Becoming Missional: Minor Change?

Many people expect that becoming “missional” is a minor change or adjustment to the way they do church – like adding rugs and candles to their Sunday gatherings or adopting the local elementary school and initiating community service projects. There are many minor adjustments happening in churches across America. However, becoming truly missional is so much more than adding external activities and programs to a church. It’s more than an awareness of postmodern philosophies and perspectives.

Becoming missional requires a complete realignment of one’s daily life with the redemptive mission of Jesus. It’s not just making minor changes, but a major adjustment – changing your whole way of living to “be Jesus” to everyone everywhere! Followers of Jesus must fundamentally reorient their relationship with those in the culture around them. Since Jesus was a “friend of sinners,” they become friends with sinners – lots of them. Since Jesus came to serve, they look for ways to serve others.

Christians can’t just keep on doing church the way they’ve been doing church for the past fifty years. In fact, in the past fifty years, U.S. churches have failed to gain an additional 2 percent of the American population (1). American churches aren’t even keeping up with population growth. It takes the combined efforts of eighty-five Christians working over an entire year to produce one convert (2).

Christians in churches across our nation need to recognize that they’ve been sent by Jesus as local missionaries in their own zip code. Every believer in America can impact their friends, neighbors and coworkers with the truth of the Gospel; it is only through the power of the Gospel that lives will be transformed.

This is not minor change.

This requires: 

  • Radical adjustment
  • Realigned activities
  • Relevant approaches
  • Redemptive action

from Reconciled Ambassadors.

2 Corinthians 5:20 – “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”


(1) Tom Clegg & Warren Bird, Lost in America, Group Publishing, 2001, p. 33.
(2) Thom S. Rainier, Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, Zondervan, 2001, p. 23

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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