The Missional Church movement
Please cite as follows:
Sheridan, T.M. & Hendriks, H.J. 2013. The Missional Church movement. Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, 54(3-4): 1-26, doi:10.5952/54-3-4-402.
The original publication is available at http://ojs.reformedjournals.co.za
At the beginning of the 21st century, many different voices have been drawing our attention to two realities that are shaping the future of Christianity: the centre of gravity for the Christian faith has shifted to the global South and to the East; and the church in Western societies has been pushed to the margins and is facing serious decline (Guder 1998, 1). Many are asking themselves, “what are the implications of these facts for the future of the church in western culture?” For many, the term “missional” has begun to capture the imagination of the church in the West. Rather than find “missional” as a new programmatic or methodological solution for the church today, something at the foundational level needs to be discerned, namely, “who we are and what we are for” (Guder 1998, 3). Discernment2 of the church’s identity and vocation is a critical task facing us today. In the previous article, the Emergent Church movement was engaged in order to summarize its important contributions toward the recovery of a missional identity and vocation of the church in the West. In this article, the Missional Church movement as observed in the North American scenario will be engaged and its contributions toward the development of a missional identity and vocation for the church in the West will be summarized.