In the last segment to his article “More than a Buzz Word,” Rev. Dr. Frost states it isn’t missional when not just pastors and church leaders, but Christians as a whole, “think of Spirituality as Retreat rather than Engagement” (52). Through this declaration, Frost states that true spiritual change can take place in retreat and revival settings. However, spiritual change can also take place by being active Kingdom workers in the world, in society, and in our local communities. We are capable of growth in God and in the Holy Spirit as we impact the world outside our retreats and revivals.
Personal Opinion. Confessions.
Yes, we all know that true spiritual change can take place outside revivals and retreats. Most of us have experienced spiritual transformation and growth in the Holy Spirit outside of church retreats and crazy revivals–probably through deep moments of Scripture, or maybe through a really great sermon or conference. But aren’t these still a modified version of retreats and revivals? They are.
The challenge truly lies in not just believing that spiritual change can take place outside church-centered environments, but living by the knowledge that by living the Kingdom of God and trusting in the triune God of Scripture, we can be transformed at the same time as we interact with culture, the lost, the broken, the oppressed, the unbelieving, and the marginalized.
By now I must have every reader believing that I am King of the Mountain when it comes to “missional” living. I have obviously convinced you that I have the formula to transform each and every single community outside the church. But the truth (drumroll) is that I am terrible at being missional.
Because you simply can’t “be” missional. Being missional means being “on mission” and that isn’t a state of being but an action that must take place, hopefully more often than not. I am pretty bad at living a “missional” lifestyle. My friends are mostly Christians from my church and I spend more time reading books by Christians than reading God’s Scripture (I know…,shameful right?).
But that’s the truth. The sooner we, as Christians and as God’s universal church, understand that we can’t “be” missional–individually or as a collective body–the sooner we will wake up to the reality that we have to “live” and “act” missionally.