The Missional Church

Quote of the Day:

God is about a big purpose in and for the whole of creation. The church has been called into life to be both the means of this mission and a foretaste of where God is inviting all creation to go. Just as its Lord is a mission-shaped God, so the community of God’s people exists, not for themselves but for the sake of the work. Mission is therefore not a program or project some people in the church do from time to time (as in “mission trip,” “mission budget,” and so on); the church’s very nature is to be God’s missionary people. We use the word missional to mark this big difference.

Mission is not about a project or a budget, or a one-off event somewhere; it’s not even about sending missionaries. A missional church is a community of God’s people who live into the imagination that they are, by their very nature, God’s missionary people living as a demonstration of what God plans to do in and for all of creation in Jesus Christ.

From the intro of Roxburgh and Romanuk’s The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series) p.xv Jossey-Bass, 2006.

What say you? I guess my only quip is that the missional thrust of the Church has existed from the very beginning and we’re all acting like it is the new deal. Old is new?

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3 responses to “The Missional Church

  1. I appreciate the post very much Brian! Ironically, I taught on this for Ben in NT Theology at AGTS. What I have come to realize is that there is a great difference in being a mission and being missional. Just as it is not about going on trips and sending money, it is also not about trying to draw people in but to go out. One of the major problems that I do have with the current church culture in America, especially in low-churches, is the effort to draw people to the church as the main evangelistic tool. In reality, we should be teaching our people to be witnesses when they go out into the world. They don’t have to go to Africa to be a witness. Most Christians do not even know their own neighbors; I have seen this fact first hand. We are just exacerbating the problem by creating this uber seeker sensitive model that tries to draw people in by appeal. We are now experts at performance, advertising, demographics research, cutting edge technology, and the like. But we have failed to teach our people how to even be a part of the lives of their neighbors. As an experiment, next time you visit a church class where you can dialog, ask them when was the last time they shared a meal with their neighbor, played a game, watched a movie, baked them cookies, anything. I have spoken about this at several churches in such settings; I almost always get either the “you just fell out of the sky” or “so you think you are so holy” look 😉 Until we fix this we cannot hope to truly represent Christ in the proper way.

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