Monday, June 12, 2006

Missional Church

The Krow sent me a comment in regards to my previous post about Don't think church, think mission , and that really got me thinking more about the missional church. I learned that the missional church has the following characteristics:
  • "The missional church is reading both Scripture and culture with new eyes. It sees that what is determined by the Christian faith is more than being a good, upright citizen. This emerging church calls for honest, authentic faith that seeks to be church in the way of a more radical discipleship.” (Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Evangelism)
  • “A missional church is one whose primary commitment is to the missionary calling of the people of God. . . it is one that aligns itself with God’s missionary purposes in the world. . . The missional church is a sent church, incarnating Jesus’ life and values in the culture it is embedded”.(Frost and Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come)
  • A missional church has the following defining values: (1) externally focused.(2) culturally engaged without being absorbed.(3) incarnationally not institutionally driven.(4) about discipleship not church membership.(5) patterned after God's missionary purpose in the world.(6) seeks to establish Kingdom outposts to retake territory under the control of the Evil One.(7) seeks to plant,grow, and multiply missionary communities.(8) trains and equips new leaders to learn in the context of mission not in the security of our comfort zone.(9) highlights character, virtue, and compassionate deeds as the most effective witness to God's Kingdom.(10) connects to Jesus through mission not doctrinal precision.(11) adopts an organizational structure and internal forms based on mission not ecclesiastical traditions.(12) sees itself as organic and not in static institutional forms.(13) pursues relationships across generational, ethnic, economic and cultural lines of distinctions.(14) seeks to partner with the community to "seek the shalom" of the community.(15) assembles to seek God's presence and to be realigned with God's missionary purpose. (16) seeks to reawaken a movement ethos as together we engage our cultural context.

4 comments:

Timothy said...

I can't agree with you. The church is the body of Christ, raised up by Him to worship the Father (John 4). Missions should be a by product of that worship, not the primary focus. Have you ever read John Piper's book, Let the Nation's Be Glad?

The primary thrust of the book is that missions exists because worship does not. Missions is secondary to the function of the church (not that it is reduced in any way in importantce, it is important). But the primary goal of God is to worship on the Lord's Day.
Blessings

The Krow said...

Kitty,

Thanks for the acknowledgement, I'm glad my comment had/has caused some thought for you. I'm enjoying your post, reading it through for the 3rd time I'm struck by the list of what defines a missionary church. These statements strike deep in me and fire the craving I have to see churches so sold out for the mission of God. I enjoy point 2 "engaged but not absorbed" as well 12 "organic and not static". The opposite of these are huge killers of the missional church, and I my overall view of how institutional church has become.

Kitty Cheng said...

Timothy, thanks for visiting my blog and your comment.

Surely the church is the Body of Christ, and that mission exists because worship does not. In listing the importance of mission in a church, I was not saying that it was more important than worship. However, I think the commitment to the missionary calling of the people of God is in fact an act of worship.

I totally agree that worshiping God is the primary goal of the church. If you see point 15: "missional church assembles to seek God's presence and to be realigned with God's missionary purpose." Seeking God's presence (worship) is the primary goal, and the missionary purpose of God was realigned as a result (as you said). So I believe we are on the same wavelength Timothy.

Kitty Cheng said...

The Krow,

I am glad this list has striked deep in you and fired the craving you have to see churches sold out for the gospel and the mission of God. It has the same impact on me too ;)

God Bless!