Talk:Missional living

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Christianity (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Talk Before the Merge[edit]

I proposed a merge with Missionary just simply because there is really no instance where the words couldn't be interchanged. I think the distinction is a slim one at best. What does a Missional church do that a Missionary church does not - or a missionary believer v.s. a missional believer?Brian0324 17:11, 7 February 2007 (UTC)?

Do Not Merge[edit]

While there are times that the words could be used interchangeably, there is a large number of places where the words are used with distinction. There are also a growing number of blogs and websites and churches that are using this term - and even quoting this page - to explain and define their activities. I believe that the pages should not be merged. DaveDV 22:49, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I just did a quick google on: misisonal wikipedia. I was amazed at all the posts. Here are a few samples. I think that it should remain a separate category and even could use expansion... DaveDV 04:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

    • I found this one on Google books but someone else beat me to add it to Wikipedia. The word "missional" was used in 1907 by W. G. HOLMES in Age Justinian & Theodora II, page 687 - "Several prelates, whose missional activities brought over whole districts and even nationalities to their creed." I wont say that was the earliest use lest someone prove me wrong again.
    • Wikipedia defines missional as: As commonly used today, the word describes the way in which Christians do all their activities, rather than identifying any one particular activity. To be missional is to align one's life with the redemptive mission of Jesus in the world. The concept is rooted in the alignment of every believer and every church with Jesus’ mission in the world, just as Jesus knew His mission and aligned Himself with that mission. A missional church aligns all of the program, function and activities of the church around the redemptive mission of God in the world.

I oppose such a merger. "Missional" and "missionary" are quite different in commonly accepted meaning.Will3935 01:22, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

As "missional" becomes more and more commonly used, its definition in the Christian context is evolving as much more distinct from "missionary". The word "missionary" is so closely tied to its noun usage, that its adjectival meaning is nearly always tied to it. In recent Christian usage (i.e., the 38 years that I've been alive), "missionary" is used almost exclusively with the concept of foreign missions. Example: Livingstone and Schwiezer are famous for their missionary work in Africa. A defintion of the Christian sense of this adjective could be, "Of or having to do with evangelistic efforts in foreign lands."

The word "missional" is used to incorporate the local context as well as the global context. A passage of the Bible often cited in such discussions is Acts 1:8, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." As "missionary" came to be largely associated with the last injunction of that verse, "missional" has been coined to encompass all three injunctions. A definition of the Christian sense of this adjective could be, "Of or having to do with the mission of the church."JimMiller 18:14, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Recommended merge to Missional Living[edit]

I agree that 'missional' can be seen as different from 'missionary'. But I do think a merger with 'missional living' would help this article comply with the What Wikipedia is not article that says 'Wikipedia is not a dictionary'. These are two of the same concept, and I think they should (and could very easily) be merged. Jwiley80 21:06, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I believe such a merger makes sense for the reasons Jwiley gives and I propose we go forward with it if no legitimate objections are offered soon.Will3935 21:20, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Merge both into new entry "MISSIONALITY"[edit]

It would seem that from an encyclopedic standpoint - it might be better to merge both articles into a new heading like Missionality since that is an overarching theme of both entries. In reading about merging on wikipedia, it suggested...For example, "Flammable" and "Non-flammable" can both be explained in an article on Flammability. DaveDV 16:10, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I think "missionality" sounds too much like newly-invented jargon/gibberish. "Missional Living" seems like a better option to me. Will3935 20:02, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I somewhat agree that "missionality" sounds newly-invented. I know what you, DaveDV, mean by Flammability, but that is a common term while the subject here is still being defined. In strictly encyclopedic terms, you might be right, but as per Will3935's comment, I lean on the "Missional Living" because it is an established term on the topic. On the topic of flammability, Will3935 - thank you for not flaming here... Jwiley80 22:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Gee. No one has ever accused me of "flaming" before. Most people think I look and act quite straight. Anyway, I am heterosexual. Hope that doesn't disappoint you, Jwiley.Will3935 23:45, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I concur that it makes more sense to include "missional" and this confounded "missionality" subject under the heading of "missional living". I do think, however, that it would be a good idea to have a redirect from "missional", since that word is more likely to be used and linked from other articles than "missional living". JimMiller 18:18, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Merger -- Talk from "Missional Church[edit]

Just an obeservation, but the lack of context and the Christian-ese language that is used in this article directly contradict the "missional" way of thinking referred to. Wikipedia is a neutral point of view encyclopedia. It is kind of like its own postmodern culture online. If there is a case for an article like this to be noteworthy enough to be entered into the database, a missional Christian by definition would seek to make it as contextual to the culture of WIkipedia as possible, right? Food for thought.

