A Missional Waste of Time
I have heard churches refer to themselves as "going missional" as of late. Actually, I have heard churches referred to as going missional, and often that change is presenting in an unflattering light. I have also heard individuals say they were leaving a particular church/congregation because "I'm more into the missional thing..." Either way, I believe there is an unnecessary divide but I want to address the "I'm more missional" stance specifically today. At the beginning of this post, let me define what I believe are two key terms:
Missional: defining the life of a Christian, and by design Christianity as a whole, as being called to go toward the hurting and broken world and in so going fulfill the Gospel
Church: from the Greek ekklesia, the church refers to both individuals who follow Christ and a specific group of individuals who follow Christ when gathered together
Now, with those terms defined let me address a key issue I have in the missional movement - if you are waiting for the structure of your church (i.e. the non-for-profit organization who owns or pays for the building where you meet with other believers) to "go missional" you are wasting your time.
This is why I can't overstate the importance of the "formissional" life - if we are living the life of advance and retreat we will find ourselves swimming in the missional waters on a daily basis. My fear is that so much is being written about missional being a "way of church" that people will lose sight of the fact that it is a "way of life."
Missional movement - the taking of the good news of Jesus to others - in the Bible is always a result of either the corporate or individual moments spent in the presence of God. Formissional - formation into Christlikeness equals missional living. In Acts alone we see Philip being told by the Spirit to head down the road where he meets an Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8). Peter has a vision and hears the directive from God to eat what God has created, as it is no longer unclean, which enables Peter to reach out to Cornelius and his family (Acts 10)
Don't wait for your church organization and leadership to adopt missional objectives or directives - live into the formissional life and be the catalyst for others around you to do the same.