What is Missional?

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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...


3 comments:

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:

http://missionalchurchnetwork.com/missional-more-than-a-buzz-word-2/

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

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

Peace,
Jamie

phil said...

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