Saturday, October 27, 2007

What Is Missional Church?

I see many people using the term missional in ways that have little or nothing to do with what I understand the word to mean.

For many it is little more than a synonym for hip or cool.

But I ran across this statement by Lesslie Newbigin in his Foolishness to the Greeks that seems to sum things up rather well:

The church is the bearer to all the nations of a gospel that announces the kingdom, the reign, and the sovereignty of God. It calls men and women to repent of their false loyalty to other powers, to become believers in the one true sovereignty, and so to become corporately a sign, instrument, and foretaste of that sovereignty of the one true and living God over all nature, all nations, and all human lives. It is not meant to call men and women out of the world into a safe religious enclave but to call them out in order to send them back as agents of God's kingship.

Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks, p. 124

Missional primarily refers to the mission that the church has been given.

This is not a mission just to get people signed up for heaven. It is mission to proclaim the gospel and to live as agents of God's kingship in the world.

  • We are not calling for people to participate in a business transaction with Jesus that will provide them with a voucher to enter heaven when they die.
  • We are not calling for people to hire Jesus as a life coach so that they can "live their best life now."
  • We are not calling for people to vote for Jesus as their deity of choice.

We are calling for people to submit to the one who is Lord of the Universe, to acknowledge his rightful place in their lives and in the world.

We are calling for them to actively participate in his kingdom as his will becomes fulfilled "on earth as it is in heaven."

Ironically, it is in giving up our "pursuit of happiness" and in submitting to his sovereignty that we find the fulfillment that seems so elusive:

Human beings find fulfillment not in the attempt to develop themselves, not in the effort to better their own condition, not in the untrammeled exercise of unlimited covetousness, but in the experience of mutual relatedness and responsibility in serving a shared goal.

Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks, p. 122

Jesus said something like that

Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it (Luke 9:24).

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"

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