Now that John Piper has declared publically that he does not like the term missional because it sounds trendy...too funny. It is good to see there is a robust discussion of the missional church/life in this month's 9 Marks News Letter because more than trendiness is at hand.
To put it bluntly there is a bunch of bad schmack out there running under the bannder of "missional" - you'll find that over at the Emergent Village. However, the term is also an adjective, to describe something to do with being on mission. The important issue then is just what mission we are on. If it is to connect and communicate a biblical gospel and the saving work of Jesus Christ to people in a way they can hear it...To proclaim the unchanging word in a changing cultural setting...then jump on the missional bandwagon for it is indeed the Biblical mandate for the sent people of God.
In the 9 Marks Letter Eric Simmons does a great job giving pastoral advice for leading people in a missional life. Additionally, Jonathan Leeman, offers a good history and helpful critique of the missional movement because, in his words:
I have offered the five critiques above not because I think he (referring to Dr. Ed Stetzer) and others are on the wrong path, but because I think they are on the right path. They inspire me. My critiques are offered in the attempt to help the cause.
I would only say Amen - this is the right path. Theologically driven, gospel (meaning adoption through propitiation, atonement type) centered, culture engaging, justice seeking, in the world not of the world, set apart people of God on mission type of path.
The conference this weekend held by Desiring God was a great step to uniting the clans to this end. The audio from the weekend is now up at Desiring God and Justin Taylor has direct links to each session.