The next few posts will look at the “missional” God—in other words, how God Himself broke into communities to reveal Himself and transform the lives of the people. This quick survey will begin in the Old Testament and jaunt right through the New Testament until the very end.
A Working Definition
There are many definitions floating in the church world about what missional actually is. So much is the discussion that many worry that the term missional could become cliché (my own username makes use of the word!).
What Missional Does NOT Mean
- Skinny white male in skinny black jeans with black rimmed glasses he doesn’t need doing nice things in Jesus’ name for the people around him
- Dishing up organic, fair-trade food for the homeless
- Removing all the crosses from your sanctuary
- Having couches in your church sanctuary
- Meeting in homes
- Meeting at bar
You get the point. With the exception of an obvious few from the list above, there are some kingdom-minded activities that have good intentions.
But good intentions are not enough when eternity hangs in the balance for people.
For the purposes of this study, I will hearken to Alan Hirsch’s definition:
“A proper understanding of missional begins with recovering a missionary understanding of God. By his very nature God is a “sent one” who takes the initiative to redeem his creation. This doctrine, known as missio Dei—the sending of God—is causing many to redefine their understanding of the church. Because we are the “sent” people of God, the church is the instrument of God’s mission in the world” 
With this in mind, I will focus my discussion on God’s direct activity with the people He focused on as well as on God’s activity through the people He sends on His behalf.
Part 2: The Missional, Covenant-Keeping God