For example: Quote:"A Missional Church is a church that seeks to align all their activities according to the redemptive mission of God, rather than identifying it with the traditional understanding of missionary work." This sentence is full of phrases that are only understood in a Christian context: "redemptive mission", "traditional understanding of missionary work". I know what the author is trying to say, but I seriously doubt if the average Wikipedia user would be able to decode it.

"exploring and rediscovering what it means to be Jesus' sent people" more Christian-ese language.

"willing and ready to be Christ's people in their own situation and place" this sounds like a definition of Christianity - is it more?

"engaged with the culture (in the world) without being absorbed by the culture (not of the world)...intentionally indigenous" more Biblical references with no context. Sorry but I think this needs a thorough re-write!Brian0324 16:35, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I believe the problem you have identified is postmodern tendency to confuse sophisticated sounded jargon with true understanding and expertise. An encyclopedia is a "modern" venue in which objectivity and accuracy are valued above subjectivity. You may appreciate the following entry from my userpage:

A Short Course in Creating Postmodern Jargon (by me)

1) Take an existing word and add prefixes and/or suffixes. See the examples below:

"television" ... "televisional"

"stereo" ... "destereoization"

"history" ... "rehistoricalized"

2) Graft another word onto the existing one.

"televisional broadcasticity"

"factized destereoization"

"rehistoricalized narrativeness"

3) You must then use your jargon frequently for it to gain credibility.

"Televisional broadcasticity causes a new, missional matrix."

"All efforts to impose one's own narrative on another person are subject to factized destereoization"

"All propositional absolutations are subject to the deconstruction inherent in the rehistoricalized narrativeness discovered in new community paradigms."

4) You must also use your term in false antitheses:

"Instead of radioized waveness we can only advertise through televisional broadcasticity."

"Either one engages in factized destereoization, or they will live apart from the benefits of authentic narrative."

"Tyrannical, absolutized approaches to narrow, community post-paradigms are no longer valid in a model that engages a more generous, rehistoricalized narrativeness."

After you have followed the above four steps you will be awarded the authentic, postmodernal, gold star of hypersophisticatedness!!Will3935 11:44, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Before Contributing...[edit]

(The entry below is taken from my userpage [Will3935]). I have found that sometimes unqualified people weigh in on Wikipedia articles, reducing the accuracy and quality of these articles in spite of their good intentions. Based on my experience, I believe these editors genuinely believe they are improving the articles they contribute to. The phenomenon reminds one of the deluded contestants who try out for American Idol and only end up humiliating themselves. When the judges offer sound criticism to these conterstants they tend to respond quite angrily. So it is, I have found, at Wikipedia. Being honest with these editors sometimes results in hard feelings on both sides. Perhaps I can prevent some of these hard feelings by sharing with you the criteria I try to abide by and subsequently expect of other editors. Before contributing, ask yourself the following questions:

1) Am I qualified to write? That is, do I possess a sufficient mastery of English to make a worthy entry in an encyclopedia? Am I aware that writing for an encyclopedia requires a set of skills not needed on a blog? If you are not a good writer consider running your proposed edits past those who do possess such skills before you make changes to an article.

2) Have I mastered the subject matter I am writing about? Reading a few books and articles about a subject does not necessarily make one sufficiently knowledgeable to address an issue in a reference work. This mastery of the subject must involve a thorough reading of many books and articles that express various views. Spending time talking to one's friends on a blog does not qualify one academically to contribute to an encyclopedia.

3) Am I willing to accept correction on matters of substance and style? Wikipedia articles are constructed by the consensus of a community of editors. Individual contributors can not expect to bypass this community and they must be willing to accept correction or criticism without getting angry and bitter.

