presence…proximity…powerlessness…prevenience…passion…proclamation. 6 P’s of Missional Incarnation –
Deb Hirsch – speaking at the first ever Forge America conference last weekend.
This email started out as an email to my small group on the ONE P I forgot as I recapped this conference for them… “powerlessness”
It’s somewhat ironic that I forgot THAT one! It’s my favorite and the most difficult for me. In short here is the breakdown on what all this means in the context of engaging a community and sharing the person of Jesus with them.
We all know people who ‘visit’. They are less about being a part of something and more about dipping in and then dipping out – feeling good that they showed up for the hour or so. Presence and proximity are about being there. With your body, your mind and your emotions – day in, day out. Really being there.
Then let’s just get rid of the idea that we are ‘taking Jesus to the people’. It’s a ridiculous concept. IF there is a God. IF he created everything, he is probably already there. He doesn’t need OUR caring for him to start caring. Prevenience. He is already there (probably hoping we will show up!)
Living in community and really being involved in people’s (your friends’) lives results in heartache. If you love them. Bones break, hearts break, people die, get sick, go to jail, make stupid decisions … passion is about allowing those things to touch your being. (not just a place in your heart you can bring out and feel once in a while ) Passion keeps you up at night. Makes your knees weak. Brings your pride and self-sufficientness to the ground and helps us understand the one I forgot – powerlessness.
I can’t fix things. I am not the answer. I only know part of the answer – and it is most likely a faulty, messed up view at that. Powerlessness is that, but also something even more profound. IF Jesus is God’s son and he came to earth as a person, he gave up all the power that belongs to being God. He became a baby (insert Taladega Nights quotes here….are you back yet? I got side tracked watching that clip, too!) …a baby, there isn’t really much more powerlessness to be had than being a baby. He learned stuff, he lived in a neighborhood, all the growing up we do, he did. The important part about allowing powerlessness in your life is that it’s important to the community you are in that they have something to offer. I am not saying pretend to not know stuff you know, but find stuff that people around you know and let them teach it to you. Be authentic, open, interested…engage. Jesus did it. (It kind of goes against the grain of our independent, self-sufficient, better and bigger than the Joneses – we are so past “keeping up with” them- society.)
Proclamation. You gotta be able to articulate who Jesus is and why it is important when it’s time. But mostly, living the way described above provides people with a real life example of Jesus as well as provides you with PLENTY of opportunity to share situation specific hope because of the person of Jesus.