The Missional Trump Card

Are you a missional Christian?

As little as ten years ago, in ordinary discussions with church planters and pastors, being missional was a minority position. Missional conferences and books were small in number. If you were missional, you were on the fringe, often viewed with suspicion, even derision. In some circles if you admitted being missional, you were advocating something alien and unbiblical.

But things have changed.

Today, missional seems almost as commonplace as being evangelical. Especially if you’re under 30 years old, it seems as if everyone is missional, regardless of one’s theological stripe. Indeed, to not be missional (as defined by many of the movement’s proponents) is almost akin to rejecting historical, orthodox Christianity. “What?!? You’re not missional?” (Did someone just deny Jesus’ divinity?)

The missional movement has risen to such heights that one’s doctrinal beliefs, theological position, philosophy of ministry, etc. seem secondary. But pull out the missional trump card, quote an esteemed missional author, and all is well. Missional is now mainstream.

The missional movement’s ascent is both good and bad. Good because it causes the church to consider more carefully their evangelistic vision and effectiveness. Bad because it risks being another trend, e.g. what the seeker/sensitive movement has become. (If I were a betting man, I predict that the missional movement becomes outdated in ten years, or at least loses significant steam.)

Yes, Jesus taught us to pray that our Father’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” We should seek to advance God’s kingdom and reign, spreading the gospel’s glorious good news, and have an outward facing posture so the church doesn’t become an insular ineffective religious social club. Being on mission for the King matters. After all, he did give us the Great Commission to fulfill.

Just be careful that you don’t use missional as your trump card.

As Christians, there are more important things than being missional.

What are those things? I’ll discuss them in a future post.

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