Monday, November 12, 2007

A Missional Primer


I wrote this for our church newsletter and though other might want to use it to explain the concept of a missional church. Feel free to nab!


WHAT IS A MISSIONAL CHURCH?

That may be a new term for you—“missional church.” It almost sounds like “missionary church” and that’s very close. To me, to be a missional church means three things:

1. That we recognize that our community is a mission field. It’s not the home field; it’s truly a mission field. The gospel of Jesus is just slightly better known here than He is in Bangkok or Casablanca. People here need to know Jesus! We recognize that as part of our calling from God.

2. That we recognize that we ourselves are called by God to be missionaries in our community. As missionaries, we are called to make Jesus known in ways people can understand, that we are relational in our approach and incarnational in our emphasis. As missionaries, we don’t think in terms of people coming to us; we think in terms of going to them. (Elsewhere in this newsletter Rick Warren is quoted: “The measure of a church is not its seating capacity; it’s its sending capacity.” That captures the idea very well.)

3. That we don’t send others to do ministry; we do it ourselves. As missional church doesn’t raise money to reach people; it reaches people. A missional church demands every member participation. A missional church redefines the meaning of “member.” Most American Christians think of church membership as a religious club membership. Missional churches redefine that as membership in a team of world-changing, passionately involved Jesus-followers.

God is speaking to us about increasing being this kind of roll up your sleeves, participatory missional church. We’re on the journey; let’s not let up. God has called us; let’s roll!