Recently Dan Kimball wrote an editorial piece in Leadership Journal called Missional Misgivings. It is posted on Out of Ur, here is the url:
In it he asked several important questions about the missional church movement. He seemed to imply that house churches were missional churches. In the next few entries I intend to respond to Dan's remarks. This is just the first one...
A thorn by any other name is still a thorn.
I do not believe that missional churches and house churches are synonymous. There are many house churches that like to adopt new terms like “missional” “simple” and “organic” to describe themselves because those terms are currently cool, but they are still just the same as they were before—house churches. We’ve had dysfunctional, angry, inwardly focused house churches in America for well over a century. Adding a hip descriptive word doesn’t change the internal DNA.
Like Dan, I look around and see a lot of people claiming to be missional but in reality are not. I see many people wanting to join this organic/missional church movement but they bring their old baggage with them and it is too heavy to take out into the fields. We need to hear Dan's comments before we react to them too negatively, because there is some truth in there.
That said, I think Dan has over inflated his own research/experience. There is a lot he has not experienced yet. Perhaps he has thought that simply meeting in a living room is what we mean by being missional. It is not. More to come...