Saturday, June 09, 2007

Missional: Possible

The winter edition of Leadership Journal had a series of articles under the heading Going Missional. One of those, Missional Possible: Steps to Transform from a Consumer Church into a Missional Church, was distributed to the elders from each congregation at last week's PMC cluster meeting to take home, read, and discuss as a group. We haven't met to discuss it yet, but I look forward to the conversation.

This 2-page article gives one of the clearest definitions of missional that I have read. I'll let it speak for itself...

Missio Dei stems from the Triune God: the Father sends the Son, the Father and the Son send the Spirit, and the Father and Son and the Spirit send the church into the world...

A missional church lives out the church's three-dimensional calling: to be upwardly focused on God in worship that is passionate; to be inwardly focused on community among believers that is demonstrated in relationships of love and compassion; and to be outwardly focused on a world that does not yet know God...

Two main distractions often block a congregation's missional expression. The first is Self-Preservation...the church began to exist for the sake of the church...the point is not whether we can build churches that last, but whether churches can touch the world with God's love...

The other primary distraction is Church Growth. When the emphasis is on bringing the world to the church, the church's mission of going to the world can get lost...

Attracting people to the church is not necessarily wrong. In fact, it's important not to view missional as the opposite of attractional...the problem arises when attracting people becomes the mission...

Becoming missional means redirecting resources toward the world. This means that church leaders take a hard look at how money, time, and energy are allocated. Is it for the sole benefit of those in the church, or invested in God's mission to the world?

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