An Exhortation to Humble Service

by Mike Ratliff

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4 ESV)

As we carefully read the New Testament we see over and over exhortations for the Christians to whom the message is meant, to be united, to be of one mind, to love one another, et cetera. As I prepared to write this post, I read several emergent’s understanding of the term “missional.” I gave up after about a dozen different interpretations of it. While a large number of the traits or markers of a missional “church” listed were things I have no problem with, if I used my understanding of the terms that is, I saw very quickly how the lack of definition meant that each local “missional” group could be missional according to their own interpretation of what that meant. For instance, the gospel itself was not defined in any of the definitions I read, but I did see the word “ecumenical” when referring to church community involvement and “contextual” when referring to cultural involvement with the gospel in most lists. Continue reading