Friday, February 09, 2007

Missional Churches & Kingdom Priorities

I had the privilege while in Dallas last December to meet Milfred Minatrea during some quality sharing time between the leadership of the BGCT, BGAV, and the BGCM. Milfred has written an outstanding book on missional churches entitled, Shaped by God's Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches. I would like to share a couple of quotes from chapter nine of the book which deals with Placing Kingdom Concerns First.

p. 129 - "In their passion for the Kingdom of God, missional churches serve to ensure that every person has the opportunity to respond to the King's invitation, becoming part of the Kingdom. They see themselves as only one battalion of a great kingdom force deployed on earth. Other Christians are brothers and sisters serving the same master. Although their affiliation might be with different denominations, they find their primary identity as part of the Kingdom. They distinguish between essentials and nonessentials in doctrinal interpretation, value and cooperate with Christians from other traditions in Kingdom tasks, and join together in spiritual warfare against the enemy."

p. 138 - "Missional churches cooperate with other believers in pursuit of the interests of the Redeemer's Kingdom. They are not in competition with one another; rather, they stand united in opposition to the one who, through lies and schemes, seeks to divert others from the Kingdom. They value their beliefs, although they do not agree in every area of interpretation. They do not focus their passion on what separates them, but on that which unites them: the Kingdom of God. Missional churches are not building their kingdoms. Their primary allegiance is to His Kingdom."

I believe that Minatrea's description of missional churches as those whose primary commitment is to the Kingdom of God and not their own kingdoms is both refreshing and a necessary corrective to much of what takes place in typical denominational life. Denominational pride is surely one of the greatest obstacles to Kingdom expansion as it undermines Christian unity and baffles non-believers. Modern day zealots and Pharisees' overriding preoccupation with excluding those who don't cross their "t's" and dot their "i's" the same way regarding doctrines that aren't essential to salvation has most assuredly damaged the witness of the Body of Christ.

Minatrea's book is an excellent resource for churches wishing to move from a maintenance or survival mode to a pro-active, missional mindset. He cites numerous examples of churches that have effectively made that transition and gleans from their experiences some valuable principles and insights.

1 comment:

Missional Jerry said...

I really enjoy this book