Sometimes I talk with people who think missional church is the same thing as a church having a "missions" program or department. But that’s not it at all. In a great post, Blind Beggar says this:
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.”
Other times I talk with people who think the missional church can be equated with having a hip, postmodern church service. But candles and cool hair do not make a missional church. Missional church is a paradigm shift, not just a cosmetic change. It’s not simply repainting the car, it’s replacing the engine. It’s not just adding on to the living room, it’s changing the foundation of the whole house.
It’s taking the red pill and seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes.
The shift in thinking goes a lot deeper than most people think, and challenges almost every pre-supposition of the "church growth" AND "church health" movements. If we don’t take the time and effort to let the virus of the missional church to fully infect our thinking, we are in danger of implementing shallow band-aid solutions to problems that demand open-heart surgery. We’ll need to patient with the process and let the new paradigm really get into us, or we’ll just end up creating another missions program or "postmodern service", convincing ourselves we’re re-outfitting the car with a new engine, when in reality we’re simply giving it a fresh coat of paint.
This chart I found on Blind Beggar’s site (from Stetzer and Putnam’s book Breaking the Missional Code) is really helpful in outlining the shift in thinking that needs to take place:
John Lunt says
Great post. Thanks for posting the chart as well. I believe that’s very helpful to people exploring the missional paradigm,
The change is mindset is a must.
Missions minded involved money and prayer. Missional is about owning my own participation.
Benjamin Sternke says
Exactly Jerry. “Missions minded” involves sacrificing for mission, but still out-sources mission to others (the “professionals”), whereas missional is all about owning the mission, not out-sourcing it. It’s the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethic manifesting itself in the church.
joshua longbrake says
that’s a fantastic chart. well put.
RC of strangeculture says
Very interesting…I like the table a lot.
There was some conflict when our pastor was prefacing a “missional life” sermon series…
some people felt like our church already talked about “missions” a lot, and didn’t focus on things going on around us (domestic life) and did not like the idea of their being a “missional life” series…
huh…i bet they were surprised when they realized what the termenology meant…
it’s a bummer when termonology limits people like that.(or that they were thinking that at all)
–RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com