Keller On The Missional Church

Tim Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He is also a leading voice in the missional church movement. His life and ministry, and that of Redeemer, are a testimony to his beliefs and convictions about reaching people in today’s world and cultures for Christ.

In June of 2001, Dr. Keller wrote and produced a short, three-page paper entitled, “The Missional Church.” The paper gives a concise overview of the development of the missional church movement.

In the paper, Keller also presents five “elements” of a missional church. The presentation and discussion of the five elements help us to better understand what a missional church may “look like.”

Before Dr. Keller presents the five elements, he writes

We don’t need evangelistic churches, we need missional churches.”

The five elements are:

  1. Discourse in the vernacular
  2. Enter and re-tell the culture’s story with the Gospel
  3. Theologically train lay (“lay”, my edit) people for public life and vocation
  4. Create Christian community which is counter-cultural and counter-intuitive
  5. Practice Christian unity as much as possible on the local level

Keller concludes the paper with a “case study.” In the study he writes that when these the five elements are present in every area of the life and ministry of the church, the church goes from being a program-based church to being one that is truly missional.

Read the paper here.

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