Missional?

My grumpy rant for the day:

Ok, so it’s firmly established that the new “cool” hip ministry word these days is”missional”. Just like “seeker” was in the 90’s, “missional” is now what we have to be.

My take:

1. I hate ministry labels. They seem to do nothing but cause confusion since an explicit, unifying definition is often painfully absent. People start using these words and meaning totally different things and soon everyone is just talking past each other. This rarely is how labels get started, but once they hit the mainstream market everything becomes horribly confusing. Take for example the word, “evangelical”. Fifty or sixty years ago there was a much more concise and agreed upon definition of this word (take note though that I have no idea beyond general things, what this is). Nowadays, it’s anyone’s guess what one means when that word gets thrown out. Sure there are some consistent factors, but there would be huge inconsistencies on things that I would take to be essential. Thus, I don’t call myself an evangelical anymore because all it leads to is unhelpful assumptions about what I believe that may or may not be true.

2. Why do we need a label “missional” anyway? A church is only a church in so far as they are passionate about God’s Kingdom mission in the world. Anyone ever read the book of Acts? Hello!!! In my view any group of assembled believers that fails to be missional, then also fails to be a church. How sad is it that we have to create labels to distinguish those who embrace God’s goals in the world and those who don’t. It’s wack jack I say.

Ok, I am done now…

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5 responses to “Missional?

  1. Whatever the term you want to use bro is fine with me, I think it is the lifestyle this term means that is important… I agree that the church and mission have to be tied together, BUT it isn’t in a lot of churches. If you say they are not a church if they are not doing this, then we got a lot of “religous clubs” in the USA.

    There are always going to be terms, it is who we are, we must label everything.

    Do I consider myself emerging and missional, yes and yes, do I care if you use the terms, no and no. I could care less if you know the term or call it hypossional, it is the actual embracing God’s mission not just globally but here in the culture we are at, it is about learning to love, live life with your neighbors before you fly off to China, that is what matters!

    Not growing up in the church for 23 years of my 27, the closest thing to witnessing I ever got was someone locking me in a car to listen to DC Talk… and no Christian dared to live life with me, a girl chasing, pot smoking, drunk, cussing, law breaking Frat boy.

    The label is there for a reason, for a real need that is not being met in today’s church bro, call it whatever you want, but we have failed, we have not sought the lost and sick, we have not cared for the orphan and poor, instead we have built churches with movie theaters, basketball courts, coffee shops and skate parks (not an attack an any particular church! If you feel defensive maybe ask why), churches with everything in it so one never has to leave, we have given a Christian every reason to bubble up in all that is Christian.

    Missional is a call to break out of our bubble, much like you do at Scalo’s, it is a call to love our neighbor, even the drunk ones! It is a call to be on Christ’s mission to seek an save the unsavory of this city and world, it is a call to live risky lives, to piss off the religious.

    If it takes a new term, then so be it…

  2. As usual, the dialectical tension that is my life leads me to agree and amen with both Z and Los. Terms are important, definition drive our understanding and in return our understanding re-invents our definitions…at the end of the day, local churches founded on the solid rock of Christ’s gospel and a proper historio-theological outworking of it, will give ‘missional’ the justice it deserves. Churches that just use it as a buzz word will fall to the wayside in our emerging post-christian culture. So, by all means, go Stephen Covey and use the word, BUT make sure its definition is defined by both you AND your church by how you live, love and serve.

    Related, since I just talked to Los and Zach and watched their curmudgeon-esk flailing love, let us remember that the greatest threat to unifying conversation (e.g. not talking past each other) is impatience. If we listen, this stuff tends to get worked out 😉

  3. No, I don’t want to listen. Los needs to repent in zackcloth and ashes.

  4. As usual Greg you try and have your postmodern cake and eating.

    wack jack.

  5. I heart Z, and was not reacting to him as much as to a push back I have had recently with people who blew off not just the word, remember that is not important, but the way of thinking, to seek and save the lost.

    Z is a picture of what that term means in a lot of ways, so this was not a criticism of him, but of the church in suburban America!!

    Plus I have not been in the church long enough to be burnt out by the “term of the week”…

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