A Great Debate: Missions VS. Missional

For the conference on RISK (FLINCH Conference), my friend and team leader John Ward & I were asked to lead a workshop on how missions and missional relate.

Here is the workshop description:

The new word missional is now everywhere in Christian-ese. The word missions has been around for centuries. These two words often create very different ministry targets. You are invited to a lively debate highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of polarizing missional and missions.

Unfortunately, this session wasn’t recorded, but I have posted the powerpoint for you to see the direction we headed with this workshop. Below is an outline with the major items of discussion:

The first exercise we had the group do was to take 5 minutes and do their best to define the two words: Missional & Missions.

I’d invite you to take a few moments and take a stab too!

 

Here is where John and I landed for our definitions:

Missional:
The Word missional is simply the adjective form of the noun missionary, and like any adjective it is used to modify a noun.*

Missions:
Missions is to move towards or go to those different than us –culturally, socially, ethnically, economically– by crossing over those barriers and sharing the gospel with the compassion and love of Jesus.

 

Another exercise for the group was to ask this question:  Does the church have a mission or does the mission have a church?

We realize it is a “both/and” answer.  Yet thinking about our God being a missional/sending God reframes our orientation to see mission as bigger than merely a “job” of the church, but to see mission as part of the very character of our God.

Along this line, we shared the following quote:

“Our task as His people is to discern what God is doing and join with Him. It is not so much that the church has a mission but that the mission has a church.”

– Alan Hirsch (The Permanent Revolution, p. 148)

 

Don’t we need to be reaching out in my neighborhood before we go to the rest of the globe?

global_localThe tension of Global mission and Local mission is a one that everyone sensitive to the mission of Jesus feels at a gut level.

In China, the country with the most Christians on the planet–87 million– hasn’t really made a dent in the total population of 1.3 BILLION people!** So we are delighted that there is great progress of the Gospel, but there are millions (a billion!) more people to reach!

Even here in the USA where there are approximately 84 million evangelical Christians, a much higher percentage than China, yet we still have 234 million people to reach!** So do we need more disciples, leaders and churches in China and the USA? Absolutely! We need to take serious the opportunity to reach those in our community who don’t know our Jesus yet!

At the same time, we must know about the plight of billions of people outside of the easy reach of the Gospel. Billions of people on our globe don’t have a Bible, Body of Christ or even a Believer in Jesus in their lifepath! We must be informed about this reality!

To close our time we watched the following CONVICTING video–You Should Know:

We hope that sharing this outline of our workshop has been helpful to you!  If you would like to chat with John or myself, please reach out to us via email at the links on our names above!


The Key Articles / Resources shared below were on a worksheet we gave to all the of the participants:
Missions vs Missional Resource Sheet [PDF]

Seed article for this Workshop:
Missions vs. Missional? Why We Really Need Both by Ed Stetzer 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/september/missions-vs-mission.html

Online debate about that article:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/missionalshift/2013/09/missions-vs-missional-what-ed-stetzer-gets-wrong/

Make sure to check out the video in that article:

Other Resources on the Topic:

Seamless Garment of Christian Mission:  http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-seamless-garment-of-christian-mission

Leadership Network article Defining Missional by Alan Hirsch:   http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2008/fall/17.20.html

Ed Stetzer on why Missional Churches don’t do Global Missions:  http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2009/september/five-reasons- missional-churches-dont-do-global-missions.html

*”History of the Missional Church” by Brad Brisco:
http://missionalchurchnetwork.com/history-of-missional-church/

Four Reasons We Should Be Passionate About the Nations by Matt Carter:  http://ow.ly/PUEd5

Institute of International Education. (2014). Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from
http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Data/International-Students

Video: You Should Know https://vimeo.com/32125879

Joshua Project: Research on Unreached People Groups – http://joshuaproject.net/


**Data via the Joshua Project. Retrieved from http://JoshuaProject.net on July 9, 2015

 

 

Peoples on the Move: A God-Ordained Opportunity for Reaching the Unreached by J.D. Payne

Frank Obien, in his book Building Bridges of Love: A Handbook for Sharing God’s Love with International Students, wrote that in the 1960s he noticed that while missionaries were traveling the world, international students were coming to the United States—only to return without anyone sharing the gospel with them. Don Bjork, in a 1985 Christianity Today article, attempted to raise awareness of the migration of the nations to the United States. Commenting on the realities in the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote:

Millions of strange new faces began appearing on the streets of American cities, collectively changing the face of the nation itself. But who in the church really noticed? Unseen or unheeded, the fields at home were long since ‘white unto harvest.’ Yet right down to the end of the 1970s, few missions leaders really knew what was going on. The ‘invisible migrants’ took no pains to hide, yet it seemed few missions took pains to seek.

Progress has been made since Bjork‘s article, but unfortunately it is too little and too slow. While such discussions have taken place in the past, most evangelicals have been slow to respond. The good news is that more and more people, churches, networks, denominations, societies, and mission agencies are talking about this topic once again and starting to act on the need.

…read the rest of this article in Mission Frontiers – Peoples on the Move: A God-Ordained Opportunity for Reaching the Unreached.

