I was shopping in a large outside market recently in town and came across the Hong Kong market where you can buy all types of knock off items that look and feel like the real thing, but are as fake as Pamela Anderson's...well you know. I enjoy these type of markets and make the occasional purchase just for fun. In walking through the market this time something caught my eye, the apple symbol! But the funny thing about these fake apple products is that they looked nothing like the iPhone. I immediately laughed and commended these guys for attempting to trick the shoppers in this market by putting an apple logo on all types of phones.
As I made my way home, I started to reflect on how just because you put an apple logo on a product does not indeed make it an apple product, it is just a mere logo. In the same way many people and churches I believe have done the same thing with the term missional. Just because you slap the word missional all over your church does not indeed make it missional, at that point it has become just a meaningless term.
It is no secret that the term missional in many church circles has become a buzzword that is many times over used. Personally, I like and use the word missional often because I do feel like it incorporates what we as a body of believers should be wherever God has placed us. But I also feel in many ways as if some have mistaken that slapping the word missional in front of anything makes it such. It is not much different than slapping the word Christian in front of anything such as mints, video games, music, etc. As if such things can be Christian in and of themselves.
My point is that just because you use the term missional does not make you missional. I might go as far as to say that if you over use the term or have to use the term in order for people to believe that you are missional than you are not. Just as legit apple products speak for themselves, true missional believers and churches are seen as such by the way in which they live life and live out in the community.
If you are a missional believer or a missional church, you will not have to convince others by telling them, but they will already know even if you never use the term. Missional Christians, communities, and churches are all good things and we need more of them. In fact, I at times question, if there is any other type of Christian other than a missional one? My point, if you are not considered missional, then maybe you are not a follower of Jesus at all or at least not an obedient one.