Church Views · On Being Christian

missional church – short course

One of the hottest buzzwords regarding the Church today is the term “missional.” Is your church missional? Should it be?

Biola University recently produced an article, The Church in a Missional Age, which outlines much of the debate surrounding the term. Written in a simple 101, 201, 301 format, it clarifies meaning and views, both pro and con.

The term “missional” seems to originate from a book by Darrell Guder in 1998 called, Missional Church. The term “was intended to stimulate a theological conversation about the fundamental nature of the church – as being missionary by its very nature.” The article goes on to explain it this way:

“Proponents of the missional movement say they seek a return to the mission-mindedness of the early church, which has been gradually lost as churches have become more inward-focused and “missions” has become a separate category altogether. Being missional is about bringing the church and mission back together. Missions isn’t just one of many programs or purposes of church. It is the core, overarching, motivating logic for all that we do. A church exists neither for itself nor its parishioners, but for the kingdom and mission of God.”

Also posted is an exclusive interview with Ed Stetzer, considered to be an authority on the missional movement.

2 thoughts on “missional church – short course

  1. Thanks for your insights. I have just finished my dmin thesis on a uniquely missional mainline congregation using the Guder text above as a relevant source. I always enjoy your work, though I am jealous at how often you find your way to the beach.


  2. I think “WE” (as a church) have been forced to find words to describe our focus and interests, needed to express God’s love and desire to reach the world. Should we be “missional” in the context of reaching out to the world around us; YES but I also believe that churches should have a strong sense of “mission” this allows those persihoners to partner and partake of the “call” to missions. I understand that the two should be one but, often times we are left with little to choose from. Not to diminish the thought, but rather clarify, the church must also be about the Great Commission too which is to “MAKE DISCIPLES” not perishoners! We the church, must incorporate the two more cohesively. If we make disciples; we develop people who ARE servants of God to DO the work of the Kingdom that include mission outreach to our communities and then beyond as well as unify the efforts of the congregation to galvinize the impact of a local church in the community at hand!


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