The Church in the Missional Age

8 Jul

Jodi who is on the Launch Team with Ecclesia shot me an email with this article on “The Church in the Missional Age”. We both found it helpful. Especially the side by side comparison of a Missional Church with an Attractional Church. Here’s an excerpt:

Missional vs. Attractional/Seeker
“Go out” mentality vs. “Come in” mentality
Typically smaller churches vs. Frequently large or mega-sized
Often in urban settings vs. Often in suburbs
Small budgets, few paid staff vs. Large budgets, many paid staff
Thinking holistically vs. Emphasis on disparate programs
More organic, bottom up vs. More corporate, top down
Priesthood of all believers vs. Clear demarcation between pastors/laity
Emphasis on action/demonstration vs. Emphasis on words/proclamation
Everything is mission-oriented vs. Missions one among many programs
Goal to grow “the” church vs. Goal to grow “my” church
Younger congregations vs. Older, baby-boomer congregations

Please read the article on this to give these contrasts a fair context. It isn’t always an either or proposition but an issue of motives and values that drive you.

For instance it isn’t that a missional church doesn’t attract anyone…in fact a missional church, with people who look and act like Jesus is going to be quite “attractive” and people will want to find the source of transformed lives. That differs from a church that is giving away free iPod’s as an attractional way of getting people into a service.

It’s not that the missional church puts actions as more important than beliefs…it just recognizes that the beliefs of the Christian faith actually shape the person you are and the life that you live. The words of Jesus preached and believed correctly will lead to a transformed community, word and witness holding hands.

Maybe an excercise you can do this week is print out these contrasts and read the New Testament and the mission vs. attractive/seeker paradigms and make the decision for yourself which one seems closer to a New Testament ethic.

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