“Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel.”
This inscription was written above the Great Commission window in the
original 1881 chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary. The phrase, from Mark’s Gospel, inspired generations of seminarians and continues to be embedded in the culture of the seminary. It is our fundamental mission as Christians.
I wrote a blog post a few months ago about the Missional Church movement and how it is more than a trend or church-growth plan. I tried to go beneath the catch phrases and sound bytes to show a bit of the theology and ecclesiology that undergirds the Missional movement.
Since writing that post I have accepted the call to serve as the Canon Missioner for Youth and Young Adults in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, beginning in June. The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia is a great group of Christians who have taken on this Missional conversation, thanks in part to their Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas.
The Diocese is very focused on shifting the Episcopal Church in Southwestern Virginia from an “attractional” stance to a Missional orientation while equipping the people and parishes of the Diocese to be missionaries and ambassadors of the Gospel in their communities.
I have the unique gift of being able to accept a call while still deep in my last semester of seminary. Because of this, I have developed an Independent Study (under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Kimball) that will explore the Missional movement as it relates to Episcopal youth and young adult ministry. I will study the history of the Missional movement and how it has been applied to the Anglican/Episcopal context. From there I will develop resources for Missional youth and young adult ministries that will available for use by parishes and Dioceses across the Episcopal Church.
This is the first of six blog posts that will cover these topics (hence the “serial” in the title). I’ve chosen blog posts over an academic research paper to make this information accessible for more people who can (hopefully) benefit from this conversation.
I do hope that readers will leave comments, ask questions, and give suggestions for what you would like to see in this series. While primarily for my own edification, I want this work to help as many people as possible to see the what this Missional conversation is all about so that we can more effectively preach the Gospel to the whole world.
This post is brought to you by MailChimp*
*MailChimp is not actually a sponsor.