A Missional Manifesto for the People Called United Methodist

By Steve Manskar

wesleyan-leadership-method-of-methodismRev. Jay Voorhees at his blog, Only Wonder Understands, has posted A Missional Manifesto for the People Called United Methodist. It is a fine document that is a must read for members of The United Methodist Church who believe it is time the denomination re-claim the missional DNA that has been dormant for many years.

What does "missional" mean?

"The missional church reorients our thinking about the church in regard to God's activity in the world. The Triune God becomes the primary acting subject rather than the church. God has a mission in the world, what is usually referred to as the missio Dei, we find that God as a creating God also creates the church through the Spirit, who calls, gathers, and sends the church into the world to participate in God's mission. ... The Spirit-led, missional church is responsible to participate in this reconciling work by bearing witness to the redemptive reign of God in Christ as good news, and through inviting everyone everywhere to become reconciled to the living and true God" (Craig Van Gelder, The Ministry of the Missional Church: A Community Led By the Spirit, 18).

It's important to recall that Methodism began as a missional movement. It's mission was "to reform the nation, particularly the Church; and to spread Scriptural holiness over the land." A Missional Manifesto for the People Called United Methodists is a good step toward helping the denomination re-claim its missional identity.