The truly missional church...
1. loves Jesus and as a result, loves the people that Jesus loves.
1 John 4 is taken seriously: “He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another...if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.”
2. has members who are aware of and tangibly living out their unique missional calling.
What if Ephesians 2.10 is really true? What if God really has prepared each of us in advance for good works? In the missional church, the vast majority (not merely the top-tier “super” Christians) of men, women, and children are powerfully living out their unique calling in the world, so that not-yet-believers are blessed and cared for.
3. spends a significant portion of its budget outside the walls of the church building.
Whether this is investment in overseas mission or community development, significant financial resources are committed to Kingdom activities outside the church building.
4. is welcoming.
Throughout the pages of the New Testament, there was never a hint of a person who was uncomfortable approaching Jesus. Some dismissed him. Others opposed his message. However, Scripture tells of a Messiah who was approachable and welcoming of all. Likewise, the missional church is one where all feel welcome.
5. has apostolic leaders with an eye towards movement.
The word “mission” in and of itself connotes forward movement. Furthermore, the mission of God is global in scale and eternal in scope. The missional church has apostolic leaders who have an eye not towards merely building an organization, but rather building a movement which seeks to join with God and His purposes of redemption.
6. tells stories of what God is doing amongst not-yet-believers.
The internal conversation and narratives is ripe with powerful stories of God’s movement in the community and around the world, amongst people who are far from Him.
7. has a plan for moving people into faith in Jesus and along the path of spiritual formation.
There is a recognition that salvation is neither the starting point, nor the end goal.
Furthermore, there are intentional processes and structures to support the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church’s mission of making disciples.
8. has a high view of the role and activity of the Holy Spirit.
God’s global strategy is at work. The mission of God is fully activated, and God’s Spirit is the One who calls, gifts, empowers, and enables the mission of God to be carried out. Our response is to say, “YES” to what God has called and prepared us to do.
9. spends the majority of its time with and for those who are far from God.
There is a recognition that the process of discipleship is messy and time-consuming. There is a willingness to commit leadership and people-resources to goal of seeing the surrounding community blessed.
10. is made up of men and women who are deeply aware of their own brokenness.
This awareness brings about two things: 1) a deep gratitude for the work of forgiveness and redemption at the Cross; 2) an understanding of and deep compassion for the brokenness of others. This is what makes for safe places and safe relationships.
11. has leaders who are people-developers.
Rather than being event-planners, there are pastors and leaders who understand and embrace their role as people-developers...equipping and releasing missionaries out into the community and the world.
12. believes and hopes for big things for the community.
The missional church is such an ingrained part of the surrounding community, that there is a genuine and heartfelt desire to see good things come about in the community. Furthermore, as people of faith, the dreams are big, God- sized ones, which will only come about with His favor and blessing.
13. is recognized and loved for its contribution in the neighborhood.
Tim Keller asks the question, “If your church closed its doors tomorrow, who outside the congregation would know or care?” In the missional church, their presence in the community is so consistent and so generous that they truly are known and celebrated for the love that they have.
What other signs does your church have?