Perhaps there has been no word spoken more profusely in church circles in the past few years than the term “Missional”! This is a word that is thrown around to justify almost any mission action of a congregation or Christian. The fact of the matter is that “Missional” is actually quite distinctive. Perhaps the following five tips can help you focus a bit more.
Tip 1 – Missional resists definition!
Just as Jesus refused to give limiting definitions on the “Kingdom of God” so do many of us resist a limiting definition of “Missional.” Jesus would always say, “the Kingdom of God is like…” And then tell a parable or share an illustration. The same is true for being “Missional.”
Being Missional is like packing book bags of school supplies for the elementary school down the street.
Being Missional is like hosting a meal for the homeless people around your church community.
Being Missional is hosting Childcare for the young adult couples in your church on a Friday night to allow for “date night!”
Being missional is “being the presence of Christ” because we love those around us.
Tip 2 – Missional is Contextual.
Jesus modeled Missional for us by responding to the needs of the people uniquely. Jesus did not have a program of ministry; Jesus lived in the moment and responded appropriately. There are people in your church community right now wishing you would help them.
Look around your community and see where God’s Spirit is moving. Then go and join in those efforts. That’s Missional.
Look around your community and see a need that your church is uniquely positioned to meet. Then go meet that need. That’s Missional.
Look around your world and see where you can join others Christians at work in Go’s Kingdom. Then join by going across the street, down the road, or around the world to help. That’s Missional.
Being Missional is “being the presence of Christ” where you are and where you can reach.
Tip 3 – Missional is a natural response.
The Missional Christian is not coerced to be on mission. The Missional Christian serves naturally, organically to respond to the needs around him/her. Ministry happens almost automatically based on the passion and calling of the individual.
- Missional is more about meeting needs than attending meetings.
- Missional is rarely voted on but widely accepted and supported.
- Missional is not a program but a spontaneous, automatic ministry action.
Being Missional is “being the presence of Christ” without thinking about getting credit, praise, or recognition.
Tip 4 – Missional is Intentional
The Missional Christian is called to live out his/her passion on purpose with purpose. For too long, we have coerced those around us into some service or mission. We’ve been far too concerned about filling slots more than we have been about releasing gifts or encouraging servant hood. We’ve been more focused on fulfilling our church’s ministry report or financial goals than we have about living out God’s mission. The Missional Christian is totally focused on fulfilling a priority calling to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
- Missional is about purpose filled servant hood.
- Missional is about growing disciples within God’s mission not our own.
Being Missional is about “being the presence of Christ” because the needs of the world cannot be ignored.
Tip 5 – Missional is a dynamic process.
One never fully achieves a state of Missional living; the journey is the destination. We continue to journey with God praying the question, “Lord, what would you have me to be and to do?” As we participate in this Missional lifestyle, we are informed and transformed into deeper discipleship and led into broader engagement. We never arrive, we are never finished!
- Missional living is a lifestyle of spiritual formation and ministry/missions engagement.
- Missional living is continually being open to the leadership of God.
Being Missional is “being the presence of Christ” today and being brave enough to follow God again tomorrow into new ministry opportunities.
Volumes could be written about Missional living. Perhaps the best understanding is to be the presence of Christ in the world. Take these five tips, study the models of those around us, and go be and do on earth as it is in Heaven!
by Bo Prosser