My friend Hugh Halter, National Director of Forge America, has created a very practical resource for missionary engagement. At Forge we believe every neighborhood is now a missionary context, not unlike faraway places like Spain, Italy, Iceland or Nova Scotia. And in a pure missionary context the church can no longer ask the culture to act the part of the missionary and come to us and our church services. We must be the sent ones. We must be the missionaries.
So where does a good missionary start in any and all contexts? They must start where the culture is and find ways to create neutral, enjoyable, space where humans can connect, identify, and learn the context of each other’s stories. That is how we contextualize the gospel. And this is exactly why, as Alan Hirsch has said, “Party is sacrament.”
So what can you do?
Check out Hugh’s new resource called Happy Hour. He wrote this little book to bring to light the power of levity, food, and all things related to holy merriment. It is a basic training for would-be missionaries and it is full of doable baby steps for a simple, yet more human way to follow Jesus and make Him known to others.
The table of contents looks like this:
Intro. Hors d’ oeuvre: An Intro into a Life of Celebration
Chapter One: Party as Sacrament…The Theology and Missiology of Party
Chapter Two: Public House…How to Party at Home
Chapter Three: Party Favors…It’s 5:00 Somewhere. Unique ways to party
Chapter Four: Party Killers…How NOT to Cross the Line…a balanced discussion of booze
Chapter Five: The Last Call…The Best Party I’ve Ever Thrown
To order copies go to Hugh’s website here. If you try a full congregation experience just contact Hugh at email@example.com and he can help coach you through the new book. Also keep an eye out for other new books in this Activus series by our friend Lance Ford and myself. My book which should be available later this summer is titled Hangouts: Incarnating Into The Places That Matter.