4) Am I sufficiently confident in my edits that I do not believe I need to resort to sock puppetry or other violations of policy for my edits to stand?

5) When engaged in an editing conflict with someone is my goal accuracy or victory? Wikipedia's purpose is to inform its readers not to boost the egos of its editors.Will3935 11:37, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Talk After the Merge[edit]

The Emerging Church Movement and "Missional"[edit]

I do not know why some emergents contest the assertion that "missional" is ec jargon. If any of the editors on this article would like more data on that assertion (which I am convinced is correct), contact me on my userpage. I would be happy to discuss this further. An encyclopedia should be nothing more than an accurate reflection of the truth. Truth should never be censored from its pages to serve anyone's agenda. Furthermore, I don't see where the public exposure of facts about the usage of "missional" can hurt EC, especially since knowledgeable readers will already know this to be the case.Will3935 06:54, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Will3935 above. At some point the entry needs a typology of how missional is used by different Christian groups. While it has been adopted by emergents, it clearly has its modern origins (early 1990s) in evangelical/Reformed circles (Guder, Hunsberger, Van Engen, etc.), which emphasize God's agency. Why is there a bibliography of "missional" criticism that actually is a critique of the emergent movement? There could be an emergent section, but it should not be everything.

I agree with you that the term "missional" did not begin with the emerging church movement any more than "generous orthodoxy." Nevertheless, both terms have been coopted by emergents and have become almost exclusively associated with them in common, current usage. Furthermore, the few non-emergents who may use these terms do so in a way consistent with emergents. I think an entry that expands the article would be quite helpful. Nevertheless, since usage determines meaning I believe emergent usage has effectively "hijacked" the term. Do ask yourself, "What does "missional" denote and connote that "mission," "missionary," and disciple making do not"? If one is only speaking of "reaching out" why resurrect and "enslave" a little used term for concepts that are as old as the New Testament and have commonly been referred to by commonly accepted terms for a very long time? Simply put, "missional" is postmodern jargon. To the extent that Gruder and and Van Engen (not familiar with Hunsberger -- would be grateful if you list a title or two of his) use the term they use it to indicate a more postmodern approach. This postmodern approach has come to be known as emerging or emergent since "missional" churches see themselves as engaging with postmodernism in a more meaningful way. Just because the authors you cite are Reformed does not exclude them from being labelled "emergent." Mark Driscoll, for example, claims to be "emerging" (but not "emergent"). While "missional" and "emerging church movement" are not synonyms they are inseparable. Identifying "missional" with ec in this article does run the risk of appearing too simplistic, but I think it helps confused readers get to the bottom line. Though the article can use much tweaking, I believe the fundamental association with the emerging church movement is valid and cuts through some confusing aspect of this jargon's contemporary usage. Will3935 17:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
One more thought ... we really do need someone to flesh out the theological roots beneath "missional." It seems to me that "missional" came into contemporary vogue (yes, I recognize the irrelevant fact that the word has a more distant etymology) along with the rise of postliberal, narrative theology, and that the distinctives of "missional" (as opposed to Evangelical "mission") can't be fully understood apart from a look at its roots. HOPE YOU DON'T MIND BUT I'M MOVING THIS TALK TO THE AFTER MERGE SECTION.Will3935 07:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I wrote the section Will3935 responded to just above, and am a Guder student finishing a PhD in mission. Two things: (1) "Missional Christianity" is a poor choice for a dictionary entry. This phrase shows up in my search engine around 200 times (i.e. is almost never used), whereas "Missional Church" shows up something like 125,000. Can this be changed to "Missional Church"? I dislike missionality as an alternative, since the point of "missional" is that it is adjectival, describing God's sending. (2) I do not think Guder of Van Engen would characterize their approaches as post-modern. They are writing post-Christendom (this is what they would say; I don't always agree). So the church is no longer missionary (our culture-->their culture) but it continues to be "sent" (the meaning of "missional"). I understand the rationale for creating a distinct Christian entry for "missional." At the same time, I think it is possible to write a neutral article that acknowledges the Christian roots of missional while allowing for a broader range of sources. I do not have time now to work on etymology of missional but I like the idea of a fuller article.

