What does “Missional” Mean?

Missional living is the adoption of the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of the missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message.

Sadly, most Christians in the West don’t see themselves as a missionary. We are products of a historically majority “Christian” culture. This “Christian” culture was more of a perception than reality for most of our country’s existence. What is more true is that most people in this country, America, shared similar understandings regarding spiritual things. They believed in God. They believed in sin. Most believed in absolute right and wrong and many found the morality presented in the Bible as authoritative. Most of this has changed and all of it continues to change at an accelerated pace in our current culture.

America now has widespread moral relativism. Membership in religious institutions has dropped to almost 50% in the last 25 years from over 70%. Twice as many of those in generation Z, our current generation of students, identify as atheist as compared to any other generation according to Barna. The portrait of American society is changing.

How shall we then live?

The same way followers of Jesus have always been commanded to live: missionally.

At Missional Student we believe that the only way a follower of Jesus should ever live is as a missionary in whatever culture or people God has placed you. To be a Missional Student is to see yourself as a missionary. A missionary is someone who proactively identifies his or her mission field and then arranges their life in such a way as to be salt and light in that context. This is why cultivating missional thinking and skills is essential; read and find resources about some of our Missional Skill Sets here.

To live missionally as a student means you see yourself as a missionary, a messenger who carries the good news of Jesus and an ambassador who represents the kingdom of God, wherever God has you. Do you see yourself as a missionary in your school or on your campus? On your sports team? In your classes? In your neighborhood or dorm? To see yourself this way and then to start living in light of this is to live missionally.

Here at Missional Student we believe that every student is called to live on mission, to be a missional student. Are you accepting this call?

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
-2 Corinthians 5:20

Challenged by this post? Try this one: “5 Ways to Live Missionally This Year”


Philip Leineweber

Phil is the pastor of SURGE Student Ministries at Berean Baptist Church. He is married to Sarah and together they love raising their three boys.

Contact Phil at phil@missionalstudent.com


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