'Missional' more than just buzz

Eric Reed, Christianity Today

2 July 2009


Missional is more than a trend as today's Christians recover an old calling.


newownership.jpgThe word missional has been in the dictionary for 100 years, defined in the 1907 Oxford English dictionary as something that is of, or pertaining to, missionaries. But those who use the word today have broader applications, focusing on the church's role in the culture.

It refers to a philosophy of ministry: that followers of Christ are counter-cultural, on a mission to change the culture. Missional refers to the specific activity of churches: to build the kingdom of God in all settings where church members are at work, rather than building up the local congregation, its programs, numbers, and facilities.

Many users of the term refer to a change of heart—that missions is not a distant program to which we send a check or boxes of used clothing—but instead something we're personally involved in. The whole life of a believer is to be dedicated to faithful sharing, giving, and going—more than studying, hearing, and sending others.

Those steeped in a missions tradition would contend it is the recovery of an old ethic. If the number of websites and recent books using the word are any measure, missional is hot and spreading. Time will tell if it is the successor to "church growth" and the antidote to consumer-driven church...

To read the full article by Eric Reed, visit http://www.christianitytoday.com/outreach/articles/newownership.html . It is excellent!