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Characteristics of a Missional Congregation

Joy! God’s presence is celebrated and embraced by the congregation.

Theology is Indigenous. Congregation knows the God-given mission to which it is called. Practices the Archeology of Hope (God is at work and has planted seeds of hope in the community).

Adaptive and responsive. The congregation’s mission and ministry are always being discerned and are open to change and transformation that is occurring both inside and outside in the community.

Making true disciples (Christian formation) is a life-long commitment. The congregation understands itself to be seekers of the Incarnational Christ as lived out in community, and not adherents to doctrine/dogma.

Covenant of Purpose. Congregation commits to using every resource available with the intention of making God’s mission a reality.

Reality of Failure. The congregation recognizes and accepts that there can be no guarantees of success. It is called first and foremost to be faithful, not successful. Willingness to risk failure is seen as sign of faith.

Ministry must be relationally based. The relationship of individual to community and to God is valued. Collaboration and networking among congregations and institutions are healthy expressions of relationality. Parochialism is not an option!

Bread for the Journey. Congregation encourages and creates liturgy (including music) designed to transform and feed people.

Mission. Congregation is guided by God’s Mission and not Church’s Mission. It strives to let go of pre-conceived notions of mission.

Congregation is Risk Taker for the sake of the Gospel. Asks “Why Not?” when confronted by challenges that call for unconventional thinking.

Prophetic. Proclaims the acceptable year of the Lord in all aspects of its ministry and mission.

Imaginative/Creative/Experimental. The congregation is willing and open to encountering God through collective engagement in new ways of being.

Constantly renewing itself. The congregation continually asks: “What is God up to?, and is never satisfied with the status quo.

Missional leadership. The congregation is committed to discovering, raising up, and empowering new leaders.

Evolving mission. God’s mission is forever new. The congregation is constantly discerning and seeking to discover the new mission that God is pointing to.

Covenant of Presence. The congregation’s leadership (lay and clergy) is committed for the long haul, understanding that there are no “quick fixes.”

Buildings and Budgets. The congregation’s exercise of God’s Mission is not defined nor dictated by a preoccupation with the theology of scarcity. Rather, the congregation’s budget reflects a commitment to God’s mission.

Spiritual Mid-Wifing. The congregation is engaged in the Theology of Being God’s Mission (“What is the Holy Spirit calling us to be?”) vs. the Theology of Orthodoxy (“What is the right belief & right practice to follow?”).

Radical Welcome & Hospitality. The congregation embodies and practices Jesus’ radical embrace of all people.

No Sacred Cows: The congregation is willing to “De-Structure” (as opposed to restructure) organizations, institutions, rules, and requirements in order to better serve God’s mission.

Story-listening/Story-sharing (Evangelism). Congregations and individuals share stories of Spirit’s in-breaking, presence and transformation of lives. Story is shared in the surrounding community as well.

Faithful Stewardship. The congregation responds with gratitude for all that God is doing. It embraces a theology of abundance.

Transformational Church (of lives and communities) is the goal of mission and not Attractional Church (measured by programs, or attempting to keep up with the latest church fad).

Deep listening. Congregation invests in and cultivates deep listening both to God’s people within its walls and those outside in the surrounding community.

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