‘Missional’ is a term that is used frequently to describe churches that reach out to their community in word and deed ministry. A ‘missional’ church has an outward focus in their mindset–and in all their ministries. What makes a small group ‘missional’? Tim Keller lists six ways:
- its members love and talk positively about the city/neighborhood,
- they speak in language that is not filled with pious tribal or technical terms and phrases, nor disdainful and embattled language,
- in their Bible study they apply the gospel to the core concerns and stories of the people of the surrounding culture,
- they are obviously interested in and engaged with the literature and art and thought of the surrounding culture and can discuss it both appreciatively and yet critically,
- they exhibit deep concern for the poor and generosity with their money and purity and respect with regard to the opposite sex, and show humility toward people of other races and cultures,
- they do not bash other Christians and churches.
Keller contends that if a small group is marked by these ‘missional’ traits then seekers and non-believing people from the city will be invited and will come and will stay as they explore spiritual issues. If these marks are not there it will only be able to include believers or traditional, ‘Christianized’ people.
from Tim Keller, “Cultural Renewal.”
History of the Word, Missional
Being Missional Made Easy
12 Marks of a Missional Church
2 Missional Diagnostic Questions
4 Missional Movements of the Suburbs
Being Missional Where You Live, Work and Play
(ht: New City Church)