Preaching from the Borderlands

Brian Russell offers some thoughts on missional preaching. One of the most intriguing (partially because of the clever subtitle) is that missional preaching must be delivered from the borderlands.

The communicator in missional preaching stands between the Church and World. This is the point of missional engagement. The God of mission is always moving toward the world on mission. It is only in the borderlands that the Word is truly unleashed for both insiders and outsiders. The Word calls from the borderland to the people of God to draw them toward the borderland in order to participate fully in God’s mission. The Word calls to the World to draw them toward the people of God in order to find their true humanity as part of God’s missional community as it seeks to embody and reflect God’s character to and for the World.

A sermon delivered from the borderlands requires you to be in the borderlands. That’s the rub. Right there. The hard part. You can pull the Stanislavski if you choose and act “as if” you were in the borderlands, but this is no substitute. It is irresponsible to lead people to places you have not been.

The pulpit often feels like it may be in the spot between the church and the world, but the pulpit is often difficult because the friction it experiences is within the body of the church. Though this is also a difficult spot to serve, the one who is truly cognisant of the calling will recognize that this is not the place to be. You must not between the church and itself, but the church and the world.

Have you been to the borderlands? What stops you from going? I’m asking myself the same questions….

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