Reggie McNeal, Leadership Network
Missional has become the latest buzzword that all books have started to include in their titles. We may end up losing focus on what missional is while we’re in a rush to become it. It’s a shift in how the church sees itself and its function(s) in the world.
In India, church leaders don’t have time to “evangelize” because they’re too busy growing and reaching new people. The percentage of Christians in the country has grown from 2% to 10% of the country’s population.
We, in America, are in the backwaters of the church growth movement. The missional movement is an entry-point into God’s work on earth. e need to get into what God is doing worldwide.
Five Indicators that we need to look at the church through Kingdom lenses instead of looking at the Kingdom through church lenses:
- Church moves from a what to a who. It’s not a place where things happen. It is not an it. We talk about “our churches” “a church,” but the Spirit is moving people world-wide to refocus on the fact that “I am the church.” When you move from what to who you’re able to legitimize and celebrate a whole bunch of different expressions of the local body of Christ. There are a whole lot of groups of people who will never be able to “go to church” (hospitality/service industry). We need to be the church there if there’s going to be the church. We’re not the point, the mission’s the point.
- We need to stop thinking about church as the destination and more of the connector. When an airport has a bunch of planes on the ground and is full of people and activity the airport is not winning. People are angry when that happens. No one has a book “Great Airports of the World.” When you screw the scorecard up you screw up people’s lives. People want to go somewhere. Jesus didn’t say, “I have come to give you church and give it more abundantly.”
- There are going to be a lot of church life forms that we don’t currently have a taxonomy for. Some life forms aren’t going to survive, but that doesn’t mean you have to shoot it.
- There’s going to be a shift in the scorecard. In the church world we measure who shows up here. In the missional world we dare to measure what happens beyond us.
If you don’t have questions you’re not paying attention.
If we don’t have a worldview where we have an impact beyond us our vision is too small.
Dino Rizzo, Healing Place Church, Baton Rogue, LA
If we don’t understand the power and necessity of diversity we can never be used in a powerful way for the Kingdom. The church is not about my wants and desires, it’s about reaching all kinds of people.
John 5. We must be about reaching people, not just crowds.
Two thoughts for the coming future:
- Opposites are going to have to attract.
- The integrity of our ministry is not dictated by how well we minister to the masses, but how well we minister to the one (and the one is usually different than us).
Neil Cole, Church Multiplication Association
What is a church? Is it by-laws & constitution & elders?
- The first question we need to ask is not who are we trying to reach, it is “Who is Jesus?”
- Jesus didn’t say you will build the church. He said I will build my church.
- The church should be growing. Buildings don’t shrink while they’re being built.
- Gates are not offensive weapons.
- The only thing holding us back from accomplishing the mission of the church is our own lack of faith.
Churches have a DNA:
D – Divine Truth
N – Nurturing Relationships
A – Apostolic mission
Every church will be judged not by the quality of its programs, but the quality of its disciples.
Matt Carter, Austin Stone Community Church
- Excessive numerical growth in an extremely short amount of time can be a bad thing if you don’t have a plan for it.
- Mission creates community. When you’re on a mission of significance together you form a deep bond.
- Jesus called his disciple to himself and to mission.
- They shifted the focus of the group from study/fellowship to missional communities.
- A missional community doesn’t focus on how its needs are going to be met, they do life together and meet needs.
- When we aimed simply for community, we got neither mission nor community. When we aimed for mission, we got both almost every time.