A missional church* is a reproducing body in which authentic disciples are being equipped as missionaries sent by God to live and proclaim His Kingdom in their world. Mission is the essence of the missional church, the reason for which Christ’s church exists. The mission is His, not ours. The missional church understands that every Christian is called into relationship with God and sent by Him as His missionary. The difference between being “missions minded” and “missional” is that missional is participative rather than supportive; missional is the essence of a church’s being rather than one of the things it does.
These are some of the characteristics of a missional church:
-High threshold for membership
-High value on authenticity and integrity
-Teaches obedience to, not just knowledge of, Scripture
-High value on creating a fresh new worship experience every week
-Attenders live apostolically, that is, with the belief that they are called into relationship with God and sent by Him as His missionary
-High expectation to change the world
-Mission driven: actions are ordered according to purpose
-Growth is measured by capacity to release, not retain
-Kingdom concerns have top priority
*Information about missional churches taken from Shaped by God’s Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches by Milfred Minatrea. Published by Jossey-Bass.