Just Because You Are Missional...

Just Because You Are Missional...
CC image courtesy of Reddy Aprianto available here.

Just because your church is "missional" doesn't mean you get it pass when it comes to global missions involvement.

The missional church movement in North America has done much good in emphasizing the role of every believer in the mission of God. Missional churches are involved in impacting their neighbors and communities with the good news of Jesus.

Some leaders of the missional church would go as far to say that all of their members are "missionaries."

I don't have a problem with this approach as long as it doesn't lead the leadership to assume that the day of cross cultural missions is over and therefore they no longer have a responsibility to act globally.

By using the term "missionary" so generally, leaders also run the risk of downplaying the important role of the one who is called to cross boundaries, both geographical and cultural, for the sake of the advance of the Gospel.

This cross cultural role takes specialized training in both language and culture as well as a deep understanding of the basis of one's own faith before launching out to share it with others. This kind of role take a willingness, many times, to labor for years in a tough environment with little to no visible fruit before some kind of breakthrough occurs.

Out of the many different "streams" of churches in North America, I do believe the missional churches have the best opportunity to send and support their best workers to serve among people groups who still have little to no access to the Gospel.

Many times the emphasis on disciple making and community are just the kind of foundational environment that is needed for cross cultural work, especially in a pioneer situation.

But mission churches must be intentional if they are going to send beyond their own communities. They must also have a vision for the nations and an intention to do something about the remaining task of world evangelization.

A couple of good examples of North American missional churches leading the way, in both local and global ministry, are Antioch Community Church's Antioch Ministries International and The Austin Stone's 100 People Network.

You can check them out.

Sound Off

Do you see a diminishing emphasis on global cross cultural work in favor of a focus on local missions?

Can and should the two work well together in the setting of the local supporting church?

What are we missing?

We'll keep you up to date.