Some questions I have wrestled with over time:
Can someone live missionally without a conscious embracing of missionalism?
- I suspect “No”.
- It is possible to engage in activities, but without a conscious approach there is no “mission”.
- Such a life is more frenetic, aimless, and haphazard.
- Mission requires intentionally carrying out a preconceived plan and/or purpose.
Can a church move toward missional without everyone necessarily understanding and embracing a missional mindset?
- I think “Yes”.
- Studies of transitions from traditional to missional by the Gospel & Our Culture Network do not offer a positive picture. It is not an easy road. Many long held notions must be reconsidered.
- Still, I think a congregation can move toward becoming missional as long as the Leadership is intentionally missional and is directing the church.
- First it may require simply moving toward being Outwardly-Focused. An outwardly-focused church will carry many of the same marks as being an evangelistic church. In some respects an outwardly-focused church merely does what churches that want to think of themselves as evangelistic talk about doing or assume they do (when in fact, they do not).
- An Outwardly-Focused Church moves from being ingrown, but may not necessarily require every member, or even most of the membership, to be intentionally missional. It does not require the mindset change, only faithful activity.
- But as more people are encouraged to engage the community and are released to serve in various capacities, as leaders show how learning to understand the values and mindsets of the peoples in the community is simply a tangible expression of “loving you neighbor”, more and more people will move toward a missional mindset.