Missional Monday–What is Missional?

Today’s post is the first in a new Monday series entitled “Missional Monday”. I would like to begin by defining and giving some attention to the word “missional”. Missional is a word that has come of use over the past eight or ten years in evangelical churches and denominational research. The term missional has a somewhat fluid definition and is more of a descriptor than an event or activity. While missiology is the study about missions and its methodologies, missional is a mindset. Missional is a way of thinking. In its simplest terms, missional thinking focuses the believer and the church on doing missions everywhere. It is holistic rather than programmic.

By the very definition of the word, it is impossible for the church to do missional. Instead, it is critical for the church today to be missional. Missional thinking causes the church to take a hard and prayerful look at how missions is viewed. A church with a missions program usually sees missions as one activity alongside other activities in the church. A missional church focuses all of its activities around its participation in God’s vision in the world. Instead of viewing missions as crossing sea as something that we go and do, missional thinking leads us to see the cross and to live as sent people; right where we are. This leads to a question that will help us gauge where we are individually and as the body of Christ. Do you see yourself as a participant in a mission program or as a missionary living within your own mission field? In his book, Breaking the Missional Code, Ed Stetzer wrote, “If we are going to join God on his mission, we have to recognize that we are missionaries…wherever he places us – just like the first disciples”.

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