Written by Dan LaValla
Monday, 30 January 2012 00:00
After a four-year hiatus, I have had the privilege of being involved with the restart of Breakfast with Biblical (BWB). The focus of the teachings for the past two series was to expound the missional nature of God. Last spring’s theme looked at the missional aspects in “Hearing God’s Call” on the lives of individuals in the Old and New Testaments and what it means for us as Christians today. This past fall, the overarching theme, “Hearing the Gospel Again for the First Time,” emphasized the importance of breaking from the ways we have reduced the Gospel in attempts to better understand and describe it. Instead, emphasis was placed on examining the fullness of the Gospel through various aspects of Christ’s mission and contemplating it as if one was hearing the Gospel for the first time.
Personally, each week I have been most blessed by the attendees of BWB, watching their enthusiastic reactions to the morning teachings and listening as discussions unfold amongst and with them. As they wrestle with the impact a missional perspective has on their comprehension of Jesus, His Gospel, the Church, and one’s personal call and purpose as a Christian, they have directed questions towards me that fall under two overarching questions, “What does being missional mean for you?” and “How has thinking missionally changed you?”
At the risk of being reductionistic in answering these questions, being missional forces one to be less egocentric about the Gospel. Thinking less about the personal benefits of the Gospel and spending more effort discerning what God is expecting of me daily as His child engaged in His mission. Thinking less about what I want to ask God to give me and thinking more about relating to Him out of a desire to love and serve Him for who He is. Thinking less about the things I lack and noticing more of my neighbors’ needs and discerning what I am called to do today that enables me to actually live out the command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39). Finally, realizing that being missional involves thinking less about asking God to help me complete my daily plans (even those that are noble, such as ministry) and conscientiously discerning when, where, and how God wants to interrupt my plans so that I am willing and able to engage in His plan via personal acts of service and sacrifice.
Please note that Breakfast with Biblical will be starting up again in March, more information about the upcoming series will soon be posted on our Website at http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/upcoming-events-at-biblical-seminary/breakfast-with-biblical.
Dan LaValla is Director of Library Services and Development Associate for Institutional Advancement at Biblical. He is Chair of the Endowment Committee for the American Theological Library Association and is very active in his church and community, coaching youth baseball and football and has served on several community boards. See also http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/daniel-lavalla.