What’s Missing in Missional?

14 Jun

“What a swing! He crushed it, and that ball is going back…back…back…to the wall…gone! Homerun!”

My almost 6 year old son likes baseball. Okay, honestly, that’s an understatement. Most summer days, he wakes up, puts on a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey we bought at a garage sale (complete with pants), fields a couple fly balls in his room, a couple grounders down the hallway, throws a perfect strike-three fastball in the living room, and slides into home plate to win the World Series all on his way to the breakfast table. Yikes!

Recently though, I’ve noticed something (else) he’s doing. He’s narrating all of it. That’s right. Every pitch, hit, ground ball, tag, throw-out, dropped fly ball, slide, pitching change, and pinch runner…narrated. All of it.

Sometimes, I can’t tell whether he’s dreaming of being like Josh Hamilton or Joe Buck. Which, of course, got me thinking…about stories.

Isn’t that the beauty of what’s going on here? Bunts, balks, and baseball bats are just that…unless. Unless, they are cast within the ambiance, plot, and invitation of a story. Then, they take on a grandeur of their own, a timelessness of sorts, with sounds, smells, and signals.

Almost 8 years ago, Heidi and I entered a story…a story already in progress…a story we’ll play a bit part in as it continues long after our roles are no longer needed. Nevertheless, it was (and is) our privilege to join the story, participate in its creation, and experience its unfolding.

The missional story. A God…sent. A God…who sends. A God…who still sends. A God…who put on flesh and moved into the neighborhood. The Father sends the Son. The Son sends the Spirit. The Spirit sends the church. Missional. Incarnational. This has become (and always been) our story.

However, during a recent time in the wilderness, I began questioning the story. Not its origins, storyline, or validity, but mainly, its receptivity, challenges, and purposes. This wilderness time produced a question in me.

It’s a personality trait that continually requires nuancing; however, I tend to critique that which I care about the most. This may not be the best thing for my marriage 😉 however, if you want to know how to get the Dallas Mavericks back on top…

So, with what I hoped was an honest, humble look at myself, my family, my friends, and the movement with which I’ve joined and identify with, I wondered (on Twitter, of course): “What’s missing in missional?”

And thankfully, a few pitched in building blocks toward the construction of answers. As a result, I felt this would make a helpful series of blog posts for these friends to expound upon their contributions. Perhaps, with the help of the Spirit and each other, we can work the circle of this kairos moment.

Jump in. Please. We refuse to go at this alone. The first post will go up Monday, June 18. Thank you for entering the story.

Still learning,


Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Discipleship


12 responses to “What’s Missing in Missional?

  1. gibby

    June 14, 2012 at 8:25 AM


  2. Gailyn Van Rheenen

    June 14, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    My heart stirred as I read this blog about Josh Hamilton, Joe Buck, your son, your life! We anticipate following your blog and journeying with you in life and ministry!


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