There were few words more popular at General Convention 2012 than ‘missional’, (except perhaps for ‘nimble’).
Helpfully, and perhaps in preparation for General Convention 2015, Ed Stetzer, a blogger at Christianity Today, has written a series on the meaning and origins of the word. In 5 parts, he talks to the professor who first used the word in print, as well as writers, theologians, and dissenters from the term.
Among others, he describes one church group as asking him not to use ‘missional’ in his presentation, not because they were tired of its buzz word appeal, but because they suspected the word of having political overtones:
Yet, as the term has grown in prominence, it has also grown in opposition. In some of the places I have spoken, I have specifically been asked to not use the word “missional,” as it is a “liberal word.” (I am not sure how a word gets an ideology, but that is another story.)
Now, before you get offended by their concern, there is a reason. Obviously, their concern has not pushed me away from using the term, but it is helpful for us to understand their worry… and it might be a surprise to know the problematic history that causes some evangelicals to reject the word “missional.” And, the word “missional” is much less important than the emphasis it brings.
Read up on ‘missional’ here.