The word “missional:” It’s the new thing. Or maybe it’s on it’s way out by now? I don’t know. As Christians we all want to be “missional” right? After all there’s this gnawing command Jesus gave us called the Great Commission found in Matt. 18 right? How do I know if I’m pleasing God on mission? What’s a missional lifestyle look like?
As a college student I was a summer missionary in Puerto Rico. I was in awe of a man in his early 30’s who I thought at the time was the most missional person I’d ever met. I mean, if he found someone in need he’d stop right there and help, never mind he was headed to an important meeting. He’d stop right there and it was like the whole world just waited on him to show up. He oozed with stories of sharing the Gospel with people because he always helped, no matter the problem or moment; he stopped to help. I remember thinking that this guy is amazing! He doesn’t care about his earthly responsibilities as much as he cares about God and people. This is the Great Commission being lived out!
Well, maybe not…
Some people tell me how “missional” they are because they give money every Christmas to support missionaries. They wouldn’t even consider for a moment about not giving. They support the people in the trenches on the field. Is this what being “missional” means?
Others have shared stories with me about how they give, but they also pray for mission efforts and the missionaries they support financially.
Others give, pray and express acts of service in their local community. Now, THAT’S a missional person you might say! Someone who is involved; someone who is using their time to help people is missional.
Another gives, prays, serves and shares the Gospel message. Oh, wait a minute! Can one be “missional” if we aren’t sharing the Gospel message?
The transformational Gospel message of Jesus Christ is the most important thing we can ever share with anyone. This is what it means to be “missional:” finding the best strategies through which we can share the Gospel message.
So, if what we’re involved in doesn’t share the Gospel message is it “missional” at all?
I’ve been a mission’s pastor for over ten years. I have walked with people trying to live out their calling and mission in the world. I have seen great moving successes and I have seen great stressful messes! I have learned a few things along the way that I believe are worth sharing.