Jesus has given us a mission to accomplish: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:18-20 ESV].
Our job is to make disciples of Jesus.
What is missional – A short answer
“Jesus told us to go into all the world and be his ambassadors, but many churches today have inadvertently changed the “go and be” command to a “come and see” appeal. We have grown attached to buildings, programs, staff and a wide variety of goods and services designed to attract and entertain people.
“Missional is a helpful term used to describe what happens when you and I replace the “come to us” invitations with a “go to them” life. A life where “the way of Jesus” informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture. It speaks of the very nature of the Jesus follower.”
What the Missional Church Looks Like
JR Woodward at Dream Awakener has a perspective on success that really helps my understanding of missional. His post A Working Definition of Success provides a working definition of what missional might look like. Here it is:
- Not simply how many people come to our church services, but how many people our church serves.
- Not simply how many people attend our ministry, but how many people have we equipped for ministry.
- Not simply how many people minister inside the church, but how many minister outside the church.
- Not simply helping people become more whole themselves, but helping people bring more wholeness to their world. (i.e. justice, healing, relief)
- Not simply how many ministries we start, but how many ministries we help.
- Not simply how many unbelievers we bring into the community of faith, but how many ‘believers’ we help experience healthy community.
- Not simply working through our past hurts, but working alongside the Spirit toward wholeness.
- Not simply counting the resources that God gives us to steward, but counting how many good stewards are we developing for the sake of the world.
- Not simply how we are connecting with our culture but how we are engaging our culture.
- Not simply how much peace we bring to individuals, but how much peace we bring to our world.
- Not simply how effective we are with our mission, but how faithful we are to our God.
- Not simply how unified our local church is, but how unified is “the church” in our neighborhood, city and world?
- Not simply how much we immerse ourselves in the text, but how faithfully we live in the story of God.
- Not simply being concerned about how our country is doing, but being concern for the welfare of other countries.
- Not simply how many people we bring into the kingdom, but how much of the kingdom we bring to the earth.
Let us work on the mission with all passion and joy!
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