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“MissionThink”

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : December 8, 2006

I’m thinking of changing the name of my blog, and using a different domain name. I would like y?ll to weigh in on whether or not such a change would be worthwhile.

Allow me to give you some context:

Missionthink has been the name of my blog for over two years. I picked the name because I wanted my blog to focus on my thoughts about the missional church. The idea that our Triune God has called us to participate in his activity to reconcile and redeem was a very exciting one for me at the time–it still is. That the Church is the Sent Community–and therefore defined by its sentness rather than on some sort of external set of activities was also exciting. My thought categories were being violently re-arranged as I pondered the implications of the missio Dei in light of our postmodern context. These thoughts were so profound that I also named the church we planted two years ago “Missio Dei.”
Shortly after launching missionthink, my friend Jeff approached me about starting a sort of consulting partnership. I was reluctant at first, but eventually thought it would be worth a shot. We decided to name our little two-man organization “Mission:Think” and decided that our first project would be the Conference on Christianity in a Consumer Culture–over which I had recently begun to scheme. Around that time, I made missionthink.com the home for Mission:Think and moved my blog to missionthink.org.

While the word mission often conjures up Western efforts of cultural imperialism, it has in recent decades come to mean something so much more–God’s loving mission of reconciliation, of which we the church are a part. But I’m painfully aware of how the word “missional” has lost its meaning in the last few years–having been hijacked and raped by certain folks of its theological richness. No longer, in many circles, does it have to do with the Church’s participation within the movement of the Trinity as it embraces and reconciles the world. Now it is often used to mean “We care about doing evangelism, but want to be culturally relevant when we do it. And unlike those heretical emergent types, we want to define evangelism as proclaiming the Gospel in the way it was settled once and for all…by Reformers in the 17th Century.” I’m sincerely considering renaming my blog because of this shift. I still love God’s mission, and I don’t want to be a baby about it, but the way folks are throwing around “mission” and “missional” these days has left a bad taste in my mouth.

So, here are my questions (lurkers, these questions are for you as well): Do you think the name “missionthink” adequately reflects the content of this site? Should I even be considering renaming my blog? Is it that big of a deal?

If I were to rename my blog, I would move it to www.jesusmanifesto.com.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of JesusManifesto.com. He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He and his wife Amy have been married since 1997. They are expecting their first child in April.


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Comments

3 Responses to ““MissionThink””

  1. Luke on December 8th, 2006 5:30 pm

    I think “Jesus manifesto” is far more likely a term to be misunderstood, hijacked, and desecrated than “missionthink.” You strike me as such of a purist that any phrase you could ever come up with wouldn’t satisfy you very long because it would be (or already is) misunderstood and misused. But you’re more aware of Christian culture and language than I am.

  2. Van S on December 8th, 2006 6:28 pm

    You may be right. But at least the word isn’t used that much in Christian circles and isn’t likely to be high-jacked by the Christian community at large. I think I may just keep missionthink and then launch JesusManifesto as a blog devoted to my new book(s) after it is/they are published.

  3. jeff on December 9th, 2006 7:29 pm

    I think missionthink is too confusing for people familiar with mission:think (yes, all two of them). But then missionthink was first. How about “mission:do?”

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