–– Sito di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA –– Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa A missionary look on the life of the world and the church –– VIDA y MISIÓN – VIE et MISSION – VIDA e MISSÃO ––
Today we are better at dealing with someone already sitting in our church pews than we are at getting anyone there in the first place. Our churches are strong on maintenance, weak on being missionary.
We need to become more deliberately, reflectively, and programmatically missionary within our own culture, to our own children. We need to send missionaries into secularity in the very same way as we once sent them off to faraway countries. The church in the secularized world needs a new kind of missionary.
What will this new kind of missionary need to bring? Before anything else, real faith. What we need are men and women who can walk the workplace, the marketplace, the academy of learning, and the arts and entertainment industry, and radiate a faith that is not infantile, over-protective, paranoid, colourless, or compromising.
We need men and women who are post-affluent, post-sophisticated, post-liberal, post-conservative, and post-fearful in their faith. Their faith needs to have a double strength: It must be strong enough not be defensive in the face of secularity, even as it has the capacity to sweat the blood of self-renunciation rather than compromise the great future for present consolation.
Beyond personal faith, the missionary to secularity will need these things too: A new language for a post-ecclesial generation, a new gospel-artistry to re-fire the romantic imagination of a secularized mind, a new way to connect the gospel to the streets, a new way of moving beyond personal gift and charism to the building of lasting community, a new way of connecting eros and spirituality, justice and piety, energy and wisdom, and a new way to combine God’s consolation with prophetic challenge.
No easy task. In all these areas we are, right now, still searching for new ways.
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