Misusing the Word Missional?
Somehow I fear that the word missional is often misunderstood merely as “social justice.” That might be the fault of how we talk about that aspect of the concept. But, if we understand the church as “a sent community” then it entails so much more than that.
Like I have said before, David Bosch’s book Transforming Mission is a really helpful text to understanding the concept.
There is a short section where he addresses the holistic nature of viewing the church as sent. He writes,
“[The idea that the church is sent] does not suggest that the church is always in and everywhere overtly involved in missionary projects. Newbigin has introduced the helpful distinction between the church’s missionary dimension and its missionary intention: the church is both “missionary” and “missionizing.” The missionary dimension of a local church’s life manifests itself, among other ways, when it is truly a worshipping community; it is able to welcome outsiders and make them feel at home; it is a church in which the pastor does not have the monopoly and the members are not merely objects of pastoral care; its members are equipped for their calling in society; it is structurally pliable and innovative; and does not defend the privileges of a select group. However, the church’s missionary dimension evokes intentional, that is direct involvement in society; it actually moves beyond the walls of the church and engages in missionary “points of concentration” such as evangelism and work for justice and peace.”
What do you think? Is this helpful to enhance your understanding of the mission of the church?