a new category. I would like to highlight blogs, links, articles and thoughts about the whole missional conversation on Mondays.
First of all a definition of Missional Living:
“Missional living” is a Christian term that describes a missionary lifestyle; adopting the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message. The use of the term missional has gained popularity at the end of the 20th Century due to the Gospel and Our Culture Network, Allelon, and the Emerging church movement, as well as Tim Keller, Ed Stetzer, Alan Hirsch, and others to contrast the concept of a select group of “professional” missionaries with the understanding that all Christians should be involved in the Great Commission/mission of Jesus Christ.
What this means is that in an ideal world, our communities of faith, and everyone involved in them – are ‘on mission’, that everyone is involved with bringing the Good News of Jesus to the world around us – to those who do not know what the Kingdom of Jesus is really all about, and to bring this also to those who are the poor and oppressed among us.
A great little primer for this discussion is this paper by Tim Keller.
Here is the money quote for me from this article:
“One of the reasons much of the American evangelical church has not experienced the same precipitous decline as the Protestant churches of Europe and Canada is because in the U.S. there is still a ‘heartland’ with the remnants of the old ‘Christendom’ society. There the informal public culture (though not the formal public institutions) still stigmatizes non-Christian beliefs and behavior. “There is a fundamental schism in American cultural, political, and economic life. There’s the quicker-growing, economically vibrant…morally relativist, urban-oriented, culturally adventuresome, sexually polymorphous, and ethnically diverse nation…and there’s the small town, nuclear-family, religiously-oriented, white-centric other America, [with]…its diminishing cultural and economic force….[T]wo nations…” Michael Wolff, New York, Feb 26 2001, p. 19. In conservative regions, it is still possible to see people profess faith and the church grow without becoming ‘missional.’ Most traditional evangelical churches still can only win people to Christ who are temperamentally traditional and conservative. But, as Wolff notes, this is a ‘shrinking market.’ And eventually evangelical churches ensconced in the declining, remaining enclaves of “Christendom” will have to learn how to become ‘missional’. If it does not do that it will decline or die.”