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Missional Church is Nothing But ...


Missional church is nothing but a Sunday morning service with some justice projects added on.
I don’t agree with this statement at all. I do not think this describes what missional church is. Nonetheless, during my travels, a majority of my encounters with self described missional churches can be described in this way. There is a massive disconnect between the practices traditionally described as church – including Sunday morning worship – and life in the neighborhood and communities where we live, where we engage the mission of God as a people.

I think this construal of church (Sunday morning services + some add on justice projects) is bad because:

It makes justice into a project. When we organize endeavors from the center to reach places of overt need, injustices in our neighborhoods, places of violence and hurt, we inevitably turn people into a project. We gather our people around a cause, we raise resources and then we swoop in to help a problem (we have deemed a problem) and then we leave shortly thereafter. We go back to the comfort of our homes with little if any day to day contact. We might have offered some temporary relief. We might even feel better about ourselves. But we have in effect separated ourselves from people. We have enforced our diagnosis on ‘them.’ We have in effect created a wider distinction between the haves and the have-nots. We have not entered people’s lives and come alongside them, indeed becoming a part of their lives and allowing them to become part of ours. We distance ourselves from the poor. Everything I have learned about justice indicates this works against the way God wants to change the world.



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