One thing that came up during the missional synchroblog is the ability or likelihood for existing congregations to become missional.
Alan Hirsch says that the organizing purpose of a missional church is mission. Brother Maynard says it is their raison d’être (reason for existing).
The organizing purpose of most churches is the organization itself and the Sunday service. Most believe that the growth of their church and service within the church is the same as building the kingdom. They may be genuinely interested in mission, but it is not their central purpose.
By looking at where the time and money of an organization is spent, we can determine their central purpose. Does the majority of money and time flow out, or is it consumed on the congregation itself?
The answer to whether an existing congregation can become missional is dependent on their willingness to change their central purpose.
By co-opting the term and changing its emphasis, churches who do not wish to make such fundamental shifts in their thinking can apply it to a program and say, essentially, “Yes, we’re a missional church.” (Brother Maynard)
That isn’t missional. You can’t have it both ways.
What will it look like for an organization to shift its focus and purpose to mission instead of the organization and the Sunday service? Are congregations willing to make that degree of change, to pay the full price to become missional?
If not, be straight about what you are, and don’t claim to be what you are not.
But for those who truly want to be missional, realize what you will have to let go of in order to become missional.