Missional church: a reproducing community of authentic disciples, being equipped as missionaries sent by God, to live and proclaim His Kingdom in their world.
In my last post I provided this definition from Milfred Minitrea’s book that gives a picture of the missional church. When I think of a missional church, this is a body of believers that is obeying God and doing what He has called all Christians to do. Minitrea’s definition is chock full of some pretty potent words, but I want to look at just two of them.
Authentic: genuine, real. Do you know someone that is the real deal? They live a life of integrity, they genuinely care about people, are thoughtful, and offer deep insights into their walk with God? I can think of several people in my life who are that way.
Sometimes in the Christian life I think it is easy to fake it. I suppose I’m bordering on being judgmental, but I think we can fall into a trap of going to church, putting on a front, and doing all the things our culture says makes us successful Christians, but is it all real?
If we are to be the Church that God intends us to be, we need to strip away those ideas of being a successful Christian and be real with one another. This does not mean pouring out our deepest struggles in front of the entire congregation every Sunday, but rather we need to be willing to walk with one another in the joys and struggles, serve with one another and confront deep issues head on by having honest dialogue.
There is nothing wrong with helping people and doing good things, but the difference between fake and real disciples is the motivation. What are these things accomplishing? Are we serving in order to win favor and make a good impression, or out of joy and response to God’s call and provision? This is something individuals need to check in their own heart, but also the church as a whole should look at their motivation for their overall philosophy and outreach.
A disciple is an obeying follower of Jesus. Do we find joy in our obedience to Christ? As we seek to proclaim Christ’s Kingdom, we must put our own heart and desires up against God’s Word and His Truth and align ourselves with Him, the ultimate “real deal”.