Why Imagination is Key to Being Missional

Don’t you hate it that “missional” has become a buzzword? I do. I hate that missional these days means little more than, “We do mission trips.” Or, “We do outreach projects.” Or, “We hand out free water on hot days.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. But they’re not missional.

Missional involves discovering the mission that a local body of Christ has been called to. 

Photo by Leopard Print (Creative Commons)Photo by Leopard Print (Creative Commons)And in a world that is drastically different than it was fifty years ago, that means the same old ministries and programs just aren't gonna cut it these days.

So, let me suggest a couple things.

First, being missional means discovering the new things that God is calling us into. The world is changing, and so must the way we live out our mission.

Second, discovering this mission requires us to imagine new possibilities. But it’s more than just “thinking outside the box.” This imagination is rooted in listening to our neighbors. In listening to one another. In keeping our eyes open for what God is doing around us. And in dreaming together as a local body of Jesus-followers about the new things God is calling us into.

If we truly want to be open to the new things God has for us—mission and ministry that we can’t yet fathom—then we need to cultivate an environment of creativity and imagination in our churches.

What does that look like? To cultivate creativity and imagination? I’ll say more about that in future posts. But for now, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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