Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hope For A Brilliant Future

There is no hope for a brilliant future in the Quaker (Friends) story without a conscious, deliberate, and sustained effort to enlist and to train ministry related to the peculiar needs of our time and therefore different from any of the stereotypes with which we have been familiar in the recent past. This will not be accomplished unless the fire gets much hotter than it now is. The encouraging fact is that Quakers have, inherent in their total philosophy, a conception of the ministry which the modern world is looking…

--D. Elton Trueblood,
The People Called Quakers

In the study of the history of missions, one can even be formulaic about asserting that all great missionary movements begin at the fringes of the church, among the poor and the marginalized, and seldom, if ever, at the center. It is vital that in pursuing missional modes of church, we get out of the stifling equilibrium of the center of our movements and denominations, move to the fringes, and engage in real mission there. But there’s more to it than just mission; most great movements of mission have inspired significant and related movements of renewal in the life of the church. It seems that when the church engages at the fringes, it almost always brings life to the center.
--Alan Hirsch
The Forgotten Ways

A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution.
-J. Oswald Sanders