Is missional church just the latest church fad? Or is there something more theologically substantial at work here?
You can probably guess what my answer is, but I still encounter my fair share of people who are suspicious of it for one reason or another. Some people feel threatened by the inherent challenge in missional church to inherited forms of church structure. Others simply don’t want to get taken for a ride by marketers looking to make a quick buck.
I think Jonathan Dodson hit the nail on the head, though, in his recent post examining the dangers of transitioning to a missional church paradigm and practice.
People often adopt or reject the concept before they have properly understood it. This creates a bandwagon effect, uncritical early adopters who adopt an idea, jump on the bandwagon, without depth of understanding of what they have committed themselves to. Alternatively, there are the hypercritical naysayers, who naysay missional church as a fading fad. Ironically, the hypercritical naysayers commit the same error as the uncritical early adopters. Both responses fail to adequately investigate just what “missional church” is.
He presents a really helpful chart to talk about the difference between Church WITH a mission and Church AS a mission.
|Church WITH a Mission
|Church AS a Mission
|What You Do (Task)
|Who You Are (Identity)
|Project Focus (Event)
|People Focus (Disciple)
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.