The Missional Church

The rapid decline of Christendom since the end of WWII has instituted an even greater need for “missional” churches to engage the surrounding community and retell the culture’s stories through the context of the gospel.

Most traditional evangelical churches can win to Christ only people who are temperamentally traditional and conservative. This is a shrinking market, and eventually evangelical churches ensconced in the declining, remaining enclaves of Christendom will have to learn how to become missional.

If they do not, they will decline or die.

We don’t simply need evangelistic churches; rather, we need missional churches.

Dr. Timothy Keller, founder and senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, suggests that there are 5 practices that missional churches need to exhibit:

  • Speak in the vernacular
  • Enter and retell the culture’s stories with the gospel
  • Theologically train laypeople for public life and vocation
  • Create Christian community that is countercultural and counterintuitive
  • Practice Christian unity as much as possible on the local level

 

>>Download this important teaching from Dr. Keller here.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Keller

Timothy Keller is the founder and senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Reason for God and The Prodigal God. He has also mentored young urban church planters and pastors in New York City and other cities through Redeemer City to City, which has helped launch over 200 churches in 35 global cites to date.

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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