An issue greatly distracting Senior Pastors right now is the giddy embrace of the “missional church” fad.
At CCV we just want to be the church, period. We are definitely attractional. But we are definitely missional. Not because we have “bought into a new paradigm of doing ministry,” but because that’s what the church does (in addition to dozens and dozens of others things).
In a few weeks our entire church will sweep across the Philadelphia metro area for seven days and serve alongside over 50 community organizations to help bring hope and healing to our region. And trust me, it has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to be a “missional” church. It’s called just being the church.
Missional Without Knowing It
Of course we knock ourselves out trying to create compelling services and getting our people to bring their friends to those. But does that mean we’re not focused on creating disciples that go out and kick down the gates of hell? Of course not. I’m nuts about that.
Of course we’re about creating fully-committed willing-to-die-a-martyr’s-death world-changing disciples here. But again, trust me, it has nothing to do whatsoever with adopting some new framework with which to view and lead the church.
When I’m coaching Senior Pastors whose churches are stuck, I oftentimes tell them to put the majority of their resources for a season into their worship services because (a) they are usually in pretty bad shape, and (b) they need to create momentum. In most church contexts the Sunday morning worship service is the one place to rally the troops, create excitement, cast vision, and catalyze evangelism. With that newfound momentum comes more opportunities and resources to unleash people to serve and evangelize locally and around the world.
It’s not either/or, but both/and.
The Allure Of Church Fads
The core issue is this: being “missional” is a fad, just like all the other fads I’ve seen throughout my years in ministry.
In 25 years I have fielded calls and emails from Senior Pastors who were wondering if they should lead their church through the “flavor of the month” church fad:
- Baby-boomer church
- Seeker-driven church
- Seeker-sensitive church
- Purpose-driven church
- Worship-evangelism church (Hillsong version)
- Worship-evangelism church (Blink 182 version)
- Small groups church
- Church OF small groups
- Cell church
- Gen X church
- Postmodern church
- Anti-Brian McLaren orthodox theology church (but still embracing postmodernism and David Crowder’s goatee)
- One church, with many campuses (rotating teaching team)
- One church, with many campuses (video venue)
- One church, with many campuses (okay, video teaching was a stupid idea, let’s go back to live teaching)
- Gospel-centered church led by Mark Driscoll
- Gospel-centered church not led by Mark Driscoll
- And now…Missional church
What Should You Do?
Here’s the advice I give to Senior Pastors I coach: (1) Avoid church fads and (2) just be the church.
Trust me, ten years from now being a “missional church” will sound just as ridiculous as someone wanting to be a “Purpose-driven church” sounds now.
The last piece of advice the Apostle Paul gave Timothy was, “Keep your head in all situations” (2 Timothy 4:5).
Man, do we need to heed that advice now more than ever.
Your thoughts? Do you think the “missional” movement is a fad?