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Be Attractional and Missional

Missional Living

 

Many churches rely almost completely on attracting people to their churches through their worship services, programs, and their friendliness.  All of those are great things to have but is it enough?  We must become also become “Missional.” We need to be living every day as a mission trip.  Missionaries work hard at relating Christ in the best way possible to reach the people in the culture where they have been called.

This means that we are intentionally and strategically representing Christ in the community at large.  We are getting close to people who desperately need Christ so that they can see Him in us.  Attractional churches do everything they can to draw non-christians to them and their ministries.  Missional churches refuse to become inwardly focused or “sociologically cocooned.”

A good friend recently shared that he attended a recent training where they were required to decide whether their church plant would use a “Come and See” or a “Go and Tell” approach.  He raised his hand and asked why it couldn’t be both?  Exactly!  The goal is to have as many doors where people can connect as possible.  Doors are entry points where people can connect with the church.

Some examples of doors are: Worship Services, Activities, Oikos Events, Small Groups, VBS, Back Yard Bible Clubs, and YOU!!!  Yes you!

Attract away but also live on mission.  Here is a definition of  missional from Reggie McNeal, “An inherent understanding of our being the people of God partnering with him in His redemptive mission in the world.”  Notice the ingredients of being missional:

  1. Being: What you do comes out of who you are.
  2. Partnering: As the Father sent Jesus now Jesus is sending us.
  3. His: This is God’s plan and there is no plan B.
  4. Redemptive: It is all about His gospel of salvation and redemption.
  5. Mission: It is not the church that has a mission but God who has a mission and has churches and followers to carry out that mission.
  6. World: He is not willing that any should perish.

Here are some steps to being missional (partnering with Him):

  • Be Incarnational: We must focus on living, demonstrating, and offering Biblical community to a lost and dying world. We have become very good at doing church but are we being the church every single day?
  • Be Indigenous: We do not choose the culture we live in but we can choose whether we withdraw into the comfort of the church cultures we have created or thrive where He has planted us.  How can your church reach your community better?
  • Be Intentional: There is nothing wrong with being strategic in how we minister to those around us.  Are we willingly die to personal preferences so that Christ’s name may be proclaimed in the most effective way possible in our context?

In Breaking the Missional Code, Ed Stetzer says, “It is the discipline of seeing your context through missional lenses and then exercising faith by taking risks to live the Great Commandment in such a way that you can fulfill the Great Commission.”  A great need today is to figure out how to get beyond the institution into the places where people live and hang out!  A couple of thoughts here:

  • Choose engagement over retreat.
  • Build bridges don’t burn them..
  • Open up more doors for entry points.
  • Be willing to meet people where they are.
  • Engage unbelievers, don’t avoid them.

In Revolution in Leadership Reggie McNeal says, “Authentic renewal will come to the North American church when God’s people are led to accept their commission to live on mission with Him in the world.”