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An Essential Metaphor


book-cover-with-gray-matConveying what is arguably the best metaphor for missional, incarnational living, “Live Sent: you are a letter” is a healthy, needed read for followers of Christ. Jason Dukes, who I am proud to call a friend, uses an extended metaphor or conceit throughout the book to share the ever-present reality that as disciples and disciple-makers we are the image of Christ to the lost. Like the snail mail or an email that is sent to be read, our lives are the content that communicates who Christ is. The reading of a letter or email can happen anywhere, but it must be close and personal. It is real. The book is a call to examine the way we live our lives. It is a call to live sent. Constantly. Consistently. Christ-like. Living sent.

Jason poses the question, “What’s my part in this epic called humanity?’ His answer is that each of us is to live our lives just as we are sent by God–because we are. In the book he communicates four main points.

First, he suggests that “there may be some things we need to rethink.” These things include life, church, relationships, and our intentions. He encourages the reader to ask if the way we are doing each of these is consistent with our call to live sent?

Second, he states that “living sent is all about trusting your value.” Made in the image of God, we can move forward in confidence that our life or our “live” (short “i” there) is worthwhile because of him.

Third, he shares that to live sent, we must do life together. He writes that the “epic of humanity…should be seen most beautifully within the movement Jesus started that he called His ‘church.'”

Fourth, we are to be consistently “giving ourselves away intentionally.” There is a really good example for that. Enough said.

Pick the book up and read it–to the end. Don’t miss out on the stories and the post scripts. They are important to make this both a “construct shift” and provide some practical, non-sequential handles to put this in motion. Because after all, living sent is about making disciples as we go.

One final note here that is important. It is the unwritten but very read post script. Jason is one humble guy. Borrow or steal his stuff and he’ll be fine. Just live and share it is his hope. Jason is unique in that he is not reacting to something that he grew up with that he needs to fix or improve. He has seen this sentness lived out in his family as he grew up in inner-city New Orleans doing life there. Watching his parents live sent there. He is blessed as he is part of a network of other humble leaders and followers and learners. He walks through life with some great guys that are also humble leaders: Jim Collins (no, not that Jim Collins the other one), Hal Haller, Robert Beckman, Adam Mayfield, Billy Mitchell, and others. These men along with their wives and children make up a great cloud of witnesses that are making disciples as they live sent. This is a tribe that has encouraged their brother Jason to write down the way that he has lived and shared and modeled and lived…so that others may see the realness of it. So that others may be challenged and encouraged to live sent.┬áThese are guys that are a blessing to me though we have been together only for a spot of time so far. Thank you Jason and crew.

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  1. Just finished reading my copy of the book tonight. A great read.

  2. Scott Wood says:

    I like, but somehow feel uncomfortable with the live sent metaphor. Maybe it is how we, people, tend to mix metaphors. I am concerned that in application most of us understand live as me and sent as someone else. The key is perspective. I haven’t read the book and assume it also raises this concept. God is the sender and each day He sends me to live a life of obedience to His will. Maybe this is stating the obvious, but I believe it is pivotal to the living sent. Otherwise we are probably trying to rely on our own understanding to live sent or not living or not being sent.

    Great post!

  3. adminsmile says:

    Larry, now that you have read it, you should post a review. Would love to read your thoughts on it.

    Thanks for the comment and the encouragement Scott. I really appreciate it. While I’m with you on not mixing metaphors, I personally haven’t seen this in that way. This phrase is, I believe, consistent with the Missio Dei or “sending of God.” As we are to be imitators of Christ or his disciples we are to be representing and living out the sending of God. Like little images Him–little images of “sentness”–if you will. This is, I believe, to be consistent with the Shema where we are to be about this as we sit at home and walk along the road when we lie down and get up–aka 24/7/365. It is the better translation of Matt 28:19 which would read “AS YOU GO….” Together, this leads to the “live sent” reality that Jason is describing.

  4. I will post on it soon. Trying to get my new blogsite going you know:) I will say this after reading this. As you know I am a HUGE advocate of living sent in the context of community. While I do believe that God calls us to live sent, I also believe this is intended to be in community with other believers, the church. This is another element of the book that I like. The church is an important part of what Jason is talking about. Thanks for the post.

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