What does it mean to be missional? Since the early 1990's the word "missional" has been tossed around in churches and seminaries almost as frequently as the word "purpose". Missional was and is a buzzword and for some, that's all it ever becomes- a buzzword.
Before I knew there was a word to describe what I believed to be a very important answer to the lethargic lukewarm broth that was the church in the early '90's, I struggled to find a way to have conversations with other pastors about the next steps for church development. I found that very few could describe what they meant by missional.
Will Mancini has what I've come to believe is the best definition of missional. "Essentially it is a way of thinking that challenges the church to re-form and reforge its self-understanding (theologically, spiritually, and socially) so that it can relearn how to live and proclaim the gospel in the world. Perhaps the best motto of the reorientation is the imperative to 'be the church.' Church is not something you do or a place you go to, but what you are."
My experience in the early '90's was that people were attempting to construct a new paradigm for "doing church" when the real need was for all of us to adopt the biblical paradigm to be the church. Through the years, I've changed my term for this paradigm and I use it here at Sale Street. We are Mission! Our mission is clear. We are to make disciples, and doing so requires us to be genuine in our love for God and of others. It requires us to live a life, reflective of the image of God through Jesus in order that people might inquire about our faith.
I believe that a Christian should be a committed disciple, and the life that arises from that commitment should exhibit fruit that is recognizable to all. The transformation that occurs as we allow God to change us is noticeable to others. If each of us continues to be changed by Jesus, we can impact the world for Him! We are Mission!
-Senior Pastor Randy Edwards