Jump directly to the Content

Defining Missional

The word is everywhere, but where did it come from and what does it really mean?

It has become increasingly difficult to open a ministry book or attend a church conference and not be accosted by the word missional. A quick search on Google uncovers the presence of "missional communities," "missional leaders," "missional worship," even "missional seating," and "missional coffee." Today, everyone wants to be missional. Can you think of a single pastor who is proudly anti-missional?

But as church leaders continue to pile onto the missional bandwagon, the true meaning of the word may be getting buried under a pile of assumptions. Is it simply updated nomenclature for being purpose-driven or seeker-sensitive? Is missional a new, more mature strain of the emerging church movement?

It's time to pause and consider the origin and meaning of the word that is reframing our understanding of ministry and the church. This tree diagrams the roots of the word missional and how its reach has expanded into different areas of ministry. ...

April
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Lost and Found in the Asphalt Jungle
Lost and Found in the Asphalt Jungle
My children don't have a neat quarter-acre suburban backyard. Yet they call our inner-city mission field home.
From the Magazine
What Kind of Man Is This?
What Kind of Man Is This?
We’ve got little information on Jesus’ appearance and personality. But that’s the way God designed it.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.
close