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Defining Missional
Theme of the week: What's a "Missional Christian"?
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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Key Bible Verses: "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you." (Matthew 28:19-20) Dig Deeper: John 4:34-38

I feel the need to admit that there is something a bit odd about the word missional and the phrase missional Christian. Even though more and more people are using missional these days, it's grammatically a bit of a stretch: we have plenty of nouns coming from mission (missions, missionary, missiology), and even some aggressive sounding verbs (missionize, missioning), but an adjective? Mission-al?

As if that weren't awkward enough, the phrase missional Christian could also be accused of being unnecessarily redundant: being involved in God's mission on earth is part of what it means, at a basic level, to be a Christian. Clarifying that someone is a missional Christian is tantamount to saying that someone is a Christian Christian.

Awkward to say the least. And yet, grammatical awkwardness and theological redundancy aside, I have come to believe that missional Christian is a necessary and important phrase.

If a missional Christian is defined as a believer who is personally marked by and caught up in God's mission in this world, then indeed such a description ought to apply to every single member of God's church.

—Don Everts in Go and Do

My Response: What does it mean to be "personally marked by and caught up in God's mission in this world"?

Thought to Apply: The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to him the more intensely missionary we must become.—Henry Martyn (British Anglican priest, missionary)

Adapted from Go and Do (IVP, 2012) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, teach me what it means to be a missional Christian; help me to do my part to obey your call to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20).

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