Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Production vs. Reproduction

Missional living is in many ways another way of saying cross-cultural living. Whether it be a Christian from one country/culture trying to show Christianity to a lost person from another country, or a churched Christian trying to show Christianity to the secular world, it is all cross-cultural. (It used to be that Evangelical America only tried to evangelize lost people from the church culture.)

That being the case, missional ministry cannot afford to simply “produce” results. Converts and churches are not enough. Missional endeavors need to strive for reproduction, or the work will not really make its way into the culture. We need converts who are disciples—those that will in turn make more disciples. We need churches that start out knowing what it means to plant churches and do so as a natural activity of the church. In that way, the message of the Gospel and the idea of Christian community will truly make its way into the culture and continue long after the cross-cultural Christian is gone.

The challenge for the missional Christian is letting the reproduction occur naturally. Sometimes the new culture will take the reproduction in directions the church planter hadn’t foreseen. Sometimes it will feel like the new cultural expression is too radical, or maybe not radical enough. The key is to introduce true Biblical DNA into the mix and let the new converts and churches find valid cultural expressions of that Biblical truth.

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