Discernment transferred on thinking about the missional church mentality

Dave Harvey’s evaluation of the missional mentality:

Strengths of the movement:

  1. Missional churches have a commendable example of evangelism.
  2. Missional churches have a laudable commitment to engaging culture.
  3. They have a profitable impulse to reexamining church tradition
  4. They also possess an admirable devotion to social impact.

Weaknesses of the movement:

  1. Missional churches tend to be mission-centered rather than gospel-centered
  2. Missional churches tend to have a reductionistic ecclesiology (by minimizing worship and edification as major purposes of the church).
  3. Missional churches tend to confuse culture engagement with cultural immersion
  4. Missional Churches Tend to Downplay the Institutional and Organizational Nature of the Church.
  5. Missional Churches Tend to Have an Insufficient Understanding of Apostolic Ministry.

Free: Get the full outline here and the mp3 audio here.

Advertisement: Support this site by visiting Westminster Books.  Even just clicking and visiting helps!  It’s an excellent site for good Christian books.

Advertisements

About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
This entry was posted in Audio/Video Recommendations, CFBC, church, emerging church, evangelism. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Discernment transferred on thinking about the missional church mentality

  1. Albert Tsao says:

    HA!

    I just read the original larger outline this morning. I certainly agree with the strengths that he mentioned, but I’m not sure if I agree with the weaknesses. I’m glad that he uses the word “tend,” but that’s not really the point.

    Missional churches tend to be mission-centered rather than gospel-centered

    I think it depends on how the “mission” is defined. If the mission is purely social justice (which is a fine thing), then certainly it is no longer gospel-centered. However, if it is truly gospel-centered, then shouldn’t it lead to a mission-centered approached?

    Missional churches tend to have a reductionistic ecclesiology (by minimizing worship and edification as major purposes of the church).

    I think this tends to be the problem with those who are much more interested in form rather than function, e.g., those who want to have the coolest/trendiest church on the block. There’s no reason why a church can’t be both missional yet retain a high ecclesiology. However, I think missional churches would have organizational structures where the leaders are actively engaged in the community and leading the flock in an active manner instead of waiting for the flock/non-Christians to go to them.

    Missional churches tend to confuse culture engagement with cultural immersion

    I think this is valid. But I think Harvey needs to define cultural immersion. Some things in culture are bad, others are good, and others are neutral. We are not all immersed in our culture one way or the other.

    Missional Churches Tend to Downplay the Institutional and Organizational Nature of the Church.

    Again, maybe. I believe these are those who believe that the institutional and organizational nature of the modern church is the root of all the church’s problem. I believe it’s part of the problem, but not all.

    Missional Churches Tend to Have an Insufficient Understanding of Apostolic Ministry.

    I think this is the crux of the entire missional conversation. Is everyone “sent” or is it just apostles and missionaries? If so, then what are the rest of those who are not apostles and missionaries to do? Certainly, there are those who are “called” into specific vocations and locations, but are we not all called into God’s plan. Harvey definitely needs to elaborate on this some more.

  2. pjtibayan says:

    Albert: Missional churches tend to be mission-centered rather than gospel-centered

    I think it depends on how the “mission” is defined. If the mission is purely social justice (which is a fine thing), then certainly it is no longer gospel-centered. However, if it is truly gospel-centered, then shouldn’t it lead to a mission-centered approached?

    My response: Gospel-centricity would not lead to mission-centricity. It’s the other way around. Missions is not ultimate in the church’s priority and purpose. It is not central. God is. But the way the book I recently read is written, you would not surmise from the book that God or the gospel is central, though it is assumed (I’m referring to the Confessions of a Reformissionary Rev.).

    Albert: Missional churches tend to have a reductionistic ecclesiology (by minimizing worship and edification as major purposes of the church).

    I think this tends to be the problem with those who are much more interested in form rather than function, e.g., those who want to have the coolest/trendiest church on the block. There’s no reason why a church can’t be both missional yet retain a high ecclesiology. However, I think missional churches would have organizational structures where the leaders are actively engaged in the community and leading the flock in an active manner instead of waiting for the flock/non-Christians to go to them.

    My response: That is not the point of Harvey’s critique at this point. He’s arguing with Grudem that the point of the church is upward, inward, and outward. In other words, it is exaltation, edification, and evangelism. The missional church motif tends to minimize exaltation/worship and edification of believers in the book I read. Pastoral care, church discipline, and shepherding the flock seemed to not be the main point of Driscoll’s ministry, which may minimize the main things about being a shepherd, or may be legitimate if a pastor can simply delegate pastoral care of members and worry exclusively about preaching, shepherding the shepherds, evangelism and church expansion.

    Other things that should be said: Albert, I appreciate the comment. It’s good for us to think through this and articulate our understanding as we’re learning. I think you should listen to the lecture to really hear what Harvey is saying. Either way, I do think some of his comments were not true of all missional models, and I think Keller’s model does not fall prey to any of these weaknesses in terms of the way he describes a missional church.

  3. Albert Tsao says:

    PJ,

    I listened to Dave Harvey’s lecture Saturday morning. I very much appreciated what he had to say.

    I agree with you, wholeheartedly, that Keller’s model does not fall into much of the traps that Harvey mentioned. It seems to me that Keller’s model focuses on the church’s interaction with the non-believing community, recognizing that Christendom is over. It is a mindset of contextualizing and communicating the gospel in way in which people can understand, yet without diluting the message.

    Let’s continue this dialogue. I’d love to continue to interact on this stuff.

    Albert

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s