Early on in my explorations of missional theology, I remember thinking that this stuff was so brilliant that all people really needed was permission to do it, and it would take off. I figured all this missional energy was just bottled up inside everyone and they were just waiting for someone to release them and bless them in it. I thought the reason people weren’t doing it was because they didn’t know they were allowed to.
You probably know what’s coming. Excitedly I began giving people permission to live missionally, explaining why it made sense, illustrating the possibilities. And people basically nodded in agreement. Some even got excited with me. But nothing changed (including me). Even people who wanted to couldn’t find their way into a way of life that was naturally joining God in the renewal of all things as a matter of course. A deeper problem was manifesting itself, one that I was just beginning to understand.