What is Missional?

Over the last few years I have been really thinking about the church, is it what God wants it to be? What is it that should change? What is it that should not change? As I have done this I have explored the concepts that emergent village explores, reading books by Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, and others. A lot of what they have to say, really connects with me, but I have always been left with a feeling of uneasiness in many ways.

I have kept reading them and enjoying their thoughts, but lately I have become more and more interested in the church/christian concept that is called Missional. Over the last few years I have heard missional talked about quite a bit, and have often wondered what it meant, but never took the time to really look into it. A few months back I decided to check out some definitions. When I clicked on friends of missional I was really blown away! The definition of a missional community fit so well with the thoughts that I have had about the church lately. This mindset makes so much sense to me. Here is a part of what really struck me as a definition of a missional church:

"Jesus told us to go into all the world and be his ambassadors, but many churches today have inadvertently changed the "go and be" command to a "come and see" appeal. We have grown attached to buildings, programs, staff and a wide variety of goods and services designed to attract and entertain people.

"Missional is a helpful term used to describe what happens when you and I replace the "come to us" invitations with a "go to them" life. A life where "the way of Jesus" informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture. It speaks of the very nature of the Jesus follower."

A little while later I got to meet Jamie Arpin-Ricci because my friend Phil asked me to help share as part of his teaching at a Discipleship Training School. Jamie has thought a lot about missional and is really living it (in fact his blog is called missional.blog.com). A little while later I connected with Gord Sawatzky (a passionate missionary from our church who has become a bit of a mentor) who said he had been reading a book by Alan Hirsch that really inspired and challenged him to live differently.

I am starting to think that someone might be trying to say something to me...


brad brisco said...

Trevor, each of the sites you mention are very helpful. Here is my humble attempt to define the word/concept of missional or missional church:


Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Glad I could be helpful. Hope we can keep dialoguing.


phil said...

any luck at getting the new book by Hirsch? Laters man, love and kisses.