Sally Mann, JMP Editorial Board Member, in conversation with Alan Roxburgh around crumbling ecclesial structures and the billboard metaphor. What is the new language we can use about this strange hopeful space we are in? How do we begin to give language to our own roles in this new space? In this conversation, context and community emerge as two keys to the answers.
Sally Mann and Alan Roxburgh continue to discuss mission and church "beyond the billboard". They wonder what church leadership may look like in our radically new and changing contexts. Sally proposes some challenging practices which may help a church leader take on a more open posture within the community.
Sally Mann and Alan Roxburgh continue their conversation about mission and church 'beyond the billboards'. They remember Acts 16 and the story of Lydia 'outside the walls' and wonder who Lydia is for us today. Lydia will not walk into our churches, but God is at work within her. When we do engage with her new ways of thinking about church will emerge. But Sally warns that this newness will often emerge among the poor and that in itself may be challenging.
Of greatest encouragement is appreciating the extent to which, while often in less celebrated settings, outside of formal structures and among unlikely people, God is at work. The most compelling picture that came to my mind at the 2017 Think Tank was that of a dilapidated billboard with a beautiful view beyond...
The story is familiar. A man of Macedonia called Paul and his companions to come over to Europe and help them. Paul had set off on what should have been a fairly straightforward journey, revisiting small communities of Christians. The purpose was to encourage, teach, establish common structures and, where appropriate, to continue to form new communities across Asia. With no explanation Luke tells his readers that the Spirit (of Jesus) prevented them from carrying out these plans. Nothing worked according their expectations...