The Habits of the Missional Church

Habits of the Missional Church

Your church is perfectly tuned to get the results you are currently getting AND you will keep getting the same results regardless of how many new programs or projects for change you implement. Because your church’s culture has the invisible power to resist change and render any new program (foreign body) harmless much like an immune system.

Your church’s culture is formed by many unconscious habits of thought, language and interaction.  When  new habits, missional habits,  are introduced  the church culture has an opportunity to undergo revolutionary change.

Missional transformation is not a major change project or program instead it is identifying and introducing new habits and practices of the missional church.

The Six Practices and Habits

Six practices/habits work together to form Christian community within God’s mission in and for the world. One does not have priority over another or have the “right” way of doing it. They work together to create an environment and an attitude that is open to God’s call to the community and to God’s mission in the neighborhood and world.

Dwelling in the Word                   

We want the Word to shape our imaginations, intentions, and actions. So we dwell in the Word in pairs and in groups whenever we meet in order to be shaped by God’s Word as heard through one another.

Dwelling in the World                  

We want to be alert and observant of the people of peace in the world where God has sent us.  So we interact in our wider communities, looking for the people of peace God sends us each week, in order to join community where God is already at work.

Announcing the Kingdom of God            

We want to be Jesus’ witnesses, seeing Jesus at work and bearing witness to his presence in the world. So we practice noticing Jesus at work in the world and tell stories about it so that when we see the Kingdom of God near us, we can point it out to others.


We want to create safe space for forming Christian community. So we practice receiving the gracious welcome of people of peace, and we practice giving a gracious welcome to people of peace in order to build bridges within God’s mission in and for the world.

Spiritual Discernment          

We want to recognize how we’ve come to where we are and who the Holy Spirit is calling us to be within God’s mission. So we dwell in the Word and brainstorm together our past and our present, in order to listen through one another for the Spirit directing us toward God’s preferred and promised future for us.

Focus for Missional Action     

We want to use our time and energy well, not wasting it on too many good things. So we commit to memory our specific missional vocation and use it as a standard in our congregational life together, moving us further into God’s mission in the world.

Over the next weeks I will be exploring what each habit or practice may mean for your congregation.

The next Missional Practices workshop – Announcing the Kingdom of God will be Saturday, October 15 at Presbyterian Church of Morris Plains, 400 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, NJ 07950. Click here for more information.