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Shakespeare and Missiology


ShakespeareThe universal question remains valid: “To be or not to be?” Many aspire to take on the responsibility of missionary, but when they are faced with an aversion toward both the title and position from those needing to encounter the truth of the gospel, Shakespeare’s question becomes more than relevant. (Who knew that William was a missiologist?) Should I be Missionary? Should I not? Personally, I am almost an M. Seeking to be fully missional, completely on mission, unwaveringly committed to Christ and His commission to us…almost an M.

Years ago I heard Neil Cole share about Paul’s four missionary journeys and how his strategy changed along with the impact of each. Cole’s advice was to wait until the third or fourth journey to start sharing lessons learned. This seemed wise. Time has passed. In different contexts including the U.S. and Europe at times as a supported M and others as tentmaker, I have arrived at the requisite number of prolonged journeys and feel that I have learned some of the questions to ask and have formed some working hypotheses and theories. It is my intention and hope that a tribe may form to share, question, refine, and where necessary, replace these thoughts with ideas that are Christ-centered, biblically-based, and pragmatic. A tribe…almost an M.

In my life and mission experience I have seen some things related to mission that should have been celebrated for the Kingdom which were not. On the other hand I have seen things that should not, in my opinion, have been celebrated as being mission that were. My working conclusion was and remains…I am almost an M.

My past includes maintaining a non-M identity for some of the above reasons as well as maintaining access to a country. The nameless, faceless blog is not my preference, but as I expect to be almost an M in similar situations in the future, this format fits the pragmatic side. Still I hope to interact personally with you that are living the mission in person some time on this side of heaven. Until then, I hope to mutually encourage and challenge one another. Let’s walk together being intentional, being missional, being almost an M. Hamlet would be paralyzed. Shakespeare would, I think, consider it worthy. I am on the advance. What about you?

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Categories : missiology


  1. jeff says:

    I suppose I’m even more “almost” than you. No matter. Consider me part of the tribe.

  2. Brian says:

    Thank you for the blog. I am interested to see more. Can you help me understand your definition of “pragmatic?” I agree with and embrace the pursuit of ideas that are Christ-centered and biblically-based. Webster’s 1828 dictionary (my dictionary of choice as it provided biblical references and predates a politically correct world) uses the words “intermeddle” and “meddling” to define pragmatic. Based on what the Bible says about meddling, I doubt this is where you are going with the word “pragmatic.”

  3. adminsmile says:

    The definition offered by Webster’s 1828 version would be considered archaic today. In the current online version of Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pragmatic) you will find “practical as opposed to idealistic.” This is a good working definition for modern usage and intended connotation here.

  4. Grady Bauer says:

    I too am on this same journey…sharing your struggles….and although I currently find myself as a “professional Christian” I would also label myself an “almostM”. Looking forward to reading more….

  5. C. Holland says:

    Well, I am currently a full-time M in Western Europe, and understand the “nameless, faceless” reasons you have; I also am faceless on my blog for country protection. Keep writing…I’m reading!

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