You make a good case for moving the article to "Missional Church." I merged "missional church" and "missional living" together under an overarching title, but I understand your concern. I would be in favor of moving the article to "Missional Church." I'm not sure if there will be a technical difficulty to overcome since "emerging church" is the title of what is now considered an earlier article. I would support you completely in such a move though, and I would appreciate your being the one to do it. As to not having time at the moment to contribute more developed edits, it does sound like you have your plate full. Nevertheless, the article will still be here during seasons in the future when you have more time!Will3935 03:19, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Bromaynard 22:43, 13 March 2007 (UTC): This discussion page is a bit hard to follow, I hope I'm adding in the proper/most recent spot. It seems to me that this article and missional church and missional living should all be one entry, under missional living. There seemed to be discussion of moving TO missional living, but doesn't appear to have been done, not sure why not. Comments on the "christianese" in the article were well-founded, but it seems to have been cleaned up quite a bit... still, I'm not sure it quite captures the essence of missional living just yet. Refer to Frost & Hirsch, Shaping, and I think there's a case to be made that missional is distinct in that it's incarnational rather than attractional (though the terms would require explanation or reworking rather than just dropping them into the article).
I think the confusion you note is due to the sloppy way I handled the merge (did it the best way I knew). It had long been proposed to merge "Missional living" and "Missional church" into one article. Everyone seemed to agree about the merge but no one seemed to know what to call the merged article. One prominent proposal was "Missionality" which I thought to be a poor choice. So the current status is taht this is the merged article. The only discussion that remains about its title is whether it should now be moved to yet another name. I don't mind anything reasonable though I do think "Missionality" sounds like theobabble.Will3935 00:18, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Bromaynard 05:22, 14 March 2007 (UTC): Concur - there shouldn't be any reason to invent a new word for an entry, that's just backwards. I would recommend "missional living" over "missional church" because (a) it reflects the individual attitude rather than the corporate one and (b) it's clearly not a static noun, but refers to a process or way of life, which I suggest better captures the missional ideal.
I'm fine with your proposal. From past experience I believe some editors would suggest that "missional church" had the advantage of connoting community whereas "missional living," while a valid choice, has a more isolationist connotation. My alternative, "missional christianity" (which, I think maintains at least some of the connotations of both terms since it is more comprehensive) has the weakness that it is, in itself, a novel term. I favor anything but a return to two articles or a move to "missionality." If no else is interested enough to discuss this with us, I propose that you make the move you consider best. I'll support you.Will3935 08:15, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Bromaynard 14:28, 14 March 2007 (UTC): I'm not sure how to go about changing an article title with index and redirect from the old one... I'll leave that to you! By way of explanation, I would say (and the article should state) that missional living is the term for the way in which some Christians choose to live out or express their faith in the world. Groups of like-minded Christians holding missional values may form a missional church, though the more common way they would refer to it would tend to be "missional community."

Since we are moving to a title previously used it requires administrator help. I have made a request here for it to be moved. Not sure how long it will take. I do like your suggested edit above. Once the move is done I will insert it in the article if you don't.Will3935 17:05, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

In reality, the emerging church movement is not even a missional movement at all.

This feels extremely pov... the term "missional" in emerging church circles (though not exclusively of course) to express a holistic understanding of mission (akin to the Anglican 5 Marks of Mission)... mission as a Christian lifestyle not a periodic activity - see David Bosch. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality tag?[edit]

