I was reading Alan Jamieson’s ‘Churchless faith’ thesis today and came across this great turn of phrase from David Bosch. With all the talk of missional churches etc Bosch was sharp enough to make the following observation:
“The inverse of the thesis ‘the church is essentially missionary’ is ‘mission is essentially ecclesial’.” (1993) Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission.
So maybe rather than missional churches we need ecclesial missions
. A recognition of the primacy of mission as the activity of the church, but also an appreciation that effective mission requires some level of gathering.