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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is It Important That Churches Are Relevant and Missional Today?

Now that I am taking a sabbatical from full time ministry I have had the opportunity to visit many different churches. I have been able to see whether churches see the importance of being relevant and missional in the way they approach outsiders. I have found that many churches want to be relevant and missional but some are so steeped in tradition and program mentality outreach, that they are unwilling to change. Other churches I have visited are afraid of loosing members and financial contributors for the sake of being relevant and missional in their communities and neighborhoods. Yet there are many churches that I have visited that are simply putting their faith in God, being relevant and missional and are seeing true Kingdom growth.

What does it mean to be relevant and missional for the church in our culture? Is it important for churches to be relevant and missional today? Why or why not? Why is there a fear of being relevant and missional in some churches today? What does it take for churches to be relevant and missional in our world today? Why is it so hard to change a churches mentality from being internally focused to being outwardly focused? How can churches be more relevant and missional? How about your church? What is your church doing to be more relevant and missional?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Tim Archer said...

Kinney,

I worry a bit about pendulum swings in the church. This is one area where we need to find the happy medium. Churches have to be willing to be all things to all men, to make necessary adjustments, without completely losing their identity.

Here's an interesting article on the subject:
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2010/10/08/my-missional-misfire/

8:59 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I would add to your questions the question as to whether churches get stuck in terminology like "missional" and "relevant." I'm thinking of hours spent on defining mission, on crafting vision, and on talking about being relevant, when these activities sometimes only lead to further such activities, instead of leading to community-building beyond the small group that discusses and determines this mission.

Perhaps the opposite question--what is an "irrelevant" church? Is it simply a church that can't talk about anything more important than the color of mums on the altar? I've wondered about this as well. Or is any church in which 2 or 3 come together in Jesus' name relevant? I think this is a generational question, as different things are more relevant to people at different times of their lives.

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