By Emma Tentarelli, South Jersey Team Administrative Assistant

It seems like almost any Christian book you pick up today talks about Christians and churches being “Missional.” It’s the new buzz word. At our church, we’re learning what it means.

Like most churches, a few years ago we would only see each other one day a week. But as my church began to develop life groups, individual members of the congregation began to have relationships with a small group of people. And the small groups of people became families that can, in our pastor’s words, “Show off to others what our Father is like.”

What being Missional Means

One Sunday Pastor Jay asked the question,

“What would it look like to be the church in such a way that our neighborhood would grieve if we left the community?”

Because of the example he has set for us, and the way he and his wife Mandy live in their neighborhood, we have an example of not only preaching about being missional but living it out. Also, Pastor Jay is now offering training once a month to help us as a church understand more about what being missional means.

Being missional means I don’t need to focus on how to tell someone about Christ; rather, the way I live causes others to want to know what makes me different. I can concentrate on building relationships with people who have similar interests. As relationships are built, I then have opportunity to share Christ with them.

How Missional Living Works

At our church, we love the Father so much that we desire everyone we meet have the same deep love. Our Missional families talk to each other on a daily basis by email or other social networking. We pray for each other and provide support–whether it be providing a meal when someone is sick or celebrating the birth of a baby or marriage of one of the children. The bottom line is that our Father loves us and wants us to have fellowship with one another.

God has blessed our church. God’s grace is sufficient for all our needs and He is our Provider. So, feeding the hungry, offering a garden spot for our neighborhood to grow crops or visiting our missional community in Haiti…  These are all missions of our church but, more importantly, all of these ministries have us–the church–for their mission. We want others to know God as their Father.