Friday, October 06, 2006

Breaking the Missional Code

I just finished an excellent book by Ed Stetzer and David Putman, Breaking the Missional Code. In the right hands, this can be a useful resource. I do agree with Steve McCoy that some people who do not understand missional thinking will be tempted to use this as more church growth advice. In some places, I think the authors may have slipped into that mindset themselves.

Here are a few key quotations:
Breaking the code is a discipline of seeing your context through missional lenses and then exercising faith by taking the necessary risks to live the Great Commandment in such a way that you can fulfill the Great Commission.

When we talk about missional churches we are not referring to a certain form, expression, model, type, or category of church. We are talking about a church that seeks to understand its context and come to express that understanding by contextualizing the gospel in its community.
I find this a good explanation of what it means to be missional. Some people equate Emergent with Missional. While there is some overlap, they seem to be two very different things.
Overemphasis on technique can undermine solid missiological thinking. There is a lack of theological depth in much of the contemporary church planting and church growth movements because these are movements of techniques, paradigms, and methodologies without genuine biblical and missiological convictions.
This has long been one of my complaints (before I ever had a handle on what missional means). Too much in the church is driven by pragmatism. We bow at the altar of bigness and “success.” The gospel is often interpreted as a way to get ahead in business or sports.

I highly recommend this book. It has many practical suggestions for discovering how to implement a missional ministry in your unique environment. But you must remind yourself that this is not about Church Growth or Church Health. It is not even about evangelism as it is commonly understood.

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

5 comments:

coach d said...

Thanx for the tip.

Pastor Rod said...

I thought you weren't reading anything this week. Don't worry I won't tell anyone ;-)

nathaniel adam king said...

I agree completely that pragmatism has become a gross influence within the church. Quite bluntly, it pisses me off. People would look to a church that is of only twenty members, and has been of only twenty members for some time, and think of them as less living, less spiritual than the mammoth of a church down the road that has just added on a three story extension. Living things grow, isn't that correct? But what people fail to understand is that the church's health cannot be determined by a glance at all those who meet with believers. If we look to only the body called 'church', we will find within it almost half that are not even saved. Therefore, we need to look at the individuals within the 'church', who truly make up the Church, and then can we see growth and life.

Pastor Rod said...

Adam,

I see pragmatism as one of the most serious dangers to the church. This is the gospel according to Machiavelli.

Rod

blind beggar said...

Breaking the Missional code has some real good stuff, particularly in the first half. I think it breaks down towards the end, but it is still a worthy read.