A missional church is rooted in the purpose of God, and understands that God is on a mission to reclaim a People for himself and restore a Creation to it’s orignal beauty. This is known as missio dei – Mission of God.
A missional church recognizes that our culture in North America is no longer an expression of Christendom.
Christendom was a period in history when Christianity was the prevailing religion. During this time Christian thought, directed by the Bible, provided the lense through which people evaluated the world.
We can no longer assume that:
- People are part of a congregation. In the past, most people had some affiliation with a church. Now, most people have no connection with a church, increasing numbers of people have never even been in a church.
- People define Right vs. Wrong based upon some understanding of God’s Standard.
- People necessarily care what the Bible says, much less that most people have any understanding of what it teaches.
- The church can no longer serve as chaplain to a culture, and a People, as if they only need encouragement along Life’s Journey.
- Each congregation must engage the culture(s) in the community where God has sovereignly placed us in the same way that a missionary must engage a foreign culture:
- Learning to understand before trying to be understood.
- Presuming our neighbors have no previous understanding of God and the Gospel – or at best they have a fragmented and distorted understading.
- Look for Redemptive Analogies – stories from within the culture that reflect the truths of God and the Gospel.
- Loving a People who may reject us, and even hate and harm us.
The church must:
- Grow inwardlay strong yet Outwardly Focused.
- Be MORE Incarnational than Attractional
- Evaluate all ministries with a missional lense.
In summary: A Missional Church pours itself out on the community, seeking cultural transformation more than its own prosperity.