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  • Published: Mar 31st, 2008
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The Power of Infrastructure

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(Subtitiled:  Ways to the “Big Question”)

When in San Antonio, I partook of the Missional Luncheon offered for free by NAMB and the Missional Network.  It was great Tex-Mex and pretty good company.  I sat toward the back with all the bloggers and suffered worried looks from the leaders of the gathering – mainly Ed Stetzer.

One of the speakers was Bob Roberts, who had recently begun to make an impact on my understanding “Glocal” missionality.

We were asked to write down a question on a card for one of the speakers and I chose to ask this question of Bob:  “What is the importance of developing infrastructure as a part of our missionality?”

The person reading the question really didn’t understand it and kind of botched it, because he didn’t understand where it was going.  And my handwriting stinks.

Bob, however, lit up like a Christmas Tree.  The question reader asked, brows furrowed, “Do you understand the question?”  Bob said, “Oh, yes.  I get it.”

Now, I confess, having just received and having been reading “Glocalization,” I was leading Bob where I thought he would go, and he did.  But he also went further than I expected and said some powerful things that I will simply summarize.

Bob said that we miss so much when we perceive that sharing the Gospel is dropping some theological information on people and expecting them to simply chuck their beliefs for ours because of its sheer genius.  Sharing the Gospel is also about serving others who are in need and in that service, they see more than mere theological information.  Besides that, it is just “right” to serve and help others.

I definitely saw that come to fruition in my recent trip to Vietnam.  I was asked “The Big Question” at least 10 times as we traveled.  Even on the drive to Tulsa from Ft. Worth, the Vietnamese currency that we carried was spotted on several occasions as we bought snacks when we stopped for the bathroom.

The Big Question?  “Why?”

Why are you here?  Why are you helping?  Why Vietnam?  Why do you care? Why?

The Big Answer?  “As a follower of Jesus Christ, we are compelled to serve the people He loves, and He loves the people of Vietnam.”

Now, here’s the big twist.  If you’ve read my blog much, you’ve probably read this, or stuff much like it, before.  Let me ask this, though:  “How is it that The Big Question is so easy to elicit in cultures other than ours, but we can’t seem to get a ‘Why?’ out of anyone next door to our church or even our homes?”

The thing is…  the thing is…  the thing is that we need to apply the same missional methods right here that we apply on the other side of the world.

People need to be asking us why we are serving those around us all the time.  It’s no wonder that we can’t seem to make a dent in the generations (we are now at 2) that have opted out of the church in America.

What are you doing to build the infrastructure of your local context?  What are you doing to elicit The Big Question?

Glocal – Global and Local are the same, as technology has brought continuity of context across cultures.  If so, we should be doing here what we do there.  It works there.  It works here.

Why don’t we?

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2 Responses to “The Power of Infrastructure”


  1. Jimmy Strong
    on Mar 31st, 2008
    @ 5:17 pm

    Excellent question.


  2. David Phillips
    on Mar 31st, 2008
    @ 6:03 pm

    Why does…

    “He leadeth me, he leadeth me” come to mind :-D

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