The missional church is not about style. I grow tired of critics setting up straw men and being amazed at how easily they fall down. Any description or definition of emerging or missional church that says we are trying to simply spice up our services with cool hair, goatees, incense and candles is a straw man. This is decidedly not about goatees and candles and cool hair just like evangelicalism is not about khakis and polos and potluck dinners and nicely parted hair.
It’s about theology.
It’s about asking the question, "What is the gospel?" and finding out it’s a lot bigger than "going to heaven when you die." It’s about taking seriously the question, How can we live Christianity instead of just believe it? It goes a lot deeper than just style. It’s about the gospel. It’s about following Jesus in an increasingly pagan world, without simply becoming a shrill, whiny voice with no influence or weight to it (which is what standard evangelicalism is becoming, rapidly). It’s about waking up and discovering that nobody can understand what you are saying, and wondering why, and perhaps in humility learning from others how to communicate effectively in this new world. It’s about a church that takes seriously her call to heal the world, instead of thinking only about her own survival and well-being.
People all over the world are engaging with these things: wrestling and studying and dreaming and planning and starting and planting and failing and succeeding. And it’s not just being done by cool twentysomethings with great hair and impeccable fashion sense. The missional church is not about style, it’s about something much deeper, at the heart of what it means to be the church. It’s a theology thing, not a style thing.