Discussing
Have missional churches become the new legalists?

Monica Selby

Hughhalter
November 9, 2011

Hi Monica, great post and I appreciate your balance to the missional equation.  As one who has contributed some writing to the "missional church thing," and as one who pastors such a church, I am encouraged that most inside the genuine movement are as concerned about discipleship as much as we are the more evangelistic aspects of missional living.  A good friend Mike Breen posted an article a few months back suggesting that the missional movement will most likely die the same death non-missional movements are dying simply because of the lack of clarity and focus on creating disciples of Jesus.  Missional just means to be "Sent" and represents the "Go" part of the "Go and Make Disciples" call that Jesus gave to us all.  Without the Go...no disciples, but even with a GO but no intention to develop people into Kingdomlings, we lose as well.  I'm happy to say however that if you look under the veneer of most of the leading missional writers and practitioners (Neil Cole, Alan Hirsch, Mike Frost, Alan Roxburgh, Reggie McNeal and others, you will see their main message is discipleship. Thanks,<br>Hugh Halter author of The Tangible Kingdom &amp; Sacrilege<br>

Connie Smith Jakab
November 9, 2011

good stuff Monica!  Thanks for reminding us that it's about Christ and His mission through our lives, not just getting caught up in a new flavour of the month evangelism method :)

Jenny Rae Armstrong
November 9, 2011

Great article Monica! We can get so caught up in living into our particular Christian subculture's expectations (WHATEVER they are) that we lose sight of the purpose behind it, and become like "resounding gongs and clanging cymbals." Good thoughts.

DRupert
November 9, 2011

We are constantly forced to decide which way we will take our faith. If we let God move us and use us, then it's freeing. When we start getting into expectations, then that gives Satan plenty of time to work -- and legalism indeed is our new God.<br><br>David, <a href="http://www.redletterbelievers.com" rel="nofollow">www.redletterbelievers.com</a>

Suzanne
November 9, 2011

Monica, This is a great article. My family lives in a suburb near you, and we have beat this conversation to death in our house. We've prayed over moving into the city, and God has led us to stay put. But, we do live here with a different heart, now.  Even in living here, I feel those same pressures. I used to think I had to save myself. Now I think I have to save those around me. I agree with you. I have to continually turn my focus to Christ and let everything else fall under.

Bethanykj
November 9, 2011

It's interesting how quickly we turn a God-given desire to show the fruit of the spirit to those around us into community pressure to become Martha Stewart for Jesus.  Ironically, prescribing ways to have "authentic" interactions "without an agenda" leads to a lot of forced interactions in the name of an agenda. <br><br>May we show kindness, patience and gentleness to ourselves and other Christians, as well as those we hope to win over for Christ!

Rickd
November 9, 2011

Hah! I’ve been missional most of my life without knowing it. I go to parties with my neighbors, go out to celebrate an account win at a tavern with my workmates and have a gin and tonic or beer. I serve wine at home and smoke a cigar about once or twice a year with my brother. I give away money and services to peole in need, I tell as many people as I can about Jesus. Just for fun, two weeks ago 6 of us went out on the streets and told people about Jesus and led 9 people to first time faith in Jesus. I pray in tongues daily, pray for physical healing on our prayer team at Church. I read the Bible through at least once or twice a year and study it every day. I am a fine artist, business owner. Life as a Christian is totally fun, occasionally dangerous and always rewarding. Don’t worry about legalism, just live like Jesus, avoid sin, meditate daily on His word and be filled with the Spirit. You may wind up being called missional.

Moherring
November 9, 2011

As fellow believers we are all in this together. If the message is Jesus whatever method we use to deliver that message is missional. It fulfills the great commission.

Ilona Hadinger
November 9, 2011

Excellent post! The church loves trends and loves to play with semantics, thus our christianity swings like a pendulum with every generation. Thanks for reminding us to focus on Christ, and Missio Dei

Monica Selby
November 9, 2011

Suzanne, so fun that we live nearby!  This is definitely a difficult metro area to discern some of these things.  I, for one, am so grateful for families like yours staying in the 'burbs.  "Missional living" is an ever-so-slight paradigm shift for us, and--to be cliche--the suburbs need Jesus, too.  Thanks for reading and commmenting!

Shaun Wissmann
November 9, 2011

Great post, especially in terms of pointing to the real reason for intentional living.  Everything starts with intentional relationship with God.  Hugh pointed out Mike Breen, (and 3dm).  One thing they always talk about is up, in, out.  Up with God, In to the Church, Out to the world.  Really basic explanation but it works.<br><br>Everything we "do" should flow out of the grace that results from our personal intimate time with God.  <br><br>I think the exciting thing is that people are starting to realize that "Church" can look different, but they don't know how to get there; hence all the resources.  I have not chosen to read all the books and listen to all the sermons because it is all there in the Bible.  But there are some great books out there that really push people into what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus.<br><br>Thanks for being missional and keeping your eyes on Jesus!  We all need that reminder!!!<br><br>

Laura's Last Ditch
November 10, 2011

While I agree legalism could be a danger, a bigger danger is for Christians to find excuses for why they can't reach out to others. While it's important that we not create a strict template for how to reach out, we are called to do so, somehow. Perhaps "spurring one another on to love and good deeds" can make those who don't WANT to do anything feel like they are being judged. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

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