Matthew 9:36 reports that when Jesus “saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” The Greek word for compassion, splanchnizomai: means to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence, to be moved with compassion. The bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity. So, Jesus has a gut-wrenching love that inspires him to act.
Any missional activity on the part of Christians that is not grounded in and motivated by the compassion of Jesus is misguided.
We understand a movement to be a community of people working together to advance shared values, practices, ideas, and posture. The compassion of the resurrected, living, and ever present Jesus is our shared center.
The Passional Church is a movement anchored in the passionate love of Jesus for the world. The aim of the Passional Church Movement is to connect, empower, support, and resource Christians to embody the compassion of Christ in the everyday spaces and rhythms of life.
We prepare faithful and fruitful kingdom leaders who cultivate communities of love and grace for people neglected or harmed by the church.
Our movement seeks to bring into balance orthodoxy (“right opinion/belief”), orthopraxy (“right practice”), orthokardia (“right heart”), and orthopathy (“right pathos/suffering” i.e., experience of God). We do this through these primary domains:
A theology of compassion resourced in the incarnation and passion of Jesus. Following the pioneering work of South African practical theologian Dr. Daniel. J. Louw, we understand missio Dei as embodiment of passio Dei.
We believe this type of theology requires a new category or field of study: passiology.
Passiologist (pas•si·ol·o·gist): Someone given to the study of God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ and how it might work out practically in daily life. Passiology involves the intersection of mission, justice, culture and the church. It is a multidisciplinary study that incorporates theology, missiology, anthropology/sociology and ecclesiology. Passiologists study the movement and embodiment of Jesus' compassion across history and cultures.
A framework, tools, and practical resources that help leaders and congregations cultivate communities that embody the compassion of Jesus. At the center of our method is the Passional Journey developed by Michael Beck and Leonard Sweet. The person of Jesus, his journey of self-emptying, incarnation, cross, tomb, resurrection/ascension, and sending of the Spirit is the foundation for the framework we utilize. The journey is resourced primarily in Philippians 2, which describes the “mind of Christ” (Phil 2:5-11). Based in the fundamentals of the incarnation the moves of the passional journey are: unlearning, immersion, minding the gaps, disorientation, discovery, and embodiment. These moves could be called the fundamentals of incarnation—the ultimate expression of compassion.
We prioritize soul care that cultivates emotionally healthy compassionate leaders over skills and strategies. Compassion fatigue and burn-out are prevalent among Christians today. We provide a process, coaches, and community of support that helps guide leaders through a spiritual formation journey that helps re-form us to think, act, and love like Jesus. Spiritual formation that can help people move along on the journey towards becoming wounded healers, can restore lives, congregations and communities. We employ a practical framework that leads us through four soul spaces: loss, surrender, restoration, and flourishing.