“Missional Theology” is a phrase and framework that has proven immensely valuable over the years, carrying with it such an important impetus and calling. Yet it is often a concept that is at risk of being so over-used and mishandled that we can lose sight of the critical theological insights that drive it. As we face a time when the church desperately needs to re-focus on witness, mission, civic engagement, and reintroducing the gospel to culture, we want to take a deep dive on missional theology and consider how we might frame it for this moment in our world. We are joined by none other than Darrell Guder, for many the “father” of missional theology, along with several gifted colleagues who have a wealth of knowledge and instructive experiences to share with us. Join us, along with Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Melanie Marsh-Baum, Thomas Daniel, and Darrell Guder, for this timely conversation.
I was the Facilitator for the first New York City cohort, and at the time, I was working in theological education on Christian leadership formation, so it seemed like a natural fit. What I discovered, though, was something quite different from my “day job.” While the content and topics of the curriculum was a crucial part of our gatherings, it was the community of mutual care and support that made the content relevant, not the other way around. And second, having three years of strong bonding created an extraordinarily resilient community that, in turn, was able to build up resilience in our leaders. I think every member of my cohort went through significant seasons of both joy and heartache, professionally and vocationally, during our time. And the cohort, in turn, lived out the exhortation of Romans 12:15, “rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep,” with a depth and integrity that I have rarely experienced, and often doing both in the same gathering. It was a privilege and a blessing to me and my own faith and ministry to be their facilitator, and I am eternally grateful to the Ministry Collaborative for calling me to that work!”