Thursday, August 28, 2014

Missional 1: Lifestyle

"Missional" is one of those elusive terms whose definition is often found in the eye of the beholder.

Or words to that effect.

And it's definitely true that what people mean by the term can run quite a gamut of options & opinions.

But I wonder if it might be possible to agree on some basic parameters of what 'missional' could look like. Specific enough to be helpful, but open-ended enough to allow for individuals, groups, and churches to customize the concepts to fit their own unique and diverse situations. (I touched on this in an earlier post as well.)

In other words, when it comes to methodology and implementation, one size does not fit all. But the framework of the idea could.

I recently came across some great introductory videos from Pastor Mike @ The Main & Plain. They are short (under 2 minutes), get right to the point, and serve as a great way to introduce five basic elements of what constitutes 'missional'.

I really appreciate Mike's emphasis on lifestyle as opposed to program. Some churches have created remarkable initiatives into their communities, but not all churches have the resources to do this as a church. Individuals, perhaps, but not the entire kit 'n' kaboodle.

The emphasis on lifestyle suggests a few things:
  1. As individuals and small groups within any given church embrace the idea of being missional, they don't have to wait for the church to create a program before they can do anything about it.
  2. The church's leaders don't have to invest extra time, energy, and money into creating, staffing, and maintaining new programs in order for their people to get started. ("What a relief", said all the over-worked pastors.)
  3. Ideally, as we all mature spiritually, the lifestyle aspect means that we are not dependent on church programs.
  4. Yes, this does not preclude churches from creating some level of program as an entry point, but it places the responsibility of being missional back where it belongs: on us.
I also liked Pastor Mike's comment about it not being "just for professionals". Most of the pastors that I know, who are pursuing a missional focus, are chomping at the bit to just "get out there and do it". It's not "just for professionals", to be sure, but it's encouraging to see the "pro's" so enthusiastic about leading by example.

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