Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The post below is on the Saint Patrick's community blog. I am beginning a series of posts to outline the meaning of missional commuity.

Saint Patrick's mission is to be a missional community in the Anglican Tradition. Has a nice ring to it, but what does it actually mean to be a missional community? Good question. Over the next days and weeks I will putting up some posts that help explain what this notion of missional community is. Today's post is necessarily a bit general so I can lay some groundwork. In the next days and weeks we will look at concrete examples of what it means to be a missional community.

Missional Community, pt. 1

In most of our experience a church is a place where people go to get their spiritual needs met. Visitors and members are like customers. The biggest churches are those that do the best job of meeting people's needs in the most efficient and attactive way possible. This reality is found in conservative and liberal churches; protestant and catholic; mainline and fundamentalist. In these settings mission is about creating the most effective set of experiences and programs so that people are drawn to these settings and they grow. I call this the marketing approach.

A missional community aims its attention in a different direction. The focus in a missional community is about forming people who can serve their world in the name of Jesus Christ. The church's institutional side (worship, discipleship, children's ministry, etc.) isn't about creating cool programs that attract more and more people. These things are put into place to make us the kind of people who can live out the values of the kingdom of God in all arenas of life.

So, at Saint Pat's we are not as concerned about whether our meeting location is in the most marketable portion of Lexington and we are not concerned about whether our worship is "cool" and seeker friendly (whether the seekers like country music or Bach fugues). We are concerned about being an incubator for disciples to be formed that can live missional lives. By the way, according to the New Testament, this is normal Christianity.

More later . . . ..

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