There is a lot of “buzz” around the term “Missional” and there are a lot of different perspectives on the term as it pertains to the church. Ed Stetzer is a leader who is paving the way for such discussion, here is his take on the issue.
First, What is the Meaning of the church? Why are we here? We looked to the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus told the disciples to simply GO. Literally, as you go throughout your daily life… This means that believers who have jobs, hobbies, relationships outside of their church community are in the as you go boat. So as we go daily we are to make disciples, connecting the unconnected to God.
This brings us to the second part of going, which is making disciples. This involves believers taking to heart Acts 1:8, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Jesus told the believers that they would receive power and direction to make disciples. This is what we are about, sharing the Gospel & making disciples to the ends of the earth.
Secondly, We also looked at The Great Commandment, Matthew 22:36-40: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Essentially Jesus was being backed into a corner with question after question and the religious leaders thought they had him and asked what is the most important commandment or law that should be followed. Jesus simply answered Love God Love People.
All the law and prophets hang on these.
We noted that Jesus said the first and greatest was to Love God. Then we noticed that the second was like it, Love People. So essentially the way that we love God is reflective of how we love others and vise versa. This opened pandoras box, a question was raised what about the murderer or the guy who rapes? Are we supposed to love “those people”?
We see Jesus in the book of John going to meet a samaritan woman at a well. The text says that He had to go.
We like Jesus have to go to the ends of the earth bring the Gospel to ALL who are lost. This includes those who do not look, talk, act like us. For we were lost once and we know where to take those who are in darkness. The Missional Church isn’t a lets do everything we can, events & programs, to get them to come to us. Rather, it is a people with a HEART to “go to them”. The Missional Church is a “going” church.
Our Missional Strategy is this:
- Make Disciples.
- Love God.
- Love People.