that being “missional,” and “always on the cutting edge” is wearing; but also alluring with something like martyr syndrome. (Not his terminology – so maybe I’m better off just letting you read his post.)

I can resonate with what Seth Richardson is saying, even if the trajectory of thought he put me on is a little different from the exact point of his post. Part of what I recognize is that the responsibility of seeing and then preaching and teaching and trying to participate in the “mission of God” is an overwhelming task – that brings both joy and frustration; both insight and frustration; both energizing vision and depressing weariness. Any other missional Christians out there relate?

Here are a couple of bullet points stirred in me on the theme, “Missional leaders . . . if we’re not careful. . . .”

  • If we’re not careful, we can sound like (and can even start to think) that the whole history of the church before us was messed up and we and we alone have the missing insights to “get it right” and “set [God’s] people straight.”
  • If we’re not careful, we can get so wrapped up in the “justice is part of the mission” that we can glance over the mercy and kindness and forgiveness side of the gospel equation.
  • If we’re not careful, we can get so focused on the “kindness to the world” aspect of the mission that we can forget that lost people are lost (and helping them get “found” is a loving extension, too) and that the kindness of Christ is extended “especially to those of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10).
  • If we’re not careful, we can get so busy working FOR God that we can forget to rest IN God or just LOVE God. (OK – I’m not sure that one is distinctive to “missional” leaders; that might come with the territory of Christian ministry of ANY stripe . . . )

Alright – does that prime the pump at all in you? What other bullet points of “If we’re not careful …” would YOU add to this list, missional leaders?