Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tired of the whole "missional" thing

Okay, you saw on my last post -- how I'm accessing the internet more during school hours, since the laptop is right next to me on the kitchen table. Well, I've been surfing ALOT on other blogs, mostly through links of blogs Dave knows. There's a LOT of chatter out there about "becoming missional" and "emergent churches".
I'm very leary and weary of movements that need to make-up words so they sound more attractive and, well, new. When you use the word "missional" to the average jo in the pew, or even out of the pew, they think "huh?" The use of these new, made-up words sets up boundaries and boundaries have always made me uncomfortable. There's an attitude of "I'm in the in-crowd and you're not". And I also wonder...is there really anything new in these movements, ala ecclesiastes.
I just had to voice this frustration as I just finished surfing for the night and had to say something to someone.
Any opinions??

12 comments:

Dave Moody said...

Ouch...

love ya anyway.

Orrange said...

i 100% agree.
I feel like the longer I read, listen, interact in these circles the more I think the "new" things aren't that new... they're like some ridiculous sociology theory... you watch people and then corner some theory that makes you famous "discovering" that most women put their head down when they are self concious. Duh. We know that. Why are you writing a book? Why are you getting famous? And why am I listening?
I think it's the same stuff. But maybe I'm just getting old, because when I was young I really identified with a lot of the new genx language...

Marti Smith said...

I share your struggle, Barb. And I feel a bit stupid or not trying hard enough sometimes for not 'getting' the appeal of it, getting why it's different or why different is good. Went to lunchtime roundtable with some folks from Denver Sem. where I started to get a glimmer, heard a sermon series, and got a few book recommendations I have not followed up on. But still I don't get it. When I'm feeling less cynical I am amused by my friends simply substituting the word 'missions' with 'missional' and expecting to get away with it. But otherwise I have to wonder: what are they talking about anyway?

Myfriendconnie said...

I came here from a comment you left on one of "those" blogs. I agree! I'm not sure we need to make the gospel attractive. Jesus saves. Period.

Holly said...

Hey there, hello! :)

Southern Illinois? Really? Please e-mail me! My parents live in S. Illinois - I grew up there. We are moving back there this summer - well, to the S. Indiana area. My e-mail is seekingfaithfulness(at)hotmail(dot)com.

re. Missional. I resisted using the word at first - but because it is in such use on the i-net, I use it to be understood.

When i first heard the word, I thought..."huh? Isn't the church supposed to be missional? Why is this new? It felt contrived to me, too. Why not just revisit the original meaning? I get frustrated that supposedly the words we are familiar with are 'outdated," like "evangelical" for instance. We are now supposed to use the word "post evangelical."

I use it online - to be understood...and yet - don't really see the need.

holly said...

p.s. My dh is a pastor, too - so please, pretty please, e-mail me. :)

celticpole said...

Thanks for all the comments. Sounds like there are a lot of opinions out there, worthy of hearing. Keep up the dialogue, or talk amongst yourselves.

Oma said...

Good things can come from all over....even Southern Illinois!!!

will spotts said...

You make an excellent point. We've gotten silly about trying to use current lingo - when most of these words and expressions are just made up.

Quotidian Grace said...

I agree, too. The term "emergent conversation" makes me crazy. What is that supposed to mean? You're so right about the boundaries that are set up when we make up and use ecclesiastical jargon like this.

Gannet Girl said...

LOL I can't stand that word. I've never heard anyone say it out loud, but it does seem to be all over the internet, and I cringe whenever I read it.

And I'm with QG; all the "emergent" teminology bothers me, too. OK, she didn't say "all" of it. But I did. I keep thinking "detergent."

And as she knows, I also hate the term "unchurched."

OK, got that out of my system! -- and on my first visit to your blog, too. (Courtesy of your dh, apparently.)

robert austell said...

Hi - I found your entry on "missional" terminology from Dave's blog... and I'm with you. My pastor friends started sending me missional this and missional that about 5 years ago... obviously lingo that kicked in after I got out of seminary. And best I can tell, it's what I've been taught all my life - that church isn't a club; Christianity isn't a clique. We're to be in the world 'cause that's where Jesus would be.. and doing kingdom work. Anyway, I'm all for the idea and not much interested in the jargon. :)

In trying to verbalize all this to my congregation over the last 5 years, I've ended up using the analogy of a lighthouse and a searchlight to describe our "mission" in and to the world. I've just started blogging in the last few months if you're interested... or dave is... at http://robertaustell.blogspot.com

I enjoyed looking through your blog! Yea for the Internet at home. :)

Robert Austell
Charlotte, NC