A couple weeks back I was in Indy to participate in a conversation with other mission-minded leaders from churches and organizations as part of what The Mission Exchange is calling the RESET DIALOGUE.

If you are interested in these kinds of things, let me recommend that you read the RESET article titled Mission in the Context of Deep Change by Steve Moore. Our dialogue in Indy was prompted by this article and the invitation to engage. You’ll see it all in the article which includes the dialogue tour cities and dates and then invites people to the big event in Scottsdale in September. I’ll be there.

You can also use the image above as a link to the RESET website which includes all sort of resources. Good fodder there for conversation.


My dialogue tour table group worked our way through a series of conversations and exercises and landed here. After considering all of the threats and opportunities inherent in the worlds in which we are doing mission, we suggested that the natural (and too often expressed and way too often heeded) response would be FEAR. Rapid, deep, irrevocable, unprecedented changes makes our stomaches hurt and our minds spin and our palms sweat.  The only antidote to FEAR is knowing God.

Then we tried to identify what the top three issues mission strategies and organizations are facing right now that MUST BE ADDRESSED and that DO NOT HAVE AN OBVIOUS SOLUTION. We had a few big issues on the list that we could eliminate because we know what to do about them…like, for instance, FEAR.

Our first is the new reality of a global church. Twentieth century mission was “the west to the rest.” Twenty-first century mission is “the whole church to the whole world.”

The second we identified is the whole culture of open source. This is about technology, but it is more about the impact that the open source mindset has on how we work and minister.

The last of our three is the nearly incomprehensible swarm of opportunity to do things differently (an opportunity that is more akin to a requirement) because there are other ways to work coming so fast our large, process-oriented, risk-averse organizations can’t keep up. Maybe this one is actually about the pace of change itself. I don’t remember it as clearly now that I’m a few weeks and a bazillion other conversations away from this one.

I will probably unpack the OPEN SOURCE idea more in future blogs. I’d love to hear your insights into this new way of thinking and working and doing ministry.

Other groups had other issues in their top three and the dialogue happened in multiple cities which I’m sure also identified and prioritized other issues. It will be interesting to see which rise to the top for the bigger deal in September. 

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