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Most of us aware of the missional church movement that has reached a viral level in church circles across America. The main question for most of us is; are we attractional or missional? I believe the best view is a balanced approached to both. In my opinion an attractional missional church has the best possibilities of a healthy church.
I can actually say that we were missional when missional wasn’t cool. The churches we have birthed over the last 25 years were primarily mission focused. However, I have enjoyed learning greater tools from Verge Network and from men like Alan Hirsch and Mike Breen.
Here is an excerpt from gotquestions.org.
Essentially, the idea of being missional teaches that the church has a mission because Jesus had a mission.
What does it mean to be missional? “Missional” or “missional living” is a Christian term that in essence describes a missionary lifestyle. Being missional includes embracing the posture, the thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to reach others with the message of the gospel. The term “missional” gained its popularity towards the end of the 20th century and is beginning to strongly influence the American church on a wide scale.
There is one mission which says that the “missional church is a community of God’s people that defines itself, and organizes its life around, its real purpose of being an agent of God’s mission to the world. In other words, the church’s true and authentic organizing principle is mission. When the church is in mission, it is the true church.”
Though many churches have mission statements or talk about the importance of having a mission, where missional churches differ is in their attitude toward the world. A missional church sees the mission as both its originating impulse and its organizing principle. It is patterned after what God has done in Jesus Christ, that is, to be missional means to be sent into the world; not to expect people to come to us. This idea differentiates a missional church from an “attractional” church.
Many churches in America and sometimes our church has made the terrible mistake of confusing the church as the mission of God rather than knowing the church has a mission from God. In other words; God had a mission before He had a church and he created the church to fulfill His mission.
I recently shared these thoughts to our church.
1. The acclamation of the Gospel is not the application of the Gospel
Many Christians live as though that hearing the Gospel is equal to living the Gospel. We have multiple passages of scripture where Jesus taught that the Gospel must be applied to our lives. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught that whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them is like the man who built his house on the rock.
2. Believers do not only go to church they are the church
We have confused who and what the church is. The church is not a building, entity, or an organization. It is an organism. Most Christians I know are not living Christian lives, but they live their Christian lives through and at the church. Our mission is not merely to come to church. Our call is to go be the church to a dying lost world. This is our mission and we are empowered by God to perform His word.
3. Believers have gifts to share not only share in the gifts
Romans 12 depicts each of us an individual members in a corporate body. Each member in the body has a function in the body and each part has a unique gift to impart to each other. You and I are empowered by God to serve and to share our gifts. Most of us rarely involve ourselves in missional work because we fail to realize that God has prepared and equipped us for the job. Most of us have also never put ourselves in position for the Holy Spirit to use us radically and powerfully. It’s time. I encourage you to step out and find out. The power will be released when the mission is performed!
4. The church measures success by wrong gauge
I heard someone say that the church should measure itself by how many are going to minister and not how many are coming to worship. Our perception is that we the church have a mission that’s optional. Is love your neighbor as yourself optional or a command? Why do we believers always think someone else will do it?
Why do we fail to realize that it begins with me?
While I have always considered us missional in style we are learning the biblical way to build a missional community that is impacting our city and region. This has been our vision plan from the first day we birthed LifeBridge.
I am anticipating a fresh wind of hope and mission all across America and around the world. I am very excited what the missional movement is bringing to the American church.
Would love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment.