Here is a problem I’ve noticed. It’s cool to be “missional”. You might not know the term, but trust me it’s the new “cool term”. Just look at how many books are on the topic. Just look at how many Christian workshops there are about it. Just look at how often people talk about it…or blog about it (yes I know I’m blogging about it and have many times before).
Now I’m not against the missional movement at all. I’ve led workshops on it, I’ve created resources for it, and I wrote my thesis on it. What I’m worried is that we tend to “consume missional-ness” rather than practicing being missional. So we go to trainings, read books, buy more books, go to another training, and leave our “old churches” to do something cool and new. And in the end rather than being missional, we end up being consumeristic and “consuming mission”.
Jason Clark puts it this way:
“This is how we consume church. We read book on missional church, attend missional events, leave existing churches to be revolutionary, and at the end of the day we end up ‘consuming’ mission rather than doing the dirty work of bringing about a concrete church and mission”.
And the truth is it’s easier to consume church, rather than truly being missional and committing to a location for a long-term. It’s easier to read a book, go to a training, and start something new rather than investing, planting yourself, and saying, “God use me here.”
I am in no way against new things, or the church moving into the community. This needs to happen. I just want to make sure the motives are right for why it’s happening. Because the truth is this: it’s too easy to jump to the new cool thing, it’s hard to do the faithful thing. And I believe being faithful to God means being missional. It’s just that it’s so easy to try to “be missional” not from a desire of faithfulness, but a desire of rejection and consumerism.
I think Jason Clark’s question is a good one for all of us to think about, “are we ‘consuming mission’ rather than doing the dirty work of bringing about a concrete church and mission”
- Are we responding faithfully to God’s call to move out into the neighborhood, or just tired of the neighborhood we find ourselves in?
- Are we launching something new because God is calling us to, or because we’re just bored and frustrated with our current place?
- Are we learning about being missional to practice it, or to critique others who aren’t doing it?
I just think Jason Clarke’s point is wise. Are we consuming mission, or living out God’s mission? Because especially in being missional, motives matter.