Sunday, May 21, 2006

some thoughts on missional

Is a church that is not missional really a church?
A church exists by mission as the sun exists by burning. When the sun loses its burn it ceases to be the sun. When a church loses its mission, it ceases to be a church.

Missional is an adjective describing all of the activities of the church body as they are brought under the mission of God to bring salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus said in John 17:14-16, 18 "
...the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one... As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world."
A missional church understands it has been sent into a world that doesn't know God in order to proclaim the Gospel (in all of it's dimensions & fullness) that is made possible by Jesus' sacrifice for our sins and the Father's love for us. Every believer is sent into the world by God just as Jesus was sent into the world.

To respond to this calling is to be missional. To neglect it is to disregard the mission of God and to cease being the kind of church that is following Jesus.

The mission of the church is to be found in the mission of God. God, who is always doing "a new thing" (Isaiah 43:19), calls the church to participate in God's mission in the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) - a world that has radically changed in North America in the last generation.

The church in every generation is called to bring the good news of the kingdom into a spiritual encounter with the aspirations and challenges of the culture where it resides. We are on a mission from God.

The church in every generation is called to proclaim the glory of God to the next generation. We should be more focused on helping the next generation(s) walk in the fullness of God's kingdom.

To speak into or to engage today's world with the good news requires the formation of a disciple community [the church] - to be a visible representation, witness and instrument of the purpose and pathway of God in every aspect of our lives.

A missional church responds to the changes in culture, the leadings of the Spirit, and the needs of the world as it attempts to follow Christ's mission (Luke 19:10).

Since Christianity is a minority voice in the postmodern culture, the church must adopt an approach to ministry learned from the foreign missionaries who communicate and relate in understandable ways to the godless inhabitants in their respective cultures (1 Cor. 9:22).


pkotn said...

I agree! Is your church missional?

pastor mike said...

I guess that depends on what day & who I've recently talked with :-)
sometimes I would say yes
other days, no way
I think we are on the way, that there is an increasing awareness of that calling and that direction.
One of the books that is helping us with this is Milfred Minatrea SHAPED By God's Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches

pkotn said...

I have given this some thought. And I have put the book on my "check it out" list. From your posts you seem much more decisive. Can it be yes, somedays - no others, especially based on who you talk to? You start by saying the sun burns or it doesn't.