Missional musings 1

Preparing for The Mission of God conference this Friday and thinking about ‘missional church’ in an Irish context. The word ‘missional’ could end up like the term ’emerging’ as one that gets abandoned due to contradictory and contentious overuse. But more important than the word are the issues and ideas connected with it. The word ‘missional’ raises great questions and practical challenges for churches in contemporary Ireland.

Taking a look back a few decades and it is truly remarkable how quickly and deeply Christendom Ireland has collapsed. There is no going back and, in Irish terms, we are moving through a paradigm shift in the wider culture. Being missional in this context is all about seeking to engage that fast changing culture ‘missiologically’ – thinking through what it looks like to be  ‘missionary communities’ of the gospel of God. This will require being open to a radical rethink and openness to experimentation of how we ‘do church’ so as best embody that gospel and engage with a post-Christendom Ireland.

Here are some closely related definitions:  – what do you think?

“Missional” is a global term for what God is doing in this world and how the follower of Jesus is summoned to participate in that great redemptive work of God.

‘Missional church’ concerns how the the church can be the hermeneutic of the gospel and work out in a local context what it means to engage in the mission of God

‘missional’ means adapting and reformulating absolutely everything the church does in worship, discipleship, community, and service–so as to be engaged with the surrounding non-Christian society of the West.  {this a paraphrase of Tim Keller}

What might it look like to be a ‘missionary church community?’

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