If there is a new point to be made let it be voiced. Otherwise why the tag??Brian0324 21:00, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. If the editor who placed the tag has a point to make or an addition why does not he or she discuss it here first or be bold enough to make an edit. It sounds like this person has nothing constructive to contribute and I propose that if they do not offer anything constructive in the next week we delete the tag. It is out of order for someone to say neutrality is disputed when they have never disputed it here!Will3935 21:37, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I am not the one who added the tag, but I don't think the article is as neutral as it should be. The history page shows the note "(Anti-emergent bias: I would like a comparison of different definitions and uses of the term "missional")" on what I assume is that tag addition, and I would tend to agree... though it would have been better for the editor to state his case here. For an easy example of bias, he word "coopted" (co-opted?) in the text is hardly neutral. I find it odd that there's a reasonable list of "pro" further reading, but the list of "contra" is all about postmodernity and the emerging church (including Trotter again, which is just confusing), and not about the missional church in any substantive way. While there is overlap, the article does not establish that they're synonymous, which they aren't. I'm still thinking this one over and being short on cycles to give it right now, but in my view it needs a fairly comprehensive overhaul. To me, it reads like someone whose bias against the emerging church is spilling over into missional living. The contra articles section, btw, looks a bit like an early version of the contra-emerging church list, copied and pasted. I can't think of a good critique of missional living offhand, but it would be better to have the section blank than refer to critique of the wrong thing. Gordon MacDonald has a critique of missional in the current issue of Leadership magazine, but for pete's sake, don't add that... he grossly mis-defines missional at the outset, equating it with Rick Warren's purpose-driven stuff. Bromaynard 04:22, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
We should always strive to maintain npov and any examples of pov should be changed or deleted. The genre of Wikipedia demands it. At the same time, critiques and criticisms should be documented as a matter of fact. Neither the pro or con positions should be advocated nor should the wording of the article sound npov. If you can improve on the article's wording please do. Still, if someone can show me "missional" in commom current usage outside of the emerging church movement I would be quite interested in that. At this point "missional" is emerging church jargon that carries a lot of emergent connotations with it. Thus the critiques are quite pertinent and should not, in my opinion, be censored from the article.Will3935 18:36, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Agree with WIll3935 above. The word "missional" would be interchangeable with "missionary" if it wasn't co-opted by the emergent vocabulary. Brian0324 18:43, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Will - see the recent issue of Leadership magazine. The whole issue is devoted to "Going Missional" but doesn't use emerging language at all, and doesn't mention the emerging church at all. In fact, it mostly deals with more traditional institutional churches doing innovative outreach programs. I think they mostly miss the point, though there's some good stuff there... but I would see it as an example of "missional" terminology outside of the emerging church. Bromaynard 01:01, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Brian - "co-opted" is one of the terms I disagree about having in the article, as it's not neutral. I have many words that that I can't stand the way their usage and meaning has changed over time... but the basic facts are that in common usage, however a word is used, that's what it means. The word missional had very little usage by the church prior to the past ten years - though it was used almost 100 years ago and did refer to the same idea as "missionary work," its usage was not popular. In the common usage now, it has been picked up to refer to something of which most any missionary would approve - the living of one's life with an outward focus in your present context. In Christian theology, the idea that everyone is a missionary. In this sense, it is starting to be picked up by churches outside the emerging church, and in that way it represents a point of agreement and overlap... that of the Missio Dei. In fact in this light, the emerging church isn't co-opting the term, just popularizing it. Bromaynard 01:01, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Understood. Apologize for being a bit trollish in my last remark. The one tendency that I am noticing is a re-defining of what it means to be a "missionary" by those who use the term missional. Rather than the proclamation of the good news (Gospel) to those who only by hearing will savingly believe, the focus seems to have shifted to demonstating any behavior in a lifestyle that displays Christian virtue to the non-believing world. A worthy thing - but not completely missionary - or missional - without the verbal proclamation.Brian0324 13:47, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
How can any thoughts on missional be posted here that do not include the work of Lesslie Newbigin?
Brian - sorry I haven't been around much, was hoping someone else would jump into the conversation though. Your last response above actually illustrates my point perfectly, as it outlines the nature of your bias, which is largely theological. Wikipedia is here as an impartial reporter of what is, not what we'd like it to be. This is not the article for "missionary" but for "missional living," and this is not the place to wage a war against the definition of what "missional" should mean, only to record the way in which it is being used and the background on the who and why (as an encyclopedia and not a dictionary) as well as any critique of the matter. Clearly you feel that "missional" as used by a great many people does not include proclamation which you feel is vital to saving faith. This I understand fully, but the argument has no basis here. I recommend you publish your objections elsewhere so they can be linked here... but the slur of "co-opt" has no basis here, and I hope that in future you will not change it back (again) when the article is edited to remove it (again). Alternatively to publishing elsewhere, you might compose a new section to the article to address criticisms, where you can state that evangelical critics see the lack of proclamation as an issue (note it's not a strict requirement of the word "missionary," get out your dictionary and check it). In the critique section though, you'll have to avoid "weasel words" and cite sources, as with any other part of a good article. As for connecting proclamation with missional (or missionary), just because you wish it to be part of the definition doesn't make it so... this is not the battleground for language. Bromaynard 18:01, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
