Understanding what it means to be a missional church

Understanding what it means to be a missional church

‘Missional’ has become one of the most overused words in the evangelical world right now. Trying to define it simply has become a bit of a nightmare. It can mean certain things to certain people. Some are sniffily suspicious of it, regarding it as a hip, emergent type approach to life and mission. Others are more embracing of it and yet struggle to simply define what exactly they mean by it. Here is a simple definition of the term which I think really helpfully captures what I mean when I use the word ‘missional’ for my church in Niddrie. The days of just putting on an event and expecting people to come are long gone. I think they do have a part to play still and indeed in Niddrie we put on an event at least once a quarter which are usually massively well attended. However, the bulk of what we do in terms of mission and evangelism has got to be getting out into our communities and relating to our friends where they are. Enjoy!


Ed Stetzer answers in the following way

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/8894135]

Personally, I would want to me more careful in my use of language particularly when it comes to phrases like ‘joining Jesus on his mission’. I consider our mission to be The Great Commission (not suggesting that Ed doesn’t!) and when I use the term ‘missional’ I am talking about equipping my members to think of evangelism as a lifestyle and not an event, as something we can all engage in (even though some are particularly gifted) and as something we go out to do as well as something we can invite people to. I am not saying that I have it right but that this is my understanding of the term. This is why it is such a slippery thing to get hold of.

A great [lace to start would be Ed Stetzer’s series on ‘The Meanings of Missional’. He is a really, really good thinker when it comes to this stuff. You don’t have to agree with every little detail but I find him to be rigorous and generally fair across the board. A great site which avoids the hysterics and polemics of so many others.