I found this list from David Fitch most interesting. The “missional church” is the description/title given a church that identifies with today’s “emerging church” movement. This movement claims to be the church for our new postmodern generation who appears to be tired of the production, professionalism, and isolationism that sometimes accompanies the mega-church model that has been at the center of church growth strategies over the last several decades.
Whether you agree with the “missional church” strategy or not, we would be foolish to not watch closely and try to learn all we can from what is going on in this movement. I say this because I feel that both national statistics and the conversations I have had with postmoderns have confirmed that there are some shifts in how these new generations think and what it will take to effectively reach them for Christ. Unfortunately many of these “emerging churches” have allowed the postmodern epistemology (how we know what we know) to steer them toward some dangerous theological convictions (perhaps it would be more appropriate to say dangerous theological non-convictions). Anyhow, only time will tell how this will all play out in our culture and the church. In the mean time, we must be winsome and take care to not allow the cultural paradigms we were raised with to render us irrelevant with new generations.
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TEN THINGS ANYONE WHO JOINS IN A TWENTY FIRST CENTURY MISSIONAL CHURCH PLANT SHOULD NOT EXPECT
1.) Should not expect to regularly come to church for just one hour, get what you need for your own personal growth and development, and your kid's needs, and then leave till next Sunday. Expect mission to change your life. Expect however a richer life than you could have ever imagined.
2.) Should not expect that Jesus will fit in with every consumerist capitalist assumption, lifestyle, schedule or accoutrement you may have adopted before coming here. Expect to be freed from a lot of crap you will find out you never needed.
3.) Should not expect to be anonymous, unknown or be able to disappear in this church Body. Expect to be known and loved, supported in a glorious journey.
4.) Should not expect production style excellence all the time on Sunday worship gatherings. Expect organic, simple and authentic beauty.
5.) Should not expect a raucous "light out" youth program that entertains the teenagers, puts on a show that gets the kids "pumped up," all without parental involvement. Instead as the years go by, with our children as part of our life, worship and mission (and when the light shows dim and the cool youth pastor with the spiked hair burns out) expect our youth to have an authentic relationship with God thru Christ that carries them through a lifetime of journey with God.
6.) Should not expect to always "feel good,"or ecstatic on Sunday mornings. Expect that there will ALSO be times of confession, lament, self-examination and just plain silence.
7.) Should not expect a lot of sermons that promise you God will prosper you with "the life you've always wanted" if you’ll just believe Him and step out on faith and give some more money for a bigger sanctuary. Expect sustenance for the journey.
8.) Should not expect rapid growth whereby we grow this church from 10 to a thousand in three years. Expect slower organic inefficient growth that engages people’s lives where they are at and sees troubled people who would have nothing to do with the gospel marvelously saved.
9.) Should not expect all the meetings to happen in a church building. Expect a lot of the gatherings will be in homes, or sites of mission.
10.) Should not expect arguments over style of music, color of carpet, or even doctrinal outlier issues like dispensationalism. Expect mission to drive the conversation.