A former student of mine has written an excellent post on the "missional" conversation. He offers a nice definition and provides links to a handful of groups who embody the missional ethos. I am noting it here to supplement previous recent conversations.


JR Woodward said...


Thanks for the link. I look forward to reading your blog. I just put you in my del.iciou.us network as well. It looks like you have a lot of great bookmarks.

So, are you moving to KC?

Chris Spinks said...

Hi, JR. Glad to see you here on ekballo. You might also be interested in what goes on at my more academic but less updated blog, katagrapho.

No, not moving to KC. Moved from there in 2005, after a year there living near family and finishing up my dissertation. The city references to headings for my blogroll are just song lyrics.

Doug said...

Very interesting stuff. I like a lot of what "missional" stands for, but I still feel like I don't totally get it. I guess that is the nature of buzz words.

Working in the IT field, I'm certainly no stranger to dealing with buzz words. All I will say is that there isn't a high success ratio of turning marketing-centered buzzwords into practical application. For instance, if you do a search for "Agile Software Development" you'll find hundreds of articles and books on the subject, all pumping up the approach as the next big thing. Meanwhile every software company is claiming to be "Agile." But the fact of the matter is that the methodology is rarely used, and generally only seems to work for the authors of the books. I've tried for years to understand the practicality behind the hype -- because it always sounds so promising -- but I always end up completing projects by using the tried and true "ways that actually work."

Not that I'm trying to say that "missional" is all hype. I don't know if it is or not. I'm not entrenched enough in the world of Christian leadership to make that assessment. I just find the recent use of buzzwords in theology and church discussions to be interesting, and also somewhat frightening.

The spirit of it all feels very healthy, though. In fact, some of the stuff in the "Out of Ur" blog post that JR links to is so good I'm bookmarking it to come back and read it again in the future.