At Missio Alliance
By: Alistair Brown
I’m currently attending the inaugural conference of the Missio Alliance. Northern Seminary is a major partner in the Alliance. The subtitle for the conference is “Renewing Evangelical Imagination for Mission,” a great heading for this event and for the purpose of the Alliance.
About six hundred men and women are attending from all over the US, and some from beyond. It’s a remarkable number for the inaugural event.
More impressive is the hunger I find here to be real with God and fully engaged in God’s mission in today’s culture.
Two things hit me powerfully as I listen to the speakers and talk with other attendees.
One, it’s not new that God is engaged in mission. What is sometimes new is that we’ve joined him. Or, that we’re actually taking account of what’s happening around us in the culture, or hearing the questions today’s generation are asking and the issues that concern them. Without that kind of engagement in God’s work we’re simply having our own private party. And that’s not what Jesus intended when he formed his church.
Two, that being a missional Christian isn’t an option. Take a flight and you get to choose first, business, or economy class, with different costs and benefits. But you don’t get options like that when you marry. You can’t opt for the richer and leave the poorer, or for the better but not the worse, or for health but not sickness. You’re 100% a wife or husband, with all the obligations and blessings. No options. Being joined to Jesus is like that and not like buying an airline ticket. I don’t have an opt out from any part of God’s mission. I may neglect or fail, but I can’t pick and choose my part in his work.
Important things are being taught here, and a significant movement is happening among God’s people and spreading out to others.
One last word: I am unashamedly proud of the part Northern faculty are playing in this movement. Three of them are plenary speakers at this conference, and have had a profound effect on attendees. All of us at Northern believe this matters. This is kingdom business. I am thrilled we have the privilege of helping it happen.