You can spot them a mile away. The young, dynamic preacher-leaders of today’s hip churches. They wear holey jeans and elaborately decorated t-shirts. They spike their hair. Their churches are young and energetic and have non-traditional names. They are reaching a lot of people for Christ. And many of them are missional. This simply means that they have, as a focus, the practical delivery of the message of Jesus to those who are without. They want to show the love of God to the world in need. They want to “be the church” rather than just going to church.
“Missional” is most certainly a buzzword in church circles. The concept is not new but the interest is renewed. There are a dozen large conferences around the country every year encouraging thousands of leaders to get their people outside of their four walls and live out the Gospel. Do practical things to meet the needs of people so they know that Jesus loves them. It is definitely in style to be missional.
But being missional is not necessarily being cool and visa-versa. What I mean by this is that one doesn’t have to be hip in order to be missional. I have a great example of this.
This week, our daughter and son in law, while intenerating to raise their missionary salary, visited with some good, solid people. This little church is out in the middle of nowhere, nothing but cow pastures. Their music is old-school. They are very conservative by most people’s standards. But they complete get “missional”. They give heavily to missionaries in other countries. They feed the local hungry. They are proponents of foster care and adoption. They serve their community and the world. They do most of the stuff that is considered by most to be cutting-edge Gospel expression. But the Pastor doesn’t speak at the world-renown conferences – he doesn’t have time to because he works construction to take care of this family. They don’t sing new music. They don’t read or write books about living out the Great Commission. They don’t wear holey jeans to church. They don’t even have a cool website. But they completely get “missional”. They don’t do this stuff because it is in style. They do it because Jesus said to do it.
I am refocusing. These people inspire me. Maybe it’s time to quit talking so much about it, philosophizing about it, stereotyping about it. It’s time to do it.
Cool is not missional…