Missional is a word being thrown around a lot lately. But what does it really mean? I suppose it means different things to different people, but I like what Jonathan Dodson says as he reflects on Ed Stetzer's definition of a missional church:
Stetzer says, "A church or church planter who is missional is focused on God's mission (missio Dei), being aware of what God is doing in the culture and joining him in his work." So, according to Stetzer, missional church plants are a part and aware of their target cultures-a thoroughly biblical idea.
While Jonathan agrees that being missional includes being culturally alert and active, he says that church planters often appropriate this idea monoculturally. He says, "Our notion of being culturally aware is often radically ethnocentric, primarily restricted to American culture. As missional people, we can become so committed to reaching our own culture that the cultures and peoples of the rest of the world end up taking a backseat. As a result, "missional" becomes a codeword for Western, ethnocentric, monocultural church planting, which leads to churches that aren't fully missional. In turn, this missional short-sightedness produces churches and disciples of Jesus that are not shaped by the insights and challenges of the global church."
Read Jonathan's article, How Missional is Your Church? Keeping the Global in Missional