Missional Church – What is it?

Posted on September 18, 2008

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Characteristics of the Missional Church:

1. A missional church primarily understands the centrality of the gospel
(1 Cor. 15:1-4; 2:2; Gal. 6:14). Man was created in the image of God.
Adam disobeyed God and his sin has affected all of mankind. Christ’s
sacrificial atonement is the only way of redemption and reconciliation
to God. This alone motivates us to be consumed with the mission of God.

2. A missional church embraces the calling of God to act as a missionary into its own culture
(Mt. 4:19; Acts 16:20; 17:6). Its members approach natural
relationships, activities, community, and occupation or school as
opportunities to influence for the gospel.

3. A missional church acknowledges its purpose is to glorify God by taking Christ into the irreligious world (Mt. 28:18-20). It is not self-absorbed in its own life but rather absorbed in the life-giving mission of Jesus.

4. A missional church boldly and intentionally encounters unbelievers like Christ (Luke 7:34; Acts 16:20; 17:6). Its goal is not separation but redemption without compromised values.

5. A missional church actively seeks to be trained and equipped as a missionary through its gospel community (Eph. 4:11-16). Every member is personally equipped to engage friends and neighbors with the gospel.

6. A missional church is deeply dependent upon the Holy Spirit as an agent for evangelizing the lost world (Acts 1:8; 4:8, 31; 13:9). Lost people are saved by the Holy Spirit when and how He determines.

7. A missional church commits to the authoritative, infallible, inerrant, inspired, all-sufficient Scriptures
(2 Timothy 3:14-17; Acts 2:42). The authority of all missionary work is
founded in the truth that God has a clear Word to communicate to the
world.

8. A missional church develops relationships with the lost for the purpose of incarnating Christ (Matt. 5:13-16). It seeks to intentionally develop meaningful relationships with the numerous acquaintances in their lives.

9. A missional church uses sacrificial love as its means of witness
(John 15:12-17; 1 John 4:19-21). Every believer is constrained to
practically and sincerely demonstrate extravagant love to
non-believers.

10. A missional church helps others to find Jesus in their own way and timing, rather than forcing them to “turn or burn” (1 Cor. 9:20-23). It is the sovereign God who uses us as we humbly relate to other’s misperceptions of the gospel.

11. A missional church is affected in every area of its life through a calling by God to be an agent for the gospel (Acts 4:13, 31-35). As the gospel redeems our lives it changes us and challenges us toward God’s mission.

12. A missional church practices its faith in community-groups of people together (Acts 2:42-45; Phil. 1:27). It seeks to participate in true community like our triune Godhead.

13. A missional church worships God in an authentic, personal and evangelistic way (John 4:23-24). We worship a Savior who left us here to be captured by His mission.

© 2006 Scott Thomas

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Posted in: Missional Church