The propagation of a message doesn't take place without a "proclamation" of some kind - either in word or in print. I haven't made any edits to this article to attempt to make "Missional living" be what I think it should be. Check the history, please before you comment. (Not sure who added the "coopted" but I just thought it should at least be spelled correctly.) Understood that it is being used in a way that doesn't fit into traditional molds. This has only become a bit of a battleground for language in a way - because of the use of this term. Call it co-opting or what you like. Incidentally, the user who placed the neutrality tag still has yet to join this discussion in a significant way.Brian0324 18:39, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Brian, you may be theologically correct, but linguistically, the term "missionary" does not require proclamation. Merriam-Webster: "a ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate its faith or carry on humanitarian work" (emphasis added; contra the Wikipedia definition which omits humanitarian). Since you seem to want to equate missional with missionary, the proclamation component does not exist. This is what I tried to point out about your earlier comment... the imposition of your theological interpretation - even if it's a correct one - is not appropriate to this context. I don't think the article achieves npov - "adopted" is neutral, "coopted" is not: your comments above appeared to me to be arguing to keep it; sorry, I thought you had put or wanted it there (I only read the edit summary in the history section). I agree it would be helpful for the user who added the tag to comment here, it's unfortunate they have not. I did however bring this up with a number of notable people actively engaged in the missional conversation/movement (whatever) and most of them do not recognize themselves in this definition. "coopted" is just one example of bias; another would be "some scholars believe... missional focuses ...indigenous" where it isn't so much a matter of what people believe the term means as how it is actually being used, which the example cites. The subtle implication of the statement as worded is that "it's likely not true, only some scholars think this" - when in fact, the major aspects of this usage have become the majority one. As I said before, I believe the article needs a rewrite, but I'm going to sit it out for the next few weeks as I have other projects pressing. Bromaynard 12:05, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I think Bromaynard articulated perfectly what I hoped to add to this exchange. We have to put aside our theological and experiential grid when defining "Missional Living" as it biases the material. It is a very complex issue that needs careful consideration. In addition to the mistake of equating "missional" with the "emerging church" is the narrow assumption of what the "emerging church" is (reflected in the imbalanced use of the American expression to define it), but that it for that article. By that I mean that, if the relationship between the two is crucial, it needs to articulated in such away that reflects this as a common perception or reaction, since it is disputed, NOT as fact (though it may or may not be). Anyway, I look forward to see what happens here. P.S. Sorry for my rookie usage of Wikipedia. I'm learning. Jamiearpinricci
If the article isn't neutral enough, just change it. The only thing that seems noteworthy about the term "missional" seems to be its association and useage by those who would identify with the emergent movement. A few years ago one might have said "missionary lifestyle" or a "missionary church". The use of the word "missional" is relatively new - although the word itself - and the definition are not new at all. Again, I have not made any attempt to fit this article into my personal "theological and experiential grid". My only point is that it sounds a bit like jargon and if there is a better way to describe this kind of re-defining of evangelical missiology than the co-opting of the term, then let it be made in the article.Brian0324 15:18, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion, this article would be nearly impossible to edit so as to make it neutral. It goes astray in the second sentence: "In contemporary usage 'missional' is an adjectival alternative to 'missionary.'" This implies that there is no material difference in the substance of the two words. It further implies that "missional" is superfluous as a word. There is also a confusion between the Emerging Church Movement and the use of missional. While there seem to be many self-identified "emergents" who use the term, there are many "non-emergents" who also use the term. I believe it is also a mistake to equate "missional" with post-modernism. It may just as easily be labeled "pre-modern" or "a-modern." This second paragraph contains what I would label several outright misrepresentations. There is nothing contra holiness in the use of "missional." I would argue that many missional congregations are more serious about holiness than the typical evangelical congregation. The term "missional" says nothing about epistemology. The statement about culture misses the very essence of "missional." It says, "This postmodern identity causes missional believers and churches to identify with culture rather than consider themselves alien 'prophets' to it." The underlying assumption of the missional mindset is that there is no neutral culture. Every expression of the Gospel must be made both from within a culture and from outside a culture. If the Gospel does not challenge the cultural context, it has no message to offer. If the Gospel has no connection to the cultural context, it cannot be processed as communication. (It has no message.) Any serious attempt to define "missional" must include several references to Lesslie Newbigin. And the word "incarnational" would need to be used. If someone wants to critique the Emerging Church Movement, that should be done separately from defining the term "missional." RodPickett 22:38, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Why Evangelical Critiques?[edit]

