Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Becoming a Missional Church

Last year Christianity Today magazine asked the question: What makes a church missional? I desire to see NGWC become a more missional church. Before we can answer this question or achieve this goal, we need to know what “missional” means. Apparently it has come to mean different things to different people.

This week’s blog postings will explore what it means, in my mind, to be a missional church. Dan Kimball describes the missional church "as a body of people sent on a mission who gather in community for worship, encouragement, and teaching from the Word that supplements what they are feeding themselves throughout the week." I like to state it this way, this expression is borrowed from a forgotten source, “Don’t say that the church has a mission, rather that the mission has a church.” The mission is God’s mission of reaching the world and Jesus said, “as the Father has sent me, so send I you.”

Missional is a shift in thinking; not a phase or program. Ed Stetzer and David Putman in their book, "Breaking the Missional Code" express this new paradigm in the following types of shifts:

From attractional to incarnational
From programs to processes
From uniformity to diversity
From professional to passionate
From seating to sending
From decisions to disciples
From services to service
From ordained to the ordinary
From organizations to organisms

This shift from the historical American “build it and they will come” mindset to the biblical great commission “go and make disciples” mindset will be a challenge for many churches but a necessary one in our post-modern culture.

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