What Does Mike Frost Have to Say?

mike-frostMike Frost is a writer, speaker and generally cool guy you would want to have a beer with.  He talks about something called Missional Church.  If you are part of certain church circles you feel like everyone is talking about Missional Church and you either hate it or love it.  If you aren’t then you have no idea what it is. Mike was in Vancouver last week and so a bunch of pastors and church leaders got together to listen to him. Here’s what he said.

He gave a very clear definition of Mission Church.  he drew a diagram like this.

Image

Pretty cool eh?  W = Worship  D = Discipleship  C = Community and M = Mission  The diagram represents the functions of a church.  If you do these things then you are a church.

Missional Church, according to Mike Frost, is a church in which all these functions are shaped and catalyzed by Mission.

This is different than most churches, where Mike says all these functions are shaped and catalyzed by Worship. What does he mean?

Imagine you go to a typical church every Sunday.  You feel part of the community. What is it that makes you part of the community?  It’s the fact that you show up for worship on Sunday morning.  If you stopped showing up people would think something was wrong and (hopefully) call you.  If you continued not showing up soon you would not be part of the community.  Simple. So community is shaped and catalyzed by Worship.

This is the same for discipleship and mission.  Discipleship is the process of bringing people closer to God and deepening their faith.  A typical church does this through the Sunday morning worship service.  People come, pray, sing and listen to a sermon.  The idea is that this will help them grow in faith.   Many churches have small groups and bible studies, but these are often secondary.  We put far more energy into Sunday morning.  If you had to quit bible study or Sunday morning which would you quit first?

And how do we do Mission?  We send money to foreign missionaries, run church programs and sometimes talk to our friends. We collect the money to send during our worship services.  The programs that we run and even talking to friends about Jesus are often intended to bring people into church on Sunday.  Imagine your Vacation Bible School or youth outreach program went exactly the way you would want it to. What would that look like?  People would become Christians and then they would come to church on Sunday morning.  If a friend is interested in Jesus we invite them to church. So mission is shaped by worship.

Mike suggests that instead of Worship, Mission should be the shaping and catalyzing force in the church.  Mission should be the goal that everything else is structured around.

Can you see what a dramatic change Mike and all these Missional Church guys are really pushing for.  A church where the members no longer see attending Sunday morning worship as the center? To make this kind of change would feel like your church, as an organization, was dying and starting all over.  How many churches will realistically be able to do this?  Is it even right?

by Isaac Whiting

If you have heard anything about the Missional Church, or even if you just go to church please comment and tell me what you think.

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5 thoughts on “What Does Mike Frost Have to Say?

  1. Thanks for this summary, Isaac. I was sorry I missed the first session, but really enjoyed his evening talk. He is a very passionate speaker and writer. I am in agreement with his view and I would live to see all churches, including ours, continue to move in this direction. I am reading his book, The Road to Missional, and will happily pass it on to anyone interested.

  2. Hi Isaac,
    Sorry, I do not agree with Missions being the first, albeit important as it is. We need to follow Jesus’ example in EVERYTHING and according to Scripture He sent His disciples out to……. Luke 9:1-10

    The Twelve Disciples had been with Jesus for some time watching as he ministered to the people. They heard His message and watched Him drive out demons and heal people of their diseases.

    Now it was time for them to follow His example, so He gave them some final instructions and sent them out to do as He had done. Their mission was to preach about the kingdom of God, to drive out demons and to cure people of their diseases.

    So , we as disciples of His, we are told to do this FIRST ………. missions and lots of other things are important but, me thinks, we are to do His commandments first ; We must stop thinking for ourselves and look at the Word He has left us. He gave us the Bible for this purpose.
    Blessings from BV

  3. Hi Isaac, I just got around to reading your other blog, ” Here’s my Story, ‘ and in there you said exactly what I am saying about the idea of a Missional Church: with your own words, you said,

    ” I used to be a very ‘logical’ person. I always had to ‘prove’ everything. By the summer of 2000 my bible reading had brought me to the gospel of Luke, which my ‘logical’ mind could not comprehend. Jesus simply commands and tells. He rarely explains and never proves anything. As I read, however, I experienced something entirely new. Something entered my mind that was not me. In fact, it was very different from me. It was a voice, it was very loud and this is what it said, ‘These ARE THE WORDS OF MY SON. LISTEN TO HIM!” You may think that I am lying or crazy, but I am neither. This happened and I can remember it as well as I remember eating breakfast this morning. I stood up and it stopped. It returned every time I sat down to read for about five minutes.”

    That experience became my proof. I became more certain that Jesus Christ is the Son of God than I have ever been of anything else. I was and am willing to bet my life on it.

    These words especially:
    “Jesus simply commands and tells. He rarely explains and never proves anything.”
    I rest my case here, Isaac ! These are your own words…You already have been told by Him, Himself, that ‘These ARE THE WORDS OF MY SON. LISTEN TO HIM!’
    He is telling you to listen to His Son…….. The Word is His Son in writing……don’t listen to any one else with some brilliant idea. He told you over and over every time you sat down to read because He knew you needed to be told enough times that it would hit your heart and stay there. When God repeats something over and over He really wants you to get it! So stick to Luke 9:1-10. You can’t go wrong.

