Missional church heresy

For my post grad I am looking at how we have separated church and mission, but reading through much of the missional church stuff I still think there remains a problem because the old definition of church that centres on church as the body of believers still remains as a part of the missional church definition (would you say this is true or do I have the wrong end of the stick) which in reality counteracts and limits the mission dei understanding at the heart of missional church as we know it.

Missional church if it is to be true to the sentiments of missio dei is more about people of faith and of no faith being on a journey of discovery (towards fullness of life for themselves, their community and the world) together and WITH an equality in this process that enables mission (the sort that Donovan describes in Christianity rediscovered) and mission dei to truly be the core of church. This means us becoming more powerless about our ideas of what church and if we are not we cannot be missional church. The example I would use is Flow church where the young people I work with call God Flow, and have agreed to come on the journey of being church, which in itself means discovering what Flow and church is, even though they are not believers in the way most people would understand believers to be.

for back ground check out how the word intentionality

is used in relation the being and growing church.The Golden Compass buy

6 thoughts on “Missional church heresy

  1. How does thinking of missional church as being the body of believers counteract and limit the understanding of the “sending of God” (missio dei) of missional church?

    Maybe the problem lies with the concept of missio dei, the “sending of God”? Where it is very easy to imagine those with God transmitting God to those without him. Perhaps you need to abandon the concept of missio dei for something else – perhaps “receiving of God” (which leaves out the “missio” entirely)? So rather than mission you have journey?

    Journey Church rather than Missional Church. That would perhaps include the equality and powerlessness that you are mentioning.

  2. it is not the missional bit that is the issue it is the dominant church closed paradigm of church being for believers rather than searchers and non belivers that is the contradiction

  3. Why isn’t it the missional bit that is the problem?

    In my comment above I reasoned that missio dei (sending of God) implies a transmitting of God from those with God to those without – isn’t this the same problem that you have with people’s definition of ‘church’? i.e. doesn’t the word ‘mission’ imply a group of, in this case, believers transmitting to none believers?

    If you are going to tell me that the missional bit isn’t the issue then it would be great to know why?

  4. at the end of the day it is semantics, but what I was trying to get at was Missional is dervived from missio dei in that mission is not an activity to engage in but a way of being. Hence the use of the word missional to avoid the old conitations that the word mission carries ie programme or event.

    I would use Missio dei borrowing from Bosch in Transforming Mission where it is more than the sending of God, but part of the heart and nature of God, God became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood, and as such is also linked with social, environmental and personal justice. Gods mission is the restoration of all relationships. Therefore missional has it’s root in an inclusivity that is different to the way church as the body of believers is exclusive, hence why I see the contradiction.

  5. Forgive me for offering some of my own developmental thoughts, but for me, mission gives the idea of progress, a moving towards, investigation if you like, whereas Church gives the impression of established, reached, end point, sorted. I am about to start a module for my masters on mission shaped practice/church, something that has left me pondering for quite some time. is it possible that we can transform the viewpoint of church, as my current view, and it may change, is that church should be fluid, developmental in some way, for if we are on a mission, accepting this to be life experiential, then fluidity fits in much easier, as Church, rather than being a constant, turns into a constant transformational missional shaped element, reaching those that wish to engage with it, excluding none, welcoming all, with this kind of idea in mind, I have abndoned the idea of Christian unions in schools,and gone for discussion groups, as this enables both Christians and non-christians to engage with issues on a parallel basis. There is a process, journey, missional element to this form of work, and no expectation of an end point, or what we wish to create, accept an understanding of relationship with God, no deffinition of an end point and what should be created. Sorry for rambling, thought I would just engage with thoughts.

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