When I first heard the Frost/Hirsch formulation of Christology-Missiology-Ecclesiology it was a lightbulb moment for me. Their critique was simple- most churches got the Christology piece right, but inverted the last two, built their Ecclesiology (their church structure) and then formed a sense of Missiology- how they would live out mission in the world. But since they did it in that order, what they did in mission was necessarily shaped by the church strutures they had already formed. Thus, there were pieces and places of mission that were left untouched because "we have never done it that way" or "we don't have the facilities for that." Frost and Hirsch flipped the script and challenged the church to be shaped by our mission- to let mission flow out of our understanding of Jesus and who He is (the sent and sending God), and so be the sent community that structures itself along the lines of cooperation with God, what He's doing and sending/calling us to do.
Dave Fitch has long made no secret of his dislike of this formulation. I've never really understood it, since I think at heart he agrees with the idea that the church should be mission-shaped, not the other way around (our mission should be church-shaped).
But today I finally got his dislike when he asked the question: so where does the Christology come from? His critique is that the Frost/Hirsch formula seems to imply that the individual can come to an understanding of who Jesus is apart from community. And as far as that goes, it's a fair question. But it doesn't negate the overall flow that we base what we do on who Jesus is and we base who we are as a people on what we are called to do.
So maybe... instead of this:
it looks more like this:
The idea is that our ideas of Jesus are formed in the community- we discover Jesus in the intersection of Scripture/Church/His working in the world- that is, when we participate in His Body.
I recognize this is probably inside baseball for most, but of the 2% of you who get a charge in thinking about issues theological/ecclesiological/missiological... what do you think? Is the general flow right?