Missional Field Notes

Quotes, Examples, and Ideas from My Missional Frontier

“What Is the Mission Of God?” From Steven Hovater

There may be many paths of answering that great theological question, which rises to the significance of the meaning of creation and the intent of all of God’s interactions with creation. In the missional conversation, the quotation above already offers a possible trajectory, referencing “God’s purposes to restore and heal creation.” This is perhaps enough of a departure from theologies that view creation as tangential to God’s intent to warrant our attention, but we may be more particular in the direction of missional theology. Missional theologians and practitioners often describe God’s intent for creation by recognizing and describing a particular narrative arc within scripture. The basic line of that narrative may be described like this: God’s intent was for creation to be full of life and goodness (whatever goodness might entail is an important question), but creation is corrupt because of human collaboration with evil. Nevertheless, God pursues that intent, restoring corrupted creation through the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and will one day bring about the final restoration, reconciliation, and recreation of all things. This process has already begun in the in-breaking and spread of the reign (or kingdom) of God.

June 9, 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

I have a confession to make. It’s a pretty big confession. My confession is that I am looking for that “magic pill,” that perfect program, that awesome book that will make me and all those around me “missional” — whatever that means. I find myself in a pretty traditional church setting, in a denomination, trying …

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