First, let's define the term. Here's what Alan Hirsh, another leader of the movement, writes...
"Missional church is a community of God’s people that defines itself, and organizes its life around, its real purpose of being an agent of God’s mission to the world. In other words, the church’s true and authentic organizing principle is mission. When the church is in mission, it is the true church. The church itself is not only a product of that mission but is obligated and destined to extend it by whatever means possible. The mission of God flows directly through every believer and every community of faith that adheres to Jesus. To obstruct this is to block God’s purposes in and through his people." The Forgotten Ways, p. 82.
Now, here's part of what Mike Breen writes in his recent blog post about the missional movement...
"It’s time we start being brutally honest about the missional movement that has emerged in the last 10-15 years: Chances are better than not it’s going to fail.
That may seem cynical, but I’m being realistic. There is a reason so many movements in the Western church have failed in the past century: They are a car without an engine. A missional church or a missional community or a missional small group is the new car that everyone is talking about right now, but no matter how beautiful or shiny the vehicle, without an engine, it won’t go anywhere....We are a group of people addicted to and obsessed with the work of the Kingdom, with little to no idea how to be with the King.
...Many church leaders unknowingly replace the transcendent vitality of a life with God for the ego satisfaction they derive from a life for God.
This is the crux of it: The reason the missional movement may fail is because most people/communities in the Western church are pretty bad at making disciples. Without a plan for making disciples (and a plan that works), any missional thing you launch will be completely unsustainable."
This is what we here at LK10 have been saying for some time. The focus on mission is well-intentioned but misguided. In Scripture, mission is not the focus. (Think about it. How many times is the Great Commission repeated in the Epistles?) The church's "organizing principle" was never meant to be mission.
It's about learning to be with the King!
The church's focus and "organizing principle" is meant to be an intimate, conversational, love relationship with Jesus. The Biblical metaphor is the Bride (ie, the church) who is passionate about her Bridegroom. (Eph. 5:22-33) Mission is the spontaneous by-product of that relationship. (We have lots of evidence that this is, indeed, the case!)
Here at LK10 we articulate our "plan for making disciples" in nine words. "Listen, obey and teach others to do the same."
Want to know more about our "plan"? Stay tuned for information about our Foundations Class coming soon.
To read Mike Breen's entire post go here:http://mikebreen.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/why-the-missional-movement-will-fail/