Jeremy Weaver at Doxoblogy asks what missional means. I’ve got a bunch of links and a quote or two that I won’t clutter up his meta with but I thought I’d post some of it here.
Nathan Finn wrote a great essay about it (sorta) on his blog and Joe Thorn linked to a paper by Mark DeVine on the topic. I also enjoyed reading Ed Stetzer’s take on it which Centuri0n originally linked.
I’m about to get a handle on the concept of ‘missional’ I think. For the most part, I think its what most churches want to be but they get sidetracked on marketing or leadership or some other fad of the week.
My concern about the ‘missional movement’ at least with regard to the SBC is that it’s just another program. It’s another ‘Great Commission Church’ notebook or ‘Growth Spiral’. I’m worried that folks look at it in the same way they look at an evangelism push or a high attendance Sunday–just another way to get the numbers up. (I’m hoping PDL is one of these but its showing exceptional staying power.)
I read this quote–and I haven’t had time to track it down yet–from Challies blogging of a conference at Ligon Duncan’s church:
He paused here to reflect on results-based ministry and said we cannot shoot for only short-term results but need to work towards the long-term results. He quoted Jim Boice who said Evangelicals over-estimate what they can accomplish in five years but under-estimate what they can accomplish in twenty. Far too many ministers and ministries focus on the short-term at the expense of real growth and change.
Which of course is the mindset I was talking about above. Whatever it is that can be done to please the people. I hope thats not what ‘missional’ is about but it seems like that is often what it becomes.