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Why I Like But Don't Use The Term "Missional Community"

"Missional Community" has been a term that has become widely known and embraced and I like it.  I actually love the idea of and am a huge advocate for this movement.  Here are 4 really quick reasons why I like this terminology:
  1. It has encouraged leaders to rethink overall church structures - including myself.
  2. It helps bring intentionality into everything we do.
  3. It has been effective wording to refresh a heart in many people for the lost and has even played a role in helping define a philosophy of evangelism.
  4. It has helped many churches realize they have become ingrown, overly focusing on themselves.
Having said that, at Colossae Church I usually refer to our structure as gospel-centered community instead.  It's not exhaustive, but if you'd like to know more about how we define and articulate this, click here.  Some refer to our structure as being missional, and as of right now it seems appropriate.  It could even be used interchangeably with the term gospel-centered in ways.  But here are 6 quick reasons why I prefer to use the term gospel-centered:
  1. Titling it this way allows us to constantly and naturally articulate the gospel in a number of different ways and to a wide variety of people. 
  2. The idea of living on mission comes from an understanding of the gospel, not the other way around.  We always want to make sure this is clear.
  3. It forces us to evaluate what we are doing by comparing it to the cores/calling of the gospel.
  4. It keeps the heart of why we structure this way at the forefront of everything we do.  
  5. It has helped the people in our church to more naturally see things through the lens of the gospel because it's at the center of any conversation about what we do.  The words we use carry a lot of weight to them.
  6. Using the term gospel-centered seems to be helpful in allowing us to provide a both-and definition before any wrong connotations are attached to terminology.  Using the term missional can sometimes create confusion for those not familiar with the terminology.  They tend to think it insinuates the idea that everything we do is focused outward and thus are left wondering how we then take care of one another.  But we don't believe it's an either-or issue.  In fact we believe living out the gospel requires both caring for one another AND reaching the lost!  To articulate this in our church we say we want to be "the body to the body" and "the body to the world." We think if we lose either of these biblical concepts, the gospel message is lost.


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