Now McNeal lays out some basic plot markers for the way ahead. He states, “The missional church’s story sees the human drama and God’s saga intertwined, one incomprehensible without the other” (p. 34). Here are some things to keep in mind as we look at the Missional Renaissance and changing the scorecard of the church.
People are created in the image of God.
People matter to God and are deserving of blessing simply because they are image bearers, not just so we can witness to them.
God is on a mission.
He is pursuing relationship ever since sin disrupted the intimacy we had with Him. Jesus’ Incarnation is the high point in this pursuit.
God’s mission is redemptive.
God wants to restore relationships, but He also desires to restore the benefits of that relationship. McNeal: “He declared that he had come to give life, life to the full. This means that missional Jesus followers are engaged in all aspects of human experience – political, social, economic, cultural, physical, psychological, and spiritual – to work for those things that enhance life and to oppose those things that steal life” (p. 35).
God’s mission is always being prosecuted in the world.
God is at work all over the world and His rule is far beyond just the church.
God doesn’t postpone His mission, waiting for the church to ‘get it.’
The church is often playing catch-up to the Holy Spirit. It was that way in Acts. Some things never change.
God is up to something new.
This missional movement is gaining steam. People are saying the same thing even though they’ve never met. McNeal says they have the same ‘Source’!
The people of God play an important role in the mission of God.
If we’re the people of God, we need to participate in His mission. God’s people in Scripture are often rebuked when they become more concerned about themselves than the ones God desires to minister to through them.
The kingdom is a future that provokes a crisis.
We have to choose to engage and move beyond a church-age worldview. McNeal: “Kingdom agents have no other option than being subversive, attempting to introduce kingdom realities to every domain of life and culture, even the church” (p. 37).
The missional expression of church will require new metrics to measure its vitality.
We need a new scorecard that educates people on new possibilities for living out kingdom responsibilities.
Missional expression can grow out of the current church, but it is not limited to the current church.
This can be done by Jesus followers in any situation. Some are doing it in their current roles in a nonmissional church. Others are starting smaller monastic communities or house churches.