By Mark Stebbins, The Navigators
The goal of bringing order to missions mobilizing is probably over-rated, not to mention beyond reach. Chaos can be a wondrously exhilarating state of affairs, even as it mocks attempts at containment! Consider throughout creation the majestic artistry of systems that begin in apparent disarray, but then take on a magnificent and unexpected pattern of beauty. Formations of elegant crystals, powerfully brewing weather systems, intricate cellular networks, and even breathtaking galaxies in space, all swirling into being without a tightly regimented or linear progression. Should not the fulfillment of the Great Commission be a similar work of free flowing art?
We are not saying that such creations are without diligent and disciplined design. Just like the execution of a grand symphony, with each instrument and section contributing in response to the composer’s intention or conductor’s will, there must be an orchestration. But too much control, without freedom and trust, will surely damage or kill the masterpiece. Let it flow and grow naturally, as each piece plays its part. Some structure exists on the music page, but the real passionate flow will come from the unwritten heart and soul of musician, conductor, and composer. There must be room for this freedom of interpretive expression!
Normally, initiatives assembled out of chaos are influenced into being—not dictated into being. Internal ingredients, like chemical elements for example, tend to bond together, as their molecules are attracted to each other. External factors, like heat, may be introduced to precipitate further interactivity. At times, a template for networking either appears naturally or is artificially introduced, leading to arrays of new structures and functions. It must get out of hand and beyond control to reach a final balanced state, driven actually by the chemical reaction itself! In this new form it reaches a fuller potential, achieving a greater prospect for usefulness and fruitfulness!
But what is chaotic missions assembly? This concept first involves a sanctified imagining of missions dreams and visions, born from the ingredients of prayer, God’s word, and inspiring testimony. Hearts must be stirred! Next, there is the prayerful probing stage in search of a practical expression. It is a grasping for how missions dreams and visions might be personally and practically implemented. Third, taking action in the form of negotiations with experienced missions mentors, a survey or missions trip, and actually pursuing a specific contribution begins to pull the assembly together. Finally, incorporation occurs with the crafting of an authentic missions target, task, and term. A brilliant pattern emerges from the once random confusion.
If we could then zoom out from this individual mission launching, we would see thriving clusters and interwoven matrices of individual and group initiative that form a larger artistic handiwork. And looking still broader, we would then see a completely God-assembled Great Commission, leading us to wholeheartedly proclaim that He is the Lord of the harvest, and indeed Author of all salvation! May God give us all hearts that are hopelessly lost in this grandest of all themes, while relentlessly pursuing the privilege of playing our small but vital part.
The Navigators, a Mission Nexus member, provided this article. Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.