One of the buzz words of the missional movement is Incarnational. As is typical of popular terminology, it often has a fuzzy meaning.
Alan Hirsch helps give some substance to this adjective. Using the model of The Incarnation of the Word made flesh, he describes four characteristics of incarnational ministry:
- Presence: In Jesus the Creator of the universe is fully present to us. Jesus is not an ambassador from God. He is God.
- Proximity: Jesus lived in close proximity to those on the margins of society. He scandalized the religious establishment with his hospitability.
- Powerlessness: Jesus "emptied himself of all but love." He took the form of a servant. The cross is the ultimate symbol of victory through weakness.
- Proclamation: Jesus proclaimed the arrival of the kingdom. He called people to submit to his reign.
The church typically has the most difficulty with powerlessness. We all seem to think that we are exceptions to the corrupting influence of power. We act as if the future of the church must be secured by force. Our instincts tell us that we must collect clout and might.
"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"