Although I've heard this phrase used many times, I've rarely come across a clear definition of what this word means.
I would like to propose the following definition. Being missional as a Christian and a church means to think like a missionary. In order for a missionary to be fruitful in his/her mission field, they have to do at least the following things.
- They have to learn the language of the people. That's pretty clear. In order to communicate, you have to learn the language of the target people.
- They have to learn the cultural values of the people. Not only is language important, but understanding the values and the culture of the target people is crucial.
- They have to develop relationships and friendships. Even after learning the language and the cultural values, if the missionary does not develop relationships and friendships, mission and ministry doesn't happen. Developing friendships and relationships is the arena where the gospel message can be communicated.
- They have to translate the message of the gospel in a way the target audience can understand.
To be a missional church and a missional Christ-follower means that we too will intentionally...
- learn the language of the unchurched
- learn the culture of the unchurched
- develop relationships and friendships with the unchurched
- translate the gospel message in a way that our unchurched friends and neighbors can understand and relate to