What is Missional Christianity?

Missional Christianity is consumed with following Jesus and aligning with His missionary purpose in this world. It’s a return to the roots of the Christian faith with total submission to Jesus and partnership in His mission – equipping and empowering every believer as a missionary in their cultural context.

Missional Christianity is characterized by: 

  • Spiritual Empowerment
  • Extraordinary Prayer
  • Biblical Authority
  • Incarnational Practices – “Being Jesus”
  • Personal Disciplemaking
  • Intentional Accountability
  • Multiplying Churches

Missional Christians recognize that they have been sent as Christian missionaries by Jesus with the Good News of Salvation together in community with all believers to their specific geographic and cultural context. They align themselves with Jesus’ missionary purposes (the Great Commission) and engage in activities and practices which will serve those around them by visibly displaying the love of Jesus. They intentionally develop habits which engage people in their neighborhoods and workplaces and they use their homes as a place to invite others into their lives. As local missionaries, they seek to communicate the truth of Jesus in the language of the culture. They are God’s missionary people

Missional Christianity is absent in most of North America. Why is this ?

  • Many believers rely on other Christians to fulfill the Great Commission. Consumer Christians are sucking the life out of churches.
  • Many pastors don’t engage in missional activities themselves because they are so busy serving their churches. Pastors are not equipping believers as missionaries to their neighborhoods and workplaces.
  • Many churches have embraced a “come and see” (attractional) approach to evangelism that is designed to get people to come to church. The focus of many churches is on buildings and what happens in the “church” on Sundays.
  • Many denominations measure success by the size of a church’s budget and buildings, and by how many seats are full. They continue to focus on starting more of the same kinds of churches.

The church today needs to experience Missional Transformation.

Missional Transformation is all about discovering how to “be Jesus” to everyone around you. It is the process of abandoning those practices which inhibit the accomplishment of the Great Commission on earth and adapting culturally relevant behaviors which will accomplish Jesus’ mission.

More to follow…

Related Posts

Journey Guide: Engaging Culture | missionalchallenge.com
Mission is the Basis for the Bible | missionalchallenge.com
Go. Be. Do. (2014) | missional challenge.com
Missional Challenge Quiz - Try it! | missionalchallenge.com
Missional Challenge Update - Jan 2014 | missionalchallenge.com
How to Identify Needs Around You | missionalchallenge.com


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.
10 replies
  1. David M
    David M says:

    Out of curiosity – what’s the role of the music (‘worship’) part of a typical, local church’s weekly gather (‘church service’)?

    I ask in that it is not addressed in your post yet takes up at least half of the time on Sunday Mornings (or whenever the local community gathers).


  2. DaveDV
    DaveDV says:

    What’s the role of the music (‘worship’) part of a typical, local church’s weekly gather (‘church service’)?
    I love to worship God (Father/Son/Spirit) together with other believers! To me, worship is so much more than singing songs – so when we gather, worship is more than just the music portion of our weekly “worship” gathering.

    The “role” of the music/worship when we gather as followers of Jesus is to give Him honor and praise because He is exalted and holy and worthy. It’s not simply the “warm up” for the sermon. It’s a corporate expression of our submission to Him as our Savior and Lord.

    Romans 12:1 gives us a picture of worship that is so much more than singing: I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
    When we gather together as believers (whether on Sunday mornings or throughout the week), we should always acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and that we are humbly submitting to His Lordship and Leadership of our lives. We can do that as we sing His praises, as we listen to His Word, as we encourage and stimulate one another toward love and good deeds, as we testify of God’s goodness, mercy, and grace in our lives, as we pray together – as we “be the church” together.

    Just as the “role” of music is just one part of our worshipful submission to God – I believe that the “role” of music is just one part of our “worship service” when we gather. It should always be a heartfelt expression of our submission – and it should always lead us to honor Him for who He is and what He has done.

  3. Bob Carder
    Bob Carder says:

    davidm -When our Disciple Driven Church meets together in corporate worship we sing songs but with a guitar and not as a performance -it’s just a guy and his daughters who love to do it -when we sing we do so for Jesus but it wouldn’t impress those seeking a hollywood experience.

    We are not growing with worship -we are growing with disciples making disciples and while we worship we intentionally do not make coming to worship the main thing.

    Davedv, I sure wish the church in America would worship with these priorities. How will it ever happen as you ddescribe?

  4. Bob Carder
    Bob Carder says:

    Davedv – I love the term Missional Christianity because this is encompassing.

    I appreciate your comments on how we are to be missional with priority given to the Great Commission purposes.

    I long for this in America for the sake of the kingdom. If this does not happen Churchianity will be replaced by Missional Christianity. Those who refuse to engage Missional Christianity will be left in the unsettling dust of self consumption.

  5. DaveDV
    DaveDV says:

    In addition to…
    1) Spiritual Empowerment
    2) Extraordinary Prayer
    3) Biblical Authority
    4) Incarnational Practices – “Being Jesus”
    5) Personal Disciplemaking
    6) Intentional Accountability
    7) Multiplying Churches
    Missional Christianity is characterized by…
    8) Authentic Community
    9) Extravagant Love
    10) Faithful Obedience
    11) Worshipful Submission
    12) Passionate Spirituality
    Missional Christianity isn’t simply trying to get back to what following Jesus may have looked like in the New Testament – it’s attempting to fully follow Jesus in the 21st Century. When we live a life that is submitting, following, loving, obeying, trusting, praying and “being Jesus” to everyone around us – we will be advancing the kingdom.

    Missional Christians will bring glory to God by being the church and accomplishing the work that God has given us to do. We can do that without music, but music helps. We can do that without singing, but singing helps. We can do that without buildings, pews, hymns, songs, pulpits, organs, and liturgy. We can do that without candles, rugs, guitars, drums, mediashout, art, drama and expositional preaching. However, we can’t glorify God without submitting to the Lordship of Christ.

    Our worshipful submission is critical to Missional Christianity.

    That’s what I’d add to my post…

    Any thoughts?

  6. Bob Carder
    Bob Carder says:

    Davedv – You hit the ball out of the park.

    I long for this Church in America!

    I long to see the transformation that will occur when we see it.

    I can’t wait to see the main thing become the main thing -the purposes of God fulfilled (an I am not talking about Sir Rick Warren’s 6 purposes either. To be clear -there is much more to it than that.

    Jesus never said “go and fellowship with one another”. I think he said..well you know!

    Davedv – You are fueling a missional movement. Thanks for valuing the importance for all of us to obey the Great Commission.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Ephesians 5:19 talks about the Spirit filled Christian as one who sings Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with other Christians.

    For missionaly Christianity, where everyone is empowered to be missionaries, its important that worship leaders teach Christians to sing. I love a good performance by someone who is truly gifted in song. Seeing people worship God with their talents is awesome!! However, teaching others to sing is much more important.

    This means song selection needs to be simple. Song sheets ought to be printed in the bulletin for people to take with them. Repetition for the sake of memorization is critical. Basic singing skills should be always made available. Talented singers should be celebrated in such a way that motivates non-talented singers to grow the skill.

    It’s unfortunate but most church’s don’t really teach Christians to sing. Very often, worship leaders lead congregations to sing only those songs that can be performed upfront on Sundays. Worship leaders create a dependency to them, rather than trying to work themselves out of a job, which should be the goal of every professional minister.

    Steve Dueck

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