Characteristics of the emerging and missional church (19-20)
- Missions is every Christian being a missionary to their local culture
- The church accepts that it is marginalized in culture and holds no privileged position of influence but gains influence by serving the common good
- The primary culture to reach is postmodern and pluralistic
- Theology ranges from ancient orthodoxy to heterodox liberalism built on postmodern denials of true truth and known knowledge
- Churches are the people who love Jesus and serve his mission in a local culture
- Churches grow as Christians bring Jesus to lost people through hospitality
- Community means the church is a counterculture with a new kingdom way of life through Jesus
- Pastors need not be ordained or formally educated in theology and are trained in the church
- Pastors are missiologists who train Christians to be effective missionaries
- Lost people are saved by the Holy Spirit when and how he determines
- Faith is lived publicly together as the church and includes all of life
- Worship services blend ancient forms and current local cultural styles
- Church buildings are sacred, as is all of God’s creation
Attractional churches need to transform their people from being consumers in the church to being missionaries outside of the church. Missional churches need to gather crowds to their church so that hard words of repentance can be preached in an effort to expose people’s hearts. Those whom God saves can then be trained to go back out into the culture as missionaries to gather more people to repeat the process. Simply, the goal of the church that is both missional and attractional is to continually follow Jesus’ example so that more people are saved for God’s mission and more influence is spread for God’s kingdom, without rejecting one aspect of Jesus’ ministry in favor of another (27).
One of the greatest inhibitors of keeping a church on mission is the erroneous spoken and unspoken expectations people have for church leaders and their families. In a missional church, the lead pastor is the architect who builds the ship more than he is the captain who pilots it, the cook who washes dishes in the galley, or the activities director who coordinates the shuffleboard reservations. The role of architect is incredibly important because most pastors have been trained how to work on a ship instead of how to build a ship (34).