When the Darkness Will Not Lift, by John Piper
Emerging Church Blogger of the Year

Missional: I was wrong

A quick correction before we enter the new year. The original usage of the word "missional" is earlier than I said in my post "What I mean when I say Emerging-Missional church". I said it was used first by Charles Van Engen in 1991, which is true, but there are much earlier occurrences of the word.

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.

UPDATE: I just found an earlier occurrence of missional - 1814

More on Missional:
Friend Of Missional- The biggest fullest post on "missional" I have found is on Friend of Missional [HT: Boars Head]
- Alan Hirsch's new book "The Forgotten Ways" uses the term EMC which stands for 'Emerging Missional Church'. I have said before that keeping these two words together is a good idea.
- Baptist missiologist Francis DuBose used the word "missional" often in his 1983 book 'God Who Sends'. Interesting connection - In 1996-7 I directed San Francisco's Page Street Baptist Center that Dr DuBose started and Francis and I used to run the feeding program together each week.

The Dark Side of Missional:
I have seen some churches use [abuse] the word "missional" as an excuse for shutting down their intentional cross-cultural or international missionary efforts and replacing them with a local evangelistic emphasis. Sounds to me like they are using their apostolic missions energy to run their local machinery - ie, get more bums on the pews and boost the income. Now I think its great that churches adopt missional thinking and this is vital in our post-Christian environment, but there must be a place for new entrepreneurial work  outside the church borders or the good story will not travel outside our cultural boundaries. Local churches need to be missional BUT they must also be INTENTIONAL about sending their best to places where the name of Jesus is not known. The church should be exporting its blessing to the families of the earth and being "missional" should serve that role, not hinder it.

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