What is Missional?


There are many things being said and written about what it is to be missional as a church both individually and corporately. I’m currently reading Dan Kimball’s new book They Like Jesus But Not the Church, which I find extremely refreshing — particularly from his perspective as a pastor of a larger congregation. On page 20 he writes the following regarding the question, “what is Missional?”

He begins by stating that “to be missional is more than just to evangelize.” And offers the following in ways of thinking concerning this term..

  • Being missional means that the church sees itself as being missionaries, rather than having a missions department, and that we see ourselves as missionaries right where we live.
  • Being missional means that we see ourselves as representatives of Jesus “sent” into our communities, and that the church aligns everything it does with the missio dei (mission of God).
  • Being missional means we see the church not as a place we go only on Sunday, but as something we are throughout the week.
  • Being missional means that we understand we don’t “bring Jesus” to people but that we realize Jesus is active in culture and we join him in what he is doing.
  • Being missional means we are very much in the world and engaged in culture but are not conforming to the world.
  • Being missional means we serve our communities, and that we build relationships with the people in them, rather than seeing them as evangelistic targets.
  • Being missional means being all the more dependent on Jesus and the Spirit through prayer, the Scriptures, and each other in community.

Much of the above thoughts we’ve discussed earlier, but to have listed together helps our overall perspective. This is not an exhaustive list for sure, and maybe you might want to add to this list. Feel free to add to and make comments as we dialogue together in what it is for us to be a “missional” people.

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