Missional Field Notes

Quotes, Examples, and Ideas from My Missional Frontier

A Missional Community is the church on mission. It is a group of 10-40 Christ followers who embody and declare the Gospel to a specific people, neighborhood or network of relationships. The goal is to help people become and grow as disciples of Jesus as they work to consistently and creatively serve their specific mission …

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Alex Absalom describes “Missional Community”:

The group balances its energies between an upward movement towards God, an inward movement toward the MC as a place of identity, and an outward movement to represent Christ to their mission context. When they gather, they express this in creative ways that are appropriate to their context. In fact, there will be great diversity between groups in how this looks, with a variety of faces and voices being given room to step forward and contribute what they can. The only ‘rule’ is that they do not try to do a miniature version of a Sunday church service

May 4, 2016

(A working understanding of the word “Missional” from Brad Brisco)

…the word “missional,” when properly applied is helpful. The word is simply the adjective form of the noun “missionary.” It is used to describe the church as a people who think and act as missionaries, actively participating in God’s mission.

At the core of the missional conversation is the idea that a genuine missional impulse is a sending one. We should be sending the people in the church out among the people of the world, rather than attempting to attract the people of the world in among the people in the church. This is a necessary distinction because most people do not think of the church in sending, missionary terms. Instead many Christians today understand the church from two primary perspectives.

Some define the church as a place where certain things happen. They usually identify marks of the church that include the right preaching of the Word, the right administration of the ordinances and the proper exercise of church discipline. The church, therefore, is defined primarily as a place where a person goes to hear the Bible taught, to participate in the Lord’s Supper and baptism and, in some cases, experience church discipline.

Others view the church as “a vendor of religious goods and services.” From this perspective, members are viewed more as customers for whom the religious goods and services are produced. Churchgoers expect the church to provide a wide range of religious services such as great worship music, children’s programs, small groups, parenting seminars, etc.

April 12, 2016

Mission is the result of God’s initiative, rooted in God’s purposes to restore and heal creation. “Mission” means “sending,” and it is the central biblical theme describing the purpose of God’s action in human history. God’s mission began with the call of Israel to receive God’s blessings in order to be a blessing to the …

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I’m always looking for ways to describe what missional communities are. I’ve found some cool ones over the years and I’ve found ones that didn’t seem to fit for our present environment. I like how Reach Church describes theirs. It’s very simple and relatable. A Missional Community (MC) is simply a “Family on the Mission …

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The term “missional” is an attempt to move the discussion beyond too-narrow definitions of mission as merely one among the various programs of the church, and to find ways to think about the church’s calling and practice today in light of the fact of the multicultural global church, what Archbishop Temple famously called “the great new fact of our time.” To describe the church as “missional” is to make a basic theological claim, to articulate a widely held but also widely ignored consensus regarding the fundamental purpose of the Christian church. Rather than seeing mission as, at best, one of the necessary prongs of the church’s calling, and at worst as a misguided adventure, it must be seen as the fundamental, the essential, the centering understanding of the church’s purpose and action. The church that Jesus intended, to use Gerhard Lohfink’s provocative book title, is missional by its very nature. The church that the triune God gathers, upbuilds, and sends, to use the profoundly missional outline of Karl Barth’s ecclesiology in volume IV of his Church Dogmatics, exists to continue the service of witness.

(Via Darrell L. Guder / Princeton Theological Seminary)

November 14, 2015