Saturday, March 17, 2007

Missional Church of the future

The reality of the future church is that it is going to take on many forms. Many of these forms will be new expressions, some will be hybrids and some will be institutional churches that have morphed.

Much of what is written about missional churches of the future is written concerning new forms, but I am fascinated by the transformed IC churches.

What will a transformed church look like? How will it get there?

Some thoughts I have on this.

In IC’s that move missional, I see a balance between the part of the congregation that is comfortable and the part seeking change. Much of that balance maybe found in that most of the missional ministry will occur outside of the “normal” ministry time of the IC. Sacred cows such as the Sunday morning service may not change to much. Style maybe updated but the concept of church on Sunday morning isn’t going to disappear in those churches.

The missional aspects of the ministry will occur at other times and in other spaces. This will place larger demands on the pastoral leadership. The pastor will need to empower the missional minded folks to go, grow and prosper while time is spent ministering to other parts of the church body.

Missional pastor will have to balance and bridge a multi-culture body. Not cultural differences based on race or ethnicity, but generational based. The web2.0 generation is vastly different than most that has come before and it will be challenging to bridge those groups into a cohesive body.

The church needs generational unity in the body. We have much to learn from one another. The challenge will be in uniting together in a common cause for the furtherance of the Kingdom.

What other ideas do you have about how transformed IC’s will need to function in the missional world? What other challenges are and will pastoral leadership face?

, , , ,


Bryon Mondok said...

I like what you're saying about "generational unity." What an achievement that would be. That kind of unity takes strong leadership from humble, transparent men of character. A man that is willing to be a bridge spanning the chasm of mistrust that exists between generations.

Maybe God will use us.

Webb Kline said...

While Sunday mornings may not look that different on the surface, I think that in content they would be vastly different.

For one thing, a missional community would have so much to share pertaining to what God had done through the week, that the testimonies themselves would transform the emotional level of the service.

The praise would mirror much of this excitement.

The tithing would go through the roof because the people would be engaged with the mission and therefore more compelled to give.

I think Sunday school would consist more of building missional strategies, serious prayer for the people they are reaching and for the work being done; there would be more problem solving discussions, vision building, and overall encouragement.

Youth groups would no longer place emphasis on trying to make Christianity look cool to kids, but rather, it would challenge them, engage them missionally, inspire radical faith and commitment to changing the world. The youth would be perhaps a missional church's most dynamic and anointed missionaries.

Building projects would be shelved until it could be determined what best served the growing missional needs of the church.

Fund raising would become much more motivated. Churches would begin to grasp the for-profit business ideas which not only would raise serious finances, but that could also become an integral part of the missional work.

Getting from point A to point B would be, for some, an insurmountable challenge and more than a few churches that try it would split over the change. But, the end would more than justify the means.

What would stand in the end would be a church full of strong, dedicated disciples of Jesus for whom unconditional love, compassion and radical servant-hood was all they lived for.

Maybe I'm a dreamer, but it is all I live for, and if I can do it, I see no reason why a whole church can't do it. I'm certainly nobody special. People just need to be led to the water. And if they drink this kind of water, they will thirst no more; I promise. ;)

Missional Jerry said...

powerful comments