Ten Alaskan UM lay and clergy have embarked on a two year journey of faith and discovery. We are enrolled in the Academy for Missional Wisdom. The goal is that we would begin new missional faith communities.
In our first online course called Missional Imagination we are reading and writing about "Faith of Leap" by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost. It is an attempt to write a theology of risk, adventure, and courage. It is about a life of faithfulness to God that includes risk, adventure, and courage. The temptation is, and this happens a lot in the Church, to settle into safety and security. When I was single I was fairly adventurous and courageous when it came to my faith. When I was married and our first child entered our lives it became easy to shift into safety and security mode.
I could spend a couple of blogs and sermons talking about how the Church has retreated from risk when it comes to being missional. According to the authors the main thing to recovering a missional identity is to create a sense of holy urgency. This connects with the business world and the authors cite John Kotter's book "Leading Change" with eight necessary steps for bringing significant and lasting change to an organization. The first and most important is to create a sense of urgency.
"The adventurous church thrives on a sense of holy urgency, and missional movements are built on it. Says Kotter, "If the sense of urgency is not high enough and complacency is not low enough, everything else that we seek to do will become much more difficult." p. 40. The authors go on to describe how to create holy urgency in Church.
Those of us in the Academy are looking for ways to share what we are learning. If you have a desire or a suggestion of how this interface can happen please let us know. We are: Cindy Roberts, Karen Martin-Tichenor, Robert Hicks, Sandra Wagenius, Jenny Smith, Eric Treider, Nelma Treider, Lonnie Brooks, Janice Carlton, and myself.