This question came up recently when I was meeting with some friends to talk about our ministry vision. It’s worth explaining. However, my understanding of missional is not something that I discovered or began to understand from a simple blog or written definition. With that said, I will try to explain with the help of a well-known pastor of a missional church, Todd Engstrom. Here’s what he says in his blog about being missional:
The first way is to “Demonstrate the Gospel Tangibly”. Just as Jesus came demonstrating the kingdom through selfless acts of service, we actively look for opportunities to meet the felt and real needs of our neighbors. We seek to become a blessing to our neighbors, and demonstrate the reality of God’s new kingdom. When you look at Jesus, however, he did not simply stop at healing and meeting needs. He consistently spoke a true message of great hope to those whom he encountered. Just look at the story of the woman at the well: He met her where she was, but through her expressed need he spoke of the true needs of her heart.
Therefore, as communities patterned after Jesus’ life, we “Declare the Gospel Creatively”. A missional community listens to and understands the stories of their neighbors in order to be able to tell the Gospel Story in ways that are Good News to those specific people. We want our communities to wrestle with and understand how to speak the good news of Jesus’ perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his resurrection in power are indeed good news to their neighbors.
So basically we have an intentional element of the local church sharing the Gospel in everyday life with their neighbors two ways: 1) Demonstrating the Gospel Tangibly; and 2) Declaring the Gospel Creatively. It’s “outreach” but not just an event. It’s a lifestyle that includes strategy and flexibility through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s community with believers and others who are not-yet-believers. It’s compassion for the those in your world, in your context, in your neighborhood…within the truth of the Gospel.
Questions? Reply below and begin the conversation.