The Missio Dei Rule of Faith

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : March 6, 2007

A few weeks ago, Missio Dei finalized its Rule of Faith (yay!)…for the next month, leading up to Easter, we’ll discern what living out this rule looks like. On Easter, those that feel so led will formally adopt the rule of faith. In case you’re interested, I thought I’d share the rule with you. Please ask me questions or make comments:

The Missio Dei Rule of Faith

Missio Dei is a community of people committed to following Jesus’ radical way of peace, simplicity, prayer, and hospitality.

Missio Dei lives to embody Jesus’ presence—particularly on the West Bank. The West Bank is a diverse neighborhood of immigrants and punks and artists and homeless people and students and professionals.

Missio Dei is a missional order. We are missional in that we are a part of God’s mission on the West Bank. We don’t wait for people to come to us, we are committed to going to the people wherever they are. We are an order in that we share core spiritual practices. The rhythm of these practices gives structure to our life together.

This, our rule of faith, outlines these shared practices.

Living our life with God, in the way of Jesus, by the empowerment of the Spirit, and in affirmation of the Nicene Creed (381AD) and Apostle’s Creed, we are committed to the following:

We are committed to centering our lives on Jesus Christ.

+ We will devote ourselves to a careful reading of the Gospel, going from Gospel to life and life to Gospel.

+ We will actively seek to encounter the living and active person of Jesus Christ through the reading of Scripture and through prayer, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to shape us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

+ We will pursue a rhythm of morning and evening prayers.

+ We will strive to live life with the people on the edges of society—the poor, the forsaken, the oppressed, and the disgraced.

+ As Christ chose for himself a humble life, we will seek to live simply in our affluent culture of over-consumption.

+ We will strive to purify our hearts from the desire for possession and power.

+ Forsaking violence in all of its forms, we will seek and promote peaceful ways of resolving conflict.

We are committed to an incarnational presence on the West Bank.

+ We will spend time understanding the cultures of the West Bank.

+ We will try to get in the way of injustice—particularly on the West Bank.

+ We will intentionally build friendships with people on the West Bank.

+ We will remember the people of the West Bank in our daily prayers.

+ We will extend hospitality to our neighbors, sharing what we have with those in need—whether it is a simple meal, clothing, a place to sleep for the night, or our friendship.

We share our lives with one another.

+ We will seek to encounter the living and active person of Jesus Christ in our brothers and sisters.

+ We will regularly attend Missio Dei’s gatherings.

+ We will regularly fellowship and pray with members of Missio Dei outside of formal gatherings.

+ We will share resources with those within Missio Dei who demonstrate greater need.

+ We will seek to intercede daily for the other members of Missio Dei.

+ We will pursue reconciliation in our relationships with one another, in our own lives and in the lives of other brothers and sisters in our community.

+ We will discern God’s desires for our community communally—seeking God together in prayer, with open hearts.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the general editor of Jesus Manifesto. He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.

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Viewing 7 Comments

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    One aspect I did not see clearly addressed was communal worship time: where, when, how, etc. Does this fall under, "We will regularly attend Missio Dei’s gatherings."?

    Do you worship together or separately in various churches? Are you waiting for approval from MCUSA to declare worship group status?
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    Worship gatherings aren't central to Missio Dei, though we do meet weekly. We don't mention "when" and "where" because those things are still relatively formative and fluid--we don't want to get prescriptive with such things since we want to have the freedom to change and adapt how we worship together. We do, however, reserve the right to add such information.
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    wow, this is awesome. I want to join too.
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    NICE!! I am so impressed. I like the gentleness of your definition of rhythms and practices. We need to talk soon!
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    it looks quite good.

    I've been reading a little about the life of Tolstoy and his Christian Anarchism.

    I like its ecclesio-focus, though I think the Xtn anarchism bit is likely derivative from living in a Russia that was desperately in need of serious reforms, whose absence then led to the rise of Communism...

    So it deals well with the Church, but not the State and I'm ambivalent about its Church-State relations, but it is still definitely worth interacting with, in contrast to much of constantinized Xty.
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    Mark, This is really awesome. The language is expressive, accessible, clear. My question is one that I have wondered for a while. Why the West Bank? What is it about this area that means the whole ministry is focused there. Maybe you have talked about it before, and I just missed it. I'd love to hear more about the need to be specific about the area in which MD is called.
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    Thanks for all the kind words. Rachel, I'm going to address your question in its own post...please feel free to dialog with me there.


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