I'm in Richmond, VA, the home of VCU, on Final Four weekend. I'm about to head out to watch the game with a bunch of VCU Ram fanatics. Secretly, I'm rooting for Butler. I say secretly because I don't want to get skinned alive and I have no allegiance to Butler. So to be secretive about it is not compromising any conviction I might have or loyalty to Butler. But if Texas A & M were in the Final Four playing VCU and I withheld my convictions and commitment to rooting for my alma mater, then that would be compromise. I would not be being true to my convictions. I would not be a truthful witness to what is real within me.
I think this has bearing on what it means to be missional. Sometimes we stir people up to "do" something missional but what they are doing is not truthful to who they are. They are "doing" more, i.e. "witnessing" or serving or something of the like, but it not true to their nature. It would be like me going tonight and acting like I have some kind of deep commitment to Butler, when in fact I don't.
1 Peter 3:15 states: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." The key is to "be" a person who has this hope, that is lives a missional life, and if that is true, we will be called upon to give a reason for that hope. This is what it means to be a "witness." A "witness" is one who tells what is truthful.
My concern about "doing" things that look missional--without any focus on "being"-- is that we are promoting the actions without helping people do the deep work of change so that they become different people. When we become missional, doing will come along with the package.
By no means do I think we need not "do" the work of a witness, but more on that in next post.