What does it mean to be a Missional Church?
It seems the more you look into ways to build and grow your church the term missional keeps coming up. I think it is important to understand what a missional church is before we jump on the bandwagon of the new missional church buzz. So I have been trying to some research and get a better understanding of what it is to be missional.
In my research, I found a video that does a pretty good job of breaking down the concepts of what a missional church is. This might help you as well.
To get even more understanding I read an article put out by ChristianityToday titled Defining Missional (click the link to read the full article). The main points I pulled from this article were stated in these two paragraphs:
Many churches have mission statements or talk about the importance of mission, but where truly missional churches differ is in their posture toward the world. A missional community sees the mission as both its originating impulse and its organizing principle. A missional community is patterned after what God has done in Jesus Christ. In the incarnation God sent his Son. Similarly, to be missional means to be sent into the world; we do not expect people to come to us. This posture differentiates a missional church from an attractional church.
A missional theology is not content with mission being a church-based work. Rather, it applies to the whole life of every believer. Every disciple is to be an agent of the kingdom of God, and every disciple is to carry the mission of God into every sphere of life. We are all missionaries sent into a non-Christian culture.
So to me the video and this article both talk about the difference between inward based theology and outward based theology. The comparrison of theology based around members congregating in a building and members taking the word and spreading it in our everyday situations in life (not within the church walls, but in the secular world). It is funny, when I think of missionary work, I'm taken back to my youth and how I grew up thinking missionary work meant going to some foreign third world country to help people and spread the word.
Not everyone is cut out for childhood beliefs of missionary work, but we might be cut out to share the message, we learned this Sunday at Church, with a coworker. This to is bringing the word to someone who may not know Jesus. To me this is how being a missionary has been redefined through my research of a missional church. So who have you shared the word with? How could you tell others, who may not know Jesus or may not be affiliated with a church, about how the message has changed you or helped you through hard times? Being a missionary in your local community, at work, or other events and organizations is part of what this new missional movement is all about. So could this mean a religious conversation outside of our typical and safe "religious" environment (the church)? Maybe even at lunch with a friend or colleague over a beer?
Photo by j.o.h.n. walker
You may ask… but weren't we always doing this? For that question I would ask you… when was the last time you talked about God, Jesus, religion, or the bible to someone in your personal life? If you can rattle of several times recently, then good for you. You are a missional person and doing a great job. If however you are like me, it has not been recent enough and so I challenge you and myself to connect with someone this week and share a thought about how you are blessed by having God in your life.
If you would like to see some of the work FCC is doing to help the community of Fort Worth, check out our Glimpses of Rain building usage program.