Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Missional Frustration

I frustrated with people who think missional and emerging are the same thing.

They arent - Im far more traditional than emerging yet Im very missional.

I believe every church should be missional, because actively participating in God's redemptive work is everyone's role.

So when I see the number 2 entry in Google for the keyword missional so messed up like it is here it really frustrates me. There is a bias and an agenda with some of the contributors.

The fact that the word has been around 100 years doesnt seem to matter. Only thing that matters is source cites that meet with their approval.

Let's be real here folks - there's little that is nuetral in the statements made there.

In this usage "missional" has rapidly entered the lexicon of the growing emerging church movement whose participants have co-opted the term for their own use, enabling participants in this movement to recognize each other across denominational lines. Different emergents may use the term with different nuances and connotations, but the term persists as essentially a postmodern alternative to the ecclesiology and missiology of Evangelical Christians. The practical outworking of emergent, missional living does not coincide with the emphases on propositional evangelism, teaching, and holiness found in historic Christianity. Missional believers are more inclusive than exclusive, refusing to identify boundaries that could be perceived as an "us vs. them" mentality. Within this atmosphere so-called missional believers seek to enhance the lives of all postmoderns regardless of their belief system or lifestyle.

Co-opted? from what? emerging and missional are not the same. Missions and missional are not the same.

What say you to helping Brother Maynard set the record straight?

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Anonymous said...

Amen Jerry...
I get concerning when I hear people comparing the two movements. Emerging has become an anti-establishment... anti-organized church... with a handful of "emergent stars" that is laying down the theology, the focus, etc. of this movement/ conversation. My experience is that at times... emerging, emergent is just different in their worship. It is about "us".

Missional is not about us... but about us being Jesus to our communities. It is about being Jesus incarnate to the hurting of our community.

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Missional Jerry said...

"Wow Jerry, you are thinking just what I was thinking. I've attempted to change this Wiki entry about three time now, and each time it get changed back. Some on has an agenda! The statement is wrong and needs to be corrected. I mentioned this to Ed Stetzer last month and we talked about launching a campaign to do just that, so I'm headed over to Brother Maynard's now to see what can be done."

Rick - The Blind Beggar

AS said...

I figure if Missional Church is from God, he can handle someone in Wiki not agreeing with it.

Missional is partly about demonstrating before preaching and the simple fact that many members of very traditional churches more "Missional" shows the inaccuracy of this statement for what it is.

John said...

Missional is very specific. Emerging can be almost anything. I've had my own frustrations with the whole emerging church thing and had decided I'm not very emerging.

There are folks that talk alot about emerging missional. The interesting thing is that I haven't seen that many that fit the description

The emerging church seems more concerned with reaching the postmoderns by changing what it means to be a christian, but without really doing anything. Want to reach the postmoderns, go into their world and love them, but leave the distinctiveness of the faith in Jesus Christ intact.

That's why I haven't put the "friend of emergent" logo on my blog. I'll be part of the converstion, but it remains to be seen if I will be a friend or not.

Webb Kline said...


Seriously, I know a ton of pastors around here who refer to their churches as 'emergent.' There isn't a cottonpickin' thing different from them than there ever was, but they call themselves emergent, I guess, so that they can be considered cool.

Now it is beginning to happen to the term missional. Here we go again.

I just tell people that I'm committed to being the hands and feet and heart of Jesus to the world the best I can. That makes sense to everyone no matter if they are believers or nonbelievers.

The mission I work with was named Heart to Hand over 15 years ago, long before missional and emergent was en vogue. It still defines what we are about better than anything I've heard. It still comes down to what we do, not who we claim to be.

David said...

I have no problem saying I am a part of the emergent conversation. But I think of Revolution as Missional.
And yes...I have had to state many times that the two are not the same thing!
Somewhere, someone go the idea that these terms are interchangible and they are not..as we all know.
At a recent church I attended the pastor said we need to be more missional. And then he got flack for being emergent - of which he is absolutely NOT.

It's interesting how the real meanings of words, and the percieved meanings of words can be so different.

I like what Alan Hirsch says in his book (which I'm reading) "The Forgotten Ways" that before the body of Christ is anything, we must be missional!

jeremiah said...


Pastor Rod said...


I've been dealing with the same frustration. In my mind, there is a clear distinction between "emergent" and "missional."

Unfortunately, many see these words as interchangeable.

I tried to address this here: Missional, Shmissional.