On Mondays I plan to pursue an ongoing study of all things missional and in particular, missional orders. I have many posts and articles squirreled away in my clippings folder that I want to take a closer look at and discuss.
This is an idea that I am studying, so I invite you to learn along with me and to share with me your understanding of the issues we consider.
The first item I am going to post about is this video of David Fitch by Allelon on Church Planting Via Missional Orders.
It is 15 minutes long if you want to watch the whole thing. (I recommend the whole thing, but if you only have a couple of minutes, start at 7:00.)
For those of us just trying to figure out and envision what a missional order is or could be, I feel like this is a good introduction to the idea.
What the video is a-boot…
(BTW, in the US, we say a-bowt. Does that sound funny to Canadians?)
Church planting in past decades in christendom has been the consumer model of rock stars, marketing, attractional methods, and organizational success.
Reimagining church planting as missional orders will be necessary to plant churches in post-christendom.
1. Funding versus sustainability
A missional order is about survival…
- being able to make a living
- while you plant the seeds
- banding together
- allowing sufficient time for the ethos of your community to develop
2. Attractional versus incarnational
A missional order says…
- we will gather together 10 people
- we will commit to being a body
- we will embed ourselves in this location
- we will incarnate Christ in this location
We will build relationships…
- we will look for those who are hurting
- we will look for the poor
- we will look for those who are struggling
- we will look for ways of connecting
3. Programs versus Formation
A missional order says…
- we will gather for formation
- we will gather to edify and strengthen
- we will gather as a rhythm –
- we will take on disciplines of resistance to consumeristic forces
- we will adopt an alternative definition of success
The gathering and the sent out rhythm
-the gathering to be formed and shaped into mission
-the sending out of God’s people into mission
4. Power versus Submission
- give power away
- are governed by mutual submission
5. Organization versus Way of Life
A missional order…
- A way of life together that is gospel in the world.
- We are not looking to organize a system or way of being church.
- We are looking at living a way of life together.
- Encodes a way of life that we are all committed to.
A few of my thoughts…
What really struck me about this is that the traditional understanding of success and church growth is completely removed from expectation and intention. That alone significantly changes the focus and purpose of gathering.
The idea of rhythm addresses the balance between inward and outward focus, hopefully preventing the stagnation of a small, narrow group.
The ethos and essence of the group is something that would require both time and commitment to develop and a willingness to continue learning together.
What thoughts and ideas does this inspire in you?