A Missional Ecclesiology [In Brief] – Part IV
Part one was about the recovering of missio Dei. Part two how the church is called to be a sign, foretaste and instrument of the kingdom. Part three was about asking who is the church. Today, we look at current images to describe the who of the church.
So what if Paul were living today? What if he was an urbanite living in Los Angeles. What images would he use to describe the nature of the church? Since the five equippers in Ephesians four represent the five different ministries of Jesus, let look at a missional ecclesiology that is developed through the lens of the five equippers. Because the five equippers provide a healthy framework for missional sustainability, I started to think through a couple of metaphors for each of the equippers listed in Ephesians. These metaphors are a combination of biblical metaphors as well as metaphors from our context that act as a guide by which we live out who we are in Christ. Click image for larger view.
When it comes to metaphors, Walter Brueggemann helps us understand their power. “A metaphor proceeds by having only an odd, playful, and ill fitting match it its reality, the purpose of which; to illuminate and evoke dimensions of reality which will otherwise go unnoticed and therefore unexperienced” (Brueggemann 1997:1). Of course there are so many more metaphors that could describe each of the equippers. But these metaphors are rich in helping us to awaken to God’s reality, so that we might remember who we are and that we might better live out our calling in the church for the sake of the world.
In the final part to this series, I will address how we participate in missio Dei through the lens of these metaphors.