Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Missional: What Does This Mean?

My friend Jim Pierce, on his blog Confessional's Bytes, has a post that gets to the heart of the use of the word "missional." Here's a portion of his post:

"Missional" means something more than "missions", where I have read the word in use. Typically the word "missional" is used to define the Church pragmatically, the Church is a body doing missions. How about that? I think there in is why both of my eyebrows are raised and my teeth clench when I hear or read the word "missional". The Church is no longer defined as "the congregation of saints" where the "outward marks" of the Church "are the pure doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments in accordance with the Gospel of Christ" (Apology VII and VIII). In other words, "missional" defines the Church on the basis of what it's members do to promote the Gospel; where as, the Scriptural definition of the Church is grounded upon what Christ is doing in the world through His means of grace: the preached Word of God, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper.


Anonymous said...

It's as Ken Schurb has brilliantly pointed out, we're no longer a group of "believers" but we are now "behavers." It's the usual twist, and if you don't like the new paradigm, you're against missions.

Shame, shame!!

Good thinking, Jim and Scott!!

Johannes (chronic malcontent)

JS said...

Being "missional" shoots vocation all to snot as well. Luther's post-communion collect of "faith towards you and love towards one other" has now been turned into "commitment toward you and telling our neighbor about Jesus." The Divine Service is no longer a place to come receive God's gifts and respond. It's a place to come get pumped up so we can go back out and be mission-minded. I think we have our hands full with simply receiving God's good gifts and loving our neighbors as ourselves (which includes but is not centered upon "telling them about Jesus.")

Johannes, I will join you as a chronic malcontent. That could be the name of our praise band ;)

Anonymous said...

Let's see: How about "The J & J Malcontents"
Or "MalContentious", featuring "J" on Keyboard and "J" on drums.
"The Malcontentious Objectors"?
"The Lutheran Whiners?"

J.S.--the message is "Jesus saved you, so get to work!"

Johannes (C.M.)