The so-called “emergent church”, which has devolved to “progressive christianity”, has tended to embrace missional living. But it’s not what you think.
While real missional living that does justice to Biblical truth does include concrete things to serve others, especially people in need or crisis, it is not the absence of a simple and direct, and unapologetic, proclamation along the lines of, “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The emergent church tends to emphasize corporate redemption, like whole families, communities, and nations, albeit mostly through good works and, increasingly, some form of centralized state handouts of benefits.
Missional living from a Biblical standpoint is absolutely “holistic” in the sense of addressing the whole person in all their needs, living out the Gospel with your whole person and in all aspects of life, and, in ADDITION to seeking the conversion of individuals, seeking the conversion and redemption of whole bodies of people, including whole national peoples.
The key aspect of missional living is a balanced application of truth (as found in Scripture, science, logic, and historic orthodoxy) with experience (spiritual encounters, personal maturation, instinct, and being led by the spirit), to serve others, proclaim the Gospel, and see both individuals and bodies of people converted and redeemed by Yeshua
The stark de-emphasis by the emergent church’s “missional living” of truth and historic orthodoxy, replaced by radical deconstructionist ideas rooted in Marx, and the shift from redemption as in salvation from sin to collective “redemption” measured in purely material terms is alarming and it isn’t missional. One cannot be said to pursue missional living and yet not be on mission with Yeshua the Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom as it applies first and foremost to the conversion and redemption of individual human beings.
In missional living we seek to proclaim the Gospel, comport ourselves ethically and morally so as to be a good example, demonstrate the effectiveness and power of the Gospel by walking in the Spirit to practice our faith, being an influence insofar as we are able through our positions and duties in society, and distributing the benefits of God’s blessings to His People for helping those in need and crisis as advocates and in providing aid and shelter.
We thereof have proclamation, exampleship, demonstration, influence, and distribution as the five core elements of missional living, with the provision that in all this we stay true to the Gospel, in accordance with God’s Word and historical Christian orthodoxy, and we keep Yeshua as the head and center of all we do.
Missional living is too much of a buzzword that is becoming watered down to something weak and pale, and, frankly, political and pro-authoritarian. It isn’t missional and it isn’t living, not as God intends living. But true missional living is to see yourself always as a missionary from the Lord to bless fellow Christians, your inner circle of friends and family, the lost, and your community, with attention to mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health in alignment with God’s standards of righteousness and justice rooted in grace, truth, and love.