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Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Does It Mean to be Missional?

I've mentioned a few times that part of the core DNA of Encounter is being missional. But sometimes there is some confusion about what "missional" means. To be missional is much more than just to evangelize.

I came across the following in Dan Kimball's book, They Like Jesus But Not The Church. As I think of being missional as a church community, I feel these characteristics best describe our desire and approach to impact Helena.
  • Being missional means that the church sees itself as being missionaries, rather than having a missions department, and that we see ourselves as missionaries right where we live.
  • Being missional means that we see ourselves as representatives of Jesus "sent" into our community, and that the church aligns everything it does with the mission of God.
  • Being missional means we see the church not as a place we go only on Sunday, but as something we are throughout the week.
  • Being missional means that we understand we don't "bring Jesus" to people but that we realize that Jesus is active in culture and we join Him in what He is doing.
  • Being missional means that we are very much in the world and engaged in culture but are not conforming to the world.
  • Being missional means we serve our community, and that we build relationships with the people in them, rather than seeing them as evangelistic targets.
  • Being missional means being all the more dependent on Jesus and the Spirit through prayer, the Scriptures, and each other in community.
I'd love to hear which of these resonate with you and why. Please enter your responses by clicking on the "comments" below this post.


Benjamin Wheatley said...

I liked Dan's book.

here's another great way of putting it by Alan Hirsch:

"It is not so much that the church has a mission, but that the mission has a church”

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