Missional lives

It won’t be too long in this bog before you realize that one of the guys I look up to greatly is Mark Driscoll. Mark is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  I love to read what he writes and watch anything I can find with him. Check out this Youtube video if you want to watch the whole thing, but I want to concentrate on the last thing that he said. “

When Hudson Taylor shows up in China and dresses in Chinese dress and learns Chinese language and eats Chinese food and gets a Chinese haircut everybody says, ‘There’s a good Christian.’ When we do that in punk rock culture, people think it’s capitulation. I think there’s hypocrisy there. That’s why we’re not reaching Americans. We have a double standard – that we get stuck on the style and forget the substance of the Gospel.      

This is something that interests me greatly. Leading missional lives is another way of saying that we are missionaries to our own culture, right? So that means that I am a missionary to Traverse City culture. I’m convinced (and convicted) that I need to immerse myself in Traverse City culture, much more so than I have. Do I dress like a Traverse City-ite? To some extent, but not entirely. Do I talk like I’m from Traverse City? NO! I have tried not to do that one, because like the southern accent! 😛 But the point is, it is so easy for me to get lackadaisical and stop studying the culture that God has called me to minister in. So what do you think? How well do you know your culture? And what can we do to know it better?


~ by lukewil86 on June 20, 2007.

6 Responses to “Missional lives”

  1. Good point. I love that quote! I hadn’t heard it before, though I’d heard the Hudson Taylor point made before…

    I’ve at times been quite proud of the fact that I was “different” than society. But I shouldn’t be, really. Sure, I can be different in some ways. I should be more loving, kind, forgiving, etc…but I don’t have to talk weird, or dress weird, or act weird. Dress weird is my biggest problem…I’m prone to thinking that if I’m going to dress differently (i. e., modestly), why not dress extremely differently? But I don’t have to look like I stepped out of the 1800’s in order to be modest, but if I give the impression that being a Christian means being weird, then I turn people away. I like Mark Driscoll’s point about making them feel comfortable so that they can hear the message (bad paraphrase, I know, but you know what I mean). So, I need to work on dressing and acting like a typical teen where I can.

    But I don’t think you need to worry about not talking like a TC native–we can hear you talk about soda and still survive. 🙂

  2. Related to what you said, I am going to write another post [possibly tomorrow] about another Mark Driscoll Youtube video from the Desiring God conference where he talked about deciphering what the underlying values of culture are, and it’s a good one in relation to dress.

    I think that you should dress/act like a teenager in Traverse City that is trying to BE Christ to a lost and dying world around you. Whatever you think that looks like, as long as you have seriously thought through it. I think that it is entirely possible to dress modestly and dress as a part of culture. But more than that, I think that it may be other stuff, like not buying a brand, no matter what the style, because their products are made in sweat shops, for instance. It takes a lot more thought and effort, that’s for sure. But the post later will deal more with how we should best choose what is “worldly” and what is not.

  3. Hmm, interesting. It is possible to dress modestly and “normally”, for sure. Because I’ve never been concerned about fitting in, and not really wanting to be thought of as like one of the stylish teenagers (which I’m realizing now I don’t want them to think that I’m different than them, either), I if anything tried to dress un-stylish-ly. So, pretty much, it’s a new but important thought that I shouldn’t necessarily try to dress differently. I’m not going to start wearing halter tops or anything like that, but I can dress somewhat like the average girl my age.

    In my driver’s ed class, there was one girl that was very much a part of the typical non-Christian public school crows, and yet I realized that everything she wore was modest. I should have paid more attention to her clothiing so that I’d have a bit more of a clue how to do it. 🙂

    I’d never thought about the brand making a difference, but I do see your point.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing your post, but I know that you were busy yesterday and are today and probably will be tomorrow and Sunday…

  4. I can see your point in a way. I think it could be taken to extremes, which thankfully you’re not doing. I know that on my softball team, for me to dress like the rest of them would be actually hurting my witness, rather than creating one. The rest of the team cut off their sleeves, and parts of their shirts, until only a strip on each side remained. The main purpose? To show off their bras. So I, being the person that I am, didn’t. Some of them have asked me why, and I told them my reasons as quickly and quietly as I knew how. It’s very hard to tell a girl that you think the way she dresses is disgusting without hurting her feelings. But when I got done with explaining my reasons, she said, “I wish I had left mine on too.” So, for me to cut them off just to fit with that culture would be hurting me, not helping. But, on a different side, I have clipped my sleeves up so I still look like them, I’m just doing it in a slightly different (and more modest) way. But since I don’t think this blog was meant to be discussing my modesty and self-righteousness, I’ll be done.

  5. But the point is that you still “clipped [your] sleeves up” so that is what I’m talking about, fitting into culture as far as you can without sinning… now for that next post! Read on…

  6. What you’ve done, Andrea, is exactly what we’re talking about doing…like Luke said. It’s doing what we can that is the same, while maintaining our standards.

    Anyway, given that Luke’s still commenting, I don’t think he minds the side-track too much. :p

    Got to go…

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