Ed Stetzer, in his book Planting Missional Churches writes that, “After the Reformation took hold, the evangelistic mission of the church was often neglected….The Reformers were trapped within geographical Christendom while their Catholic counterparts were engaged in colonial expansion….Protestant ‘mission’ became missions to Catholics” (pp. 28-29).
But isn’t this exactly what Stetzer is claiming a missional church is? It is a church that is “doing missions” right where they are (p. 19). And again, “missional means being a missionary without ever leaving your zip code” (p. 19). Is that not exactly what Stetzer accuses the Reformed church of doing? That they focused so much on their own culture (their own zip code as it were), and the lost among them (the Catholics), and therefore lost sight of their mission? At the very least, Stetzer is being inconsistent.
One of the reasons I hesitate whenever someone uses the word “missional” is because its “mission” is just too small! God did not call us to only reach our own zip code! He called us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20). There is nothing inherently wrong with the term “missional” but we need to base our practice, and define our terms on the Word of God, not just on new terms that sound cool.