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Missional