who will speak into their narrative?By
They have their own narrative. Regardless of which narrative they’re in…Hybels, Warren, Piper, Bell, Driscoll, Hirsch, Frost…they’re all being shaped by someone. Over the years I’ve noticed that there are very few if any missionaries speaking into their narratives. In the past this was largely impossible because those of us living overseas rarely spend time in the US. Conferences would he held, events attended and we were never to be seen. But all of this has changed….sort of.
Over the last few years more and more of us living overseas have started blogging….and a new tribe has been born. In many ways we’ve started our own narrative. Most of the overseas bloggers are more forward thinking and missional in practice. The great thing has been our ability to connect with each other. I for one usually feel like a misfit in my organization due to my relational/missional approach to life and ministry but among this tribe I feel at home….I experience community in this new tribe. I’ve not only learned alot from reading the blogs but also received alot of encouragement. But could we do more…could we build our tribe and influence the US narrative at the same time?
Some would say it’s not our role to influence the US church. They would argue that it’s the job of the seminaries, the conferences, denominational leadership. I would say this argument is flawed because it reduces mission to a theory…one not being practiced by those teaching about mission. So if we believe that the US church being on mission is necessary for our work…and if we believe that what we do on a daily basis can actually help the US church engage their world better as well….then it’s up to us to not only engage our local narratives with the gospel…but it’s also up to us to engage the US narrative with missional living.
We’re writing our blogs…but are they reading them.? We’re reading our blogs….but are we reading theirs? Are our blogs too focused on missions….too branded for them to see the connection? How else can we help shape the narrative? We can’t complain that we’re left out of the conversation if we’re not actively trying to participate in theirs. On the field we leave our comfort zones, learn the language and enter into their 3rd places in order to have a voice and exercise influence. The same goes for the US pastoral narrative….we need to leave our comfort zones, learn their language and enter their 3rd places …only then will we have a voice and will be able to influence. So the big question is…how do speak into their narrative?