Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Missional Church is not:

  • A missional church is not a dispenser of religious goods and services or a place where people come for their weekly spiritual fix.
  • A missional church is not a place where mature Christians come to be fed and have their needs met.
  • A missional church is not a place where "professionals" are hired to do all the work of the church.
  • A missional church is not a place where the "professionals" teach the children and youth about God to the exclusion of parental responsibility.
  • A missional church is not a church with a "good missions program." The people are the missions program and includes going to "Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
  • A missional church is not about a new strategy for evangelism.
  • A missional church is not missional just because it is contemporary, young, hip, postmodern-sensitive, seeker-sensitive or even traditional.
  • A missional church is not about big programs and organizations to accomplish God's missionary purpose. This does not imply no program or organization, but that they will not drive mission. They will be used in support of people on mission.
  • A missional church is not involved in political party activism, either on the right or left. As Brian McLaren wrote, we need "purple peoplehood" — people who don't want to be defined as red or blue, but have elements of both.
[The Creature: I guess this last point relates particularly to the American context - I am sure there is an Australian analogue but I am not sure it is quite so clear-cut, particularly given the two-party preferred system we operate under here in Oz, i.e. we don't actually vote in our Prime Minister.]

Taken from Friend of Missional website.


blind beggar said...

Andrew: You are right, it may not apply in Oz, but it sure does here in the US. To many Christians here have succumbed to pushing a "protective social action" agenda via political engagement rather than following the Lord’s calling for "transformative social action" via missio dei.

You are bless if you don't have to deal with it.

Mully said...

Here is a question that may come out of left field. What is the "church"? And is mission its primary objective?
Is the "missional church" the church or is it a subset of the church?

The Creature said...

Blind Beggar wrote: "To many Christians here have succumbed to pushing a "protective social action" agenda via political engagement rather than following the Lord’s calling for "transformative social action" via missio dei"

Traditionally this hasn't been a major issue here in Australia - not that the church has necessarily been good at the "transformative social action" side of things either, there just hasn't be such a political emphasis - though, if you believe much of the current political commentary our PM is trying to enage the church and get Christian's more involved in politics by appealing to the "evangelical vote". I am not exactly sure how true this really is though. Personally I gave up aligning myself with any party more than 10 years ago and don't think I have ever voted along party lines.

It is a topic that I think I should probably look into a little more.

By the way - what is "protective social action"?

The Creature said...

Hey Mully,

That is a good question and I am finding it difficult to answer directly.

I think the missional church is "The Church", or perhaps is an idealised model of how "the church" should look.

I learnt a long time ago (and need reminding from time to time) that there is no such thing as a "perfect church", but I do think a missional/incarnational approach to ministry/life is biblical when it is characterised by a Christ centredness - a focus on Christ and His life rather than a focus on structures and institutions (that's not to say that I don't think there is still a place for structure - institutions? I'm not so sure).

So to cut a long story short - I think the missional church, ideally, is church and not a subset. And, that the institutionalised church has moved away from this and in many senses made sacred cows of traditions that are not bibilical or conducive to the good health of the church and that detract from its ability to truly be effective in reaching modern culture.

I am not saying though that traditional forms of church are not part of "the church". Though I am starting to see that it is difficult for traditional churches to be/become fully missional in their outlook because of vested interests and emotional committment to tradition. Although I think smaller congregations that are willing and/or able to change stand a fair chance of making moves in this direction.

Man - that was hard work - you ask good questions! :)