This section of the article seems very inappropriate, insofar as it does not represent general critiques of topic, but critiques from a very specific segment of the Christian community. Can this section not only be retitled, but also broadened to include a more inclusive spectrum of sources? Further, most of the critiques appear to be specifically about the emerging church movement and not specifically about the listed topic. Jamiearpinricci 23:08, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. If there is not an objection, I recommend removing the critique section since it is really focused on issues with the ecm. DaveDV 07:01, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

This is written in jargon and needs to be rewritten in plain English. 08:32, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Tone and original research[edit]


I made some changes in an attempt to make this article more encyclopedic and understandable to non-Christians (WP:NPOV). However, there is much so much here that reads like a Christian manual for missional living rather than an objective assessment of this the notability of this term. Honestly - does this deserve an article this long? It read like a blog. I don't disagree with the truthfulness or even the rightness of the subject - but Wikipedia isn't the place for this. If the term cannot be defined by reliable sources and explained in a way that is engaging to the culture of Wikipedia readers, I suggest that less is more.Brian0324 (talk) 15:30, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm really sorry for editing the quote at the end of the page. It kind of highlights the fact that the main text reads so much like the quoted opinions that it's hard to know where the boundaries are.
Another thing that was missing was a reference in the lead to the Emerging church movement. Understood that this term is not exclusive to this movement, but the Emerging church article makes it pretty plain that "missional" is part of the vocabulary, like "conversations" and "generous orthodoxy".Brian0324 (talk) 13:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Brian0324. The article is really not usable as a reference source in it's present form, primarily due to the conflicting points of view and mishmash of opinion. Some of the previous comments about Christian jargon are very cogent as well. I would not say this is someone's fault in particular, and I appreciate the hard work that some have tried to do here. I love wikipedia, but it isn't perfect for everything. In this case the "everyone is equal thing" really makes this whole article unusable. The article does read like a blog, or two political talking heads yelling at each other. I cite wikipedia all the time on my blog, but this article is just too poor and inaccurate to be usable. When I say inaccurate, I don't mean a particular point. (though i am sure there are inaccurate points.) I mean the overall tone and disposition of the entire article. As a proponent of missional, I can't pass this along to others, it's embarrassing. The only use I can think of is this discussion page as an example of the conflict on the topic in the Christian community.

I'm not trying to be an ass. I'm just saying that as a user, the present article is really unusable, and that's a shame. I would try to make a positive contribution, but I'm afraid it would just get schwacked by someone else.Dpb081 (talk) 14:09, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Could you explain what you see as "conflicting points of view" and "mishmash of opinion" in the article. I see the conflict on the talk page - but I may have missed it in the article. Let's fix it. DaveDV (talk) 04:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)


The word "missional" has about as many meanings today as groups and individuals using it. This Wikipedia article relies heavily on the idea of missional = missionary lifestyle. But the word "missionary" carries so much baggage and varied usage that derivatives (missional=missionary) promote an almost opposite meaning. I think today's usage of "missional" describes a significant disruption of Christendom from inherited missionary dualities (us/them, saved/unsaved, Christian/non-Christian, lay/clergy, etc..) to an almost radical inclusiveness of the "other" as modeled by the radical inclusiveness of Jesus. Personally, I think this page is far more misleading than helpful. (talk) 03:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. This article is promotional and full of jingoistic banter. It's a significant movement, don't get me wrong. But it needs an objective look. This reads like a church Web site. (talk) 20:18, 16 April 2014 (UTC)