Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mission-Shaped Church

In recent years, there are many interests in the emerging church conversation. Some think the term emerging church is used to express that we need new mission-shaped churches that relate to the emerging culture . Others believe that the future of Western Christianity is hidden in the genesis and genius of emerging communities seeking to engage the Christian faith. Some like to call it the experimental faith communities.

Whether you agree with the emerging church 'movement', there is clearly something fresh and important happening as people think adventurously about being the church in ways that are missional to the core. I suppose the terms 'emerging' or 'emergent' tell us that such groups are not fully formed, but one thing is quite clear, these groups want to encourage 'new missional communities'.

I learned that one of the biggest buzz words in missiology today is 'missional', which means different things to different people and needs careful definition. Every disciple of Christ wants to be missional, of course, whether seen as narrowly evangelistic or engaging more broadly in transformative ways in society, whether its personally, locally or cross-culturally / globally.

I like the term 'mission-shaped church', which I was told is the title of a recent report by the Church of England. I think a missional church is one that is shaped in all parts of its life by its sense of mission. That is, it exists for the world more than for the comfort of its members. It is outgoing to the core. I think mission-shaped church is a clear way of expressing what the emerging church is on about.

What do you think?

11 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am not sure that the church can and should be mission-shaped. The Church is defined not by waht it does (worship, evangelism etc), but by what it is, that is a people who are redeemed from the world and united to Christ.

"That is, it exists for the world more than for the comfort of its members."

I do not think the church exists for the world exactly. The Church is a testimony to the world, but it exists for Christ's glory and for its relationship with Him as the bride of Christ.

God Bless

Matthew

audrey` said...

Hello dearest sis!
Long time no see :)
HaHa!
How are you?

Pia said...

just dropping by and say hello. =)

Kitty Cheng said...

Matthew, if the church exists for Christ's glory, then it should follow God's Great Commission, to go and make disciples of all nations. Hence it exists for the evangelisation of the world.

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Audrey, yeah I've been having a bit of server problems these last few days! It's all good and I'm well. Thanks sis for your care ;)

Kitty Cheng said...

Hello Pia. How have you been?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

No, that is not how Christ is glorified. Christ's present glory is in His enthronement in heavenly glory (Hebrews 1:3) a state in which the Church is indentified with Him(Colossians 1:18).

God Bless

Matthew

Kitty Cheng said...

Matthew, I agree that Christ's glory is in His enthronment in heavenly glory, yet we can surely glorify Him in our lives through our following His commands and bring people to Him.

audrey` said...

Oh yes!
There were some problems with blogger now and then for the past few days.

Kitty Cheng said...

Yeah I hope blogger will sort out the technical problems soon.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

When we strive to obey commandments, we tend to end up making a mess of things.

Making the church mission-shaped is missing the point.

We need to recognise that the Church is Christ-shaped. Then we will be able to seek His presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.

If we seek to focus everything on our mission we will end up with duty without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew