What’s interesting is the Buzz word “Missional”. It’s used in circles all around the evangelical world. What’s more interesting to me is the word when applied brings a sense of fulfillment to those who are engaged in reaching the community. I mean let’s look at it. As a young professional moves into my community (gentrification) and begins to take the resources, the power of dominant culture, the education, and even investors, the young professional begins to in a sense ‘Take-over’ his/her community and the feeling is good! I mean doesn’t that feel good? To be lifted up due to the great charity such one individual is performing. The end of the day, the head lays rest on the pillow and the nice sound of, “Ahhhh” comes right out. This isn’t a new thought, a new idea that’s coming forth, I mean great writers like Soong-Chan Rah and others have been writing about this for years. What’s disturbing is the feeling of “Missional” and even though the minds might be pure without any motives, what happens is, the folks in my neighborhood get pushed out, their voice fades by force, and worse yet, their history is re-written. Jobs increase but the felons, the single moms and at-risk families have nothing to look forward to except a strenuous move of locations. Is the ‘Missional’ movement reaching out? Is the ‘Mission’ of God being accomplished when the area becomes to expensive for my people to occupy? Is it ‘Missional’ when a believer one who is suppose to do better to those in the household of faith (I can’t imagine how the unsaved feel) but CAN’T because the system’s of social enterprise push out my people (people of color) due to the fact that we may not have what the dominant culture wants in return for social enterprise. More like you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch your back. That’s nice isn’t it? Well it is if your resources are equal and what your bringing to the table benefits the partner. Well that sounds like good sense, that sounds like a good deal. Well take it or leave it. It is a prejudice system and I’ve usually come to find that when my people begin to rise up in a social enterprise, they are pushed back by the dominant culture. Here’s what a man of God told me. “Once you get to know my pastor, he might be interested in helping you out. He doesn’t know you and he probably doesn’t want to support something that he’s not interested in.” I felt, if I just get to know him then maybe he may contribute to my community development vision on reaching the lost in my community. But if I have nothing to give him in return other than transformed lives, it didn’t seem there was anything this family member could do for me. Well, maybe it doesn’t look that way through your lens, but take a step back for a moment and look through the lens in my eyes or better yet lens of Jesus as he walked the earth teaching his disciples to make disciples in the Nations (Multi-Ethnicity). Take a moment and read the following statement:
The first documented instance of social enterprise activity arose as a result of the plague (Black Death) epidemic of 1665. As wealthy families fled London, many poor people were left unemployed. Thomas Firmin provided the unemployed with raw materials for continuing their usual occupations and set up a factory scheme to provide employment for 1700 people. Firmin argued that these enterprises need not be wholly profit-making, the element of profit being there merely to mitigate and make more efficient the input of charitable funds (”the loss of two pence in the shilling as money well spent”).
Now is this what we look for today? By no means, it’s about what is going to bring a profit in return. What’s in it for me? I wise gentleman told me recently oh which by the way had nothing to do with Christianity, “Now look at your name. Before I even see what you look like I read your name Adrian Sandoval, and already stereo-type and label you.” I thought for a minute, and thought you know what your right. He said by your name alone thoughts run through my mind, “he’s mexican, he’s poor, he’s uneducated and so on…”.
When I think about being ‘Missional’ I’m not looking forward to using the buzzword “MISSIONAL”. It’s a scary thought to know that if we are actually suppose to reach the world including our local cities, the kingdoms, than I would rather use the word “MULTI-ETHNIC MISSION”. I want to make sure my people and your’s can have equal opportunity to hear the message of reconciliation without discrimination. Again, what I have to bring to the table is rooted deep in my roots of spiritual history, rooted deep in my soul of fighting for what’s right, having equal opportunity. I don’t want to take my kids to a conference that lead by all whites! If my kids are going to be interested, my people including adults, I want to see people that look like me included as well. Not just a black worship leader, not just a immigrant from mexico leading the only Mexican/spanish workshop to spanish speaking only. I want to see “Multi-Ethnicity” in charge. We need to wake up. We have a black president, and a Latino pope, but when it comes to evangelical circles, it’s only one dominant culture presiding. Let’s MYX IT UP!
I thirst for the ‘Body of Christ’ to be kingdom reflected. My word for the year is ‘Multi-Ethnicty Ministry’. I pray this blog finds you challenged and encouraged because let’s face it. Our churches are growing, our people are excited, and we are on ‘Multi-Ethnic’ MISSION!
Tha MYX Denver