One brief point tonight related to our blog topic for the day.
Historically speaking, church has been topic number one for Churches of Christ. It has been important for use to identify "marks" of the church that would allow us to stand in one-to-one comparison with New Testament churches. The idea of the missional church pretty much blows this kind of approach out of the water.
First, the missional church assumes that the church serves the mission of God, not the other way around. A missional maxim that I like goes like this: It's not the church has a mission, but rather that the mission has a church. To make the shift from being church-centered to mission-centered is no small shift. Because I've done it this way, I know that an extraordinary amount of energy goes into furthering the institutional concerns of the church. The church, its programs, numbers, members, etc, become the point. Our structures, forms, programs, leadership styles are all the product of a church centered imagination. We're not alone in this. All congregations that have defined themselves in the broad wake of Christendom have tended to imagine things this way. But we have kind of specialized in this kind of approach to thing. The missional impulse significantly challenges that way of thinking.