Becoming Missional

Dallas Willard, in his book on the spiritual life The Divine Conspiracy, he argues that in the Sermon on the Mount and in the famous Pauline love chapter (I Cor 13) Jesus and Paul aren’t exhorting us to do certain things. We aren’t supposed to try to be patient and we aren’t supposed to try to love our enemies. Rather, we should aim to be the kind of people who would naturally do those things.

This is a small, but significant distinction. It really cuts to the heart of the matter—the heart. One’s heart is always more important than outwardly appearances betray. This was the great folly of the Jewish leaders Jesus interacted with so much. And while I think there is something to be said for doing things in order to become something, I think Willard is on to something important.

A lot of church like to do things, without becoming a different kind of church. They’ll want that program or that model that will cause them to be missional. They want to know what they can do to be missional, when in reality, missional is more about ontology than it is about practices.

Churches should seek to be the kind of church that would do missional engagement of cultures.

What do you think? Is missional about what you do or is about ontology? Or maybe it doesn’t matter…after all, the world is supposed to end today.

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