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The DNA of Mission

Jim Denison

Jim Denison continues looking at being Missional and the importance of Church Planting movements in this.

Previously, Jim wrote an article on ‘The Missional Key’, listening to God and making ourselves available to him through calling and intimacy.  In ‘The DNA of Mission’ Jim unpacks questions from his previous article with practical insight…

I admit the answering of this question and application of the theories is a lot slippier than I ever imagined.  Oh I can tell you why it isn’t happening…  I can regale you with studies that outline the deep consumerism of our society and how it has retarded the creation of Biblical disciples and produced instead “mere attendees of Christian events” or even worse, “consumers of religious goods and services.”  I can hammer away at the idea that our metrics of success have shifted to bums in seats from Jesus’ metric of followers of Jesus who multiply themselves in making others who follow Jesus and multiply themselves also.  And I can bore you to death with a right proper rant about the way most Christians are constantly disqualifying themselves from the very tasks Jesus assigned them and have left them to the “professionals” while they populate rotas and give money.

Yet in those diagnoses, that are all too well known, there is no solution.  So I have agonised over the possibility that the way we were doing things just might end up creating another outpost of truncated western Christianity.  There was this nagging fear that I would end as a leader who is just another part of the problem.  And when it got too much I let it take my joy at what was happening.

I needed some direction.

Enter “church planting movements.”

Church Plants are examples of the people of Jesus becoming the explosive force of impact and multiplication that the New Testament seems to suggest we can.

Simply put, these are examples of the people of Jesus becoming the explosive force of impact and multiplication that the NT seems to suggest we can.  In Mark 4 Jesus tells us the parable of the Sower.  This is the only parable Jesus interprets for his boys like he does here and he even says that to not understand it is not to be able to understand the rest of the parables on the Kingdom (Mk 4:13).  Maybe I should listen?  And in the fourth soil Jesus sees a remarkable potential – he calls it “30, 60, 100 fold fruitfulness.”  This is a church planting movement.  It is a movement of Jesus’ followers seeing growth and impact on lives in the category of exponential multiplication not mere addition.  It is the force of all the Body of Christ ignited and firing off in their sphere of relationship.  And when you get the whole Body engaged you get… the… maths.  Multiplication.  Not mere addition.  (not that addition is bad!  It is very good.  Just not the NT target.)

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