I've recently tried to start using a new term - formissional - to describe something I see as incredibly important.
Formissional= a life of spiritual transformation that acts as a slingshot throwing people and communities into missional living.
I hope to bring more to the surface on this, but here's some initial thinking on what benchmarks we can establish to show that this formissional life is happening.
1. Can we articulate the Gospel?
This sounds simple but honestly, can we clearly and concisely talk about the life/death/resurrection/Kingdom of Jesus Christ and show the places where it intersects our life both now and forever. I think we are at a great disadvantage if we cannot articulate anything further than "what happens after we die." It must be present-tense in it's urgency and application.
2. Do we abide in Christ?
In order to move toward the world with the Gospel, we must be radically invested in "abiding" with the Jesus who authored the goodness of life and life to the full and through whom all things were created. (Col. 1:15-23) Silence, solitude, scripture, and prayer must be present for formissional people to regain and maintain their bearings.
3. Do we participate in a community of accountability?
I love small groups, but this isn't necessarily a small group mandate. It's a mandate to have others in our lives who can push us on our weak places until we throw them (even kicking and screaming) at the feet of Christ and then allow the "others" to implement boundaries for us so that we can't go back to our former destructive patterns. These communities of accountability are radically honest and radically invested in each other's lives, a thought which turns our stomachs if we're bought totally into doing this "Jesus thing" on our own. We can't. Even Paul and Peter needed to call each other out.
4. Do we possess the missional mandate?
Are we actively pushing our lives - relationships, finances, time, priorities, values - outward toward those who desperately need to see someone who through their lives is articulating a different kind of reality than the insulated, self-serving variety we see everywhere else. It must be a mandate because it is the first word in the greatest commandment - "Go into all the world..." (Mt. 28:19).
Each of these benchmarks feed into and through each other and can be measured as long we are engaged in a community who is willing to challenge us on our priorities.
Would you add anything to this list?