Missional People and the Missional Institution

Blake Coffee, author of “Trusting God’s People… Again” and the “Church Whisperer” Blog wrote a worthwhile read on the difference between being a missional church and a missional people. As a leader in a missional church focused on developing missional people who engage both their neighbor and the marginalized, I thought this to be a good reminder and perspective. Here’s some of what he shared:

“You see, there is more to the missional mindset than just becoming a missional institution.  The missional lifestyle is a lifestyle for each of us as individual Christians, whether or not our particular church is ever seen by its community as being missional.  The attitude at my own church provides a great example.  Not that long ago, my church was literally blazing trails in the area of social ministries.  We owned and operated a restaurant run almost entirely by volunteers, the profits from which went to feed people in our near-by soup kitchen.  We provided leadership in some of our community’s homeless shelters and clothes closets.  We had a strong presence in several of our city’s project housing complexes.  We provided Christmas meals to between 400 and 500 impoverished families each year.  In this area of social ministries, our institution was a well-run machine.

So, over the last 30 years, each of us as church members could pat ourselves on the back because our institution was doing great things in this area and we each had the good judgment to be a member there.  Mind you, the vast majority of us were doing next to nothing in these ministries (other than supporting them financially), but when confronted by conviction about caring for the underprivileged, we could each conveniently check this item off…instead of “I gave at the office” we could say, “I gave at church.”

But if Christianity really is to remain the revolution Jesus intended (instead of just the institution we tend to make it), then whether or not my church is seen as a “missional church” does not define me one way or the other.  Only I can define me, through my own actions and through my own heart and mindset.  If I am seen as a person who genuinely cares about people less fortunate than I, then I am seen as “missional” in that respect.  If not, then I have work to do irrespective of whether or not my church offers me this opportunity through one of its ministries.”

Good words. Thanks Blake. To read the complete post click HERE.

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About Brandon Hatmaker

Church Planter, Missional Strategist, Non-Profit Collaborator, and Author of "Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture". View all posts by Brandon Hatmaker

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