"missional" losing its helpful definition | alan hirsch
In Christianity Today's Leadership Journal this past week... missional has reached buzzword status to the point where it doesn't mean what we meant when we started. I've noticed this around my seminary: I recall using it in conversation this semester to describe some of my ecclesiology, and several people agreeing in a way that was pretty sure we weren't talking about the same thing. In this case, it was mostly just about social justice... which is part of it... but... his article is better than me trying to re-write it.
Defining Missional (full article)
The word is everywhere, but where did it come from and what does it really mean?
Alan Hirsch | posted 12/12/2008
It has become increasingly difficult to open a ministry book or attend a church conference and not be accosted by the word missional. A quick search on Google uncovers the presence of "missional communities," "missional leaders," "missional worship," even "missional seating," and "missional coffee." Today, everyone wants to be missional. Can you think of a single pastor who is proudly anti-missional?
But as church leaders continue to pile onto the missional bandwagon, the true meaning of the word may be getting buried under a pile of assumptions. Is it simply updated nomenclature for being purpose-driven or seeker-sensitive? Is missional a new, more mature strain of the emerging church movement?
First, let me say what missional does not mean. Missional is not synonymous with emerging. The emerging church is primarily a renewal movement attempting to contextualize Christianity for a postmodern generation. Missional is also not the same as evangelistic or seeker-sensitive.
And don't miss downloading his pdf chart of missional books for the last 10 years.