Leaving the tribe

July 21, 2008

I love words and the pictures they create. Terminology (or buzz words) can clarify or cloud certain conversations, but good word pictures go a long way with me. JT recently posted a quote from Tullian Tchividjian, whose name I’ve never said out loud for fear of hurting myself and others but whose insights are very helpful. It helped me consider ways I may be turning my back on folks God is calling me to embrace.

There’s a major difference between having a tribal mindset and a missionary mindset. The highest value of a tribally minded person is self-protection. They ask questions like: Since I feel the safest around those who are just like me, how can I protect myself from those who are different than I am? So they intentionally surround themselves with people who think the way they think, like the things they like, and despise the things they despise. As a result, they live with a sense of superiority, looking down on those who are not like them (for half my life I was convinced that surfers like me were far cooler than anyone on the face of this earth).

In contrast to a tribal minded person, the highest value of a missionary minded person is not self-protection but self-sacrifice. A missionary minded person is a person that exists, not primarily for himself but for others. She is a person that is willing to set aside personal preferences in service to those whose preferences are different than hers. Missionaries are people who are willing to be inconvenienced, discomforted, and spent for the well-being of others. The Gospel of Jesus Christ demands that we be missionary minded, because the gospel is the story of God sacrificing himself for others.

You can read more HERE.

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