Monday, May 10, 2010
Missional Church Part I
If you're reading hoping I have something clever to say about the missional church, I'm sorry I may disappoint you. But I've been meaning to mention this for over a year now especially when it was really getting tedious. What I don't get is the latest obsession and attention with all things 'missional'. Well, yes, on one hand, I think I do get it: In an unintended way, it's seems to be a commentary on the sorry state of the church in the U.S. which gives rise for the need to write, discuss, conference, and program our way out of insularity and irrelevance. But when mission becomes an agenda or identity, it too often takes the practice out of the realm of neighborliness and into presumption. Seriously, do we really need another adjective in front of the word "church" to make us feel like we're onto something new and revelatory? To say we're the 'missional' church seems about as useful as saying we're the 'loving' church, or the 'hospitable' church, or the 'faithful' church. Isn't that a given? I mean, is there any other kind? I find it slightly tragic that we have to convince our congregations to be missional, as if it is the next wave of church development, as if it is a cool thing all of a sudden to actually know our neighbors and to care about people in our communities. Last time I checked, the church was inherently missional because God himself is missional. To say we are a missional church, then, is to be redundant; it is not stating the new, but the obvious. My hunch is that by needing the word 'missional' in front of the word 'church', we are actually betraying who we think we are by what we actually are not.