    And, I do not think you are lying or crazy; this is how God works in the lives of some of us and He has worked like that also in my own life. When He does it like that no one can tell us that He is not alive, well and actively working in our lives. The question is: are we going to be alive and well in Him….. abiding He calls it……….or are we going to let some other person with a gift for the gab and some idea or other persuade us or at least make us forget it or question it even for a minute. It is our responsibility to remember what He has done in our lives and hold onto that. We each have our own walk which we make no excuses for to anyone . He did it for purpose …… don’t let that purpose get detoured. Tunnel vision, dear Isaac, tunnel vision …… Tunnel vision is what we need; eyes only looking forward and on Christ and His Word. Everything any one else says or does must be filtered through Him and His Word.His Word is spirit, and it is life (John 6:63) And if anyone tries to dissuade you, hold on and be strong and be bold. He will bless you for it.
    And…… We want // will do discipleship, community and mission because we worship Him not the other way around.
    Your turn Isaac…………… Blessings from BV

  4. Excellent Beverly. thanks so much. I wholeheartedly agree. Many people in this life and our enemy try to distract us from following only God and His word.

    I think that whenever some speaker comes along and tries to interpret the Bible for us or tell us where God is calling us to go we need to examine them thoroughly and compare what they are saying with the Bible. There is a false prophet.

    There is also a true prophet and I am always looking for such a person. Throughout the Bible we see people who thought they were following the word of God and really were not. The true prophets called them back and spoke the Word of God to them, the word they thought they already knew.

    As for Missional Church, as we spoke about, there is a problem of definitions here. What does Mission mean? It means different things to different people. Frost was trying to say, and I think he is right, that often in church we have a poor definition of mission. We use it in the plural and we think ‘missions’ means giving some money and supporting overseas missionaries.

    Mission, however, should mean joining in with God in His constant work to redeem the world and bring it together under Christ. This full definition of Mission would include all the things you have talked about. It is basically the only thing Jesus was interested in and did. It is this kind of Mission, the Mission of God, that Missional Church writers and speakers are saying we should organize everything else around.

    I also think that right now our churches, and our even our church in particular, is not organized around Mission in this sense.

  5. Thank you Isaac,
    Before we go any further I think we need to understand here what you meant in your original blog of the meaning of what a Missional Church is. The way I read it , it was saying that churches should be Missional Churches first as opposed to being Worship Churches first. You implied that because of being a Missional church we would become Worship churches NATURALLAY ; and because of being a Missional Church we would become Disciples NATURALLY ; and because of being a Missional church we would become a Community NATURALLY . I am saying that is backwards and we need to worship Him AND BE WORSHIP CHURCHES FIRST and then all else in life will literally come into place naturally. He ABOVE ALL wants us to do ALL THESE THNGS ALSO but we need to know Him and WORSHIP Him first or He cannot do anything through us. We will just be clanging bells……..
    As in 1 Corinthians13:1 ……..”we will be no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell”, not only in everything we say but also everything we do.

    I think here that you are blurring the definitions of the words Missions. You say,
    “Frost was trying to say, and I think he is right, that often in church we have a poor definition of mission. We use it in the plural and we think ‘missions’ means giving some money and supporting overseas missionaries.” Well then, Isaac, in that case everything is a mission, even breathing……..

    However, I like what you say here,
    “Mission, however, should mean joining in with God in His constant work to redeem the world and bring it together under Christ. This full definition of Mission would include all the things you have talked about. It is basically the only thing Jesus was interested in and did. It is this kind of Mission, the Mission of God, that Missional Church writers and speakers are saying we should organize everything else around.”

    I say, we can’t organize anything in a church , or even organize our own lives, without worshipping Him first. Again I say as in 1 Corinthians13:1 ……..”we will be no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell”… not only in everything we say but also everything we do. We cannot have a church alive and full of the Spirit without Him being the center. He does not share His glory with anyone…….
    Isaiah 42:8… New International Version
    “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”

    Know Him, worship Him, meditate on His Word, know Him through prayer……. and He will tell us what He wants from us individually and collectively ; in case we didn’t already get it from the Bible where He has put everything in order for us .

    You see Isaac, I live in a ‘black and white’ world …… no gray areas.
    Everything is either right or wrong…… no blurring;
    Everything is Biblical or it does not exist, without me shredding it;
    Everything is either FOR Him or AGAINST Him ; remember how He hates the lukewarm?….Revelation 3:16, ” So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”
    So dear Isaac, remember to always ……. ‘say what you mean and mean what you say.’

    And, also, when you say this:
    “I also think that right now our churches, and our even our church in particular, is not organized around Mission in this sense.”
    I say get organized around ‘Worship’ and ‘Him’ ……… why don’t we ask Him what He wants instead of asking others?
    Why don’t we ask Him what He wants from our church instead of another’s ideas?

    Pray for discernment, Isaac, and He will show you what He likes and doesn’t like.
    With discernment you will know immediately what He wants you to accept or drop like a hot potato……… He will tell you what He thinks about the people, places and situations, that He sends you into , instantly, and then tell you how to pray for it as He wills it. He will give it to you if you ask for it.

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