Coaching Intrinsic Motivation by Katie Driver

One of the ways our family lives missionally, is by having students from other countries live with us while they attend college.  They learn U.S. culture in our home which is a safe place where they can ask questions, make mistakes, practice their English, and see and experience how Christians live and relate to each other and the world around them.  This has worked out great for all of us – until this semester.  The two girls who came to live with us lasted just 6 weeks, and then they left because according them, “the environment was not good”.  They went back to their previous environment.

MotivationMany jump into the adventure of simple, organic and missional church and then end up leaving because the experience was not what they expected.  They return to old environments that feel safe, require less, are more familiar, and fit their expectations. Not everyone likes to live in a simple, organic, and missional way once they find out what the environment requires of them.  It requires personal responsibility for their own intimate relationship with God, and then with others both Christian and not.  It requires initiative.  It forces a deeper level of accountability, and a participatory expectation that many are surprised by, and don’t have the motivation to pursue.

People are their own best motivators.

Psychologists have determined there are two different ways people are motivated; intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation occurs when someone is driven by an interest or enjoyment of something that exists from within the person.  For example, for someone who loves to read, reading many books in a given year is pleasurable, fulfilling and is not thought of as a chore, but rather enjoyable.

Extrinsic motivation occurs when someone or something from the outside of the person initiates and sustains the motivation.  Some examples of this are grades, fulfilling the wishes of others, abiding by the law, working for tips as a waiter, etc.

As someone who has spent hours and hours coaching people in the simple, organic and missional journey, I can tell you that it is a waste of time, if they don’t have intrinsic motivation.

Many people initially think they want this paradigm. Then, they begin to understand that the environment is different.  Much like our past students who left our home because they determined that “the environment was not good.” Many find the realities of living simple, organic and missional are different than what they expected.  They lost, or never really had, the intrinsic motivation for this paradigm.

A benefit of good coaching is that it asks the right questions.  It begins to unlock within you, just what is “the environment” your looking for, because that will be the only thing that will motivate you to find and live it.  Good coaching taps into your intrinsic motivation and encourages what God is doing within you.

___

© 2012 Katie Driver
Posted by permission

Originally posted on Katie Driver’s blog “The BackSeat Driver”: here

Is Our Church On Mission? by Kurt Miller

Kurt Miller

Being an on mission church is not about size, staff or structure. Neither is it about a specific program. The magnitude of its mission giving or the multitude of its outreach efforts does not make a church an on mission church. An on mission church is more about a congregations passion than its percentages. It focuses more on its burden than its bigness. Gods mission in the world and His biblical mandate drives an on mission church to become a world mission strategy center.

An on mission church embraces the Great Commission and engages the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a church committed to starting new churches, strengthening existing churches and sending workers into the harvest fields. It is a church that encourages, equips, empowers and expects every member to be personally involved in Gods mission enterprise. An on mission congregation prays, gives, knows and goes on mission with God. Its a church of people burdened for the lostness of all nations that seeks to create ways to reach its Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Most of all, its a church with the glory of God as its ultimate goal and primary purpose.

_________
From thechurchplanter blog by Kurt Miller

Interesting Facts for Global Church Planters

  • There are 9,608 ethnic people groups and 15,942 people-in-country groups, counting each group once per country of residence.
  • Of the 15,942 total groups, 6,430 are Least-Reached, totaling 2,576,038,000 individuals.
  • Of these 6,430 groups, 4,975 are in 10/40 Window countries. That means 77% of the unreached / least-reached people groups are in the 10/40 Window.
  • The largest least-reached group is the Japanese, with over 120,000,000 individuals.
  • 3,285 groups are primarily Muslim, totaling nearly 1,300,000,000 individuals.
  • 2,436 groups are primarily Hindu, totaling about 900,000,000 individuals.
  • 561 groups are primarily Buddhist, totaling nearly 375,000,000 individuals.
  • 6,486 groups are primarily Christian, totaling over 2,000,000,000 individuals. “Christian” is defined here as Christian adherents, not restricted to evangelicals.
  • The Mandarin Chinese is the largest people group, being in 98 countries with a total of about 793,000,000 individuals, and with 783,000,000 of those in China.
  • Jews are found in 130 countries, Arabs in 84 countries, and Chinese groups in 117 countries.

There is still lots of work to be done!

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

The Least-Reached and Secular Humanists in America Need the Lord

Never before has the climate for evangelism and church planting been riper for taking the love of Jesus to least-reached people right here in America! Not only are there over 800,000 least-reached people living within our shores, but there is a tremendous spiritual vacuum created by three generations influenced by secular humanism. People are searching for meaning, security and significance. New churches are timely, relevant and connect easily with their communities. Now is the time to plant more and better churches! Now is the time for existing churches to multiply and reap the harvest fields around them. Historically, church planting is proven to be the most effective form of evangelism.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

Least-Reached in U.S.

Reaching the least-reached in the United States with the love of Jesus
Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

Definition of an Unreached People Group

The Joshua Project gives the following definition of an Unreached or Least-reached People Group:

“A people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.”

The original Joshua Project editorial committee selected the critieria less than 2% Evangelical Christian and less than 5% Christian Adherents. While these percentage figures are somewhat arbitrary, there are some that suggest that the percentage of a population needed to be influenced to impact the whole group is 2%. Joshua Project uses the terms Unreached People Group (UPG) and Least-reached People Group interchangably.

If they are to be reached, churches must be planted.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

God Desires to Bless the Nations

Psalm 67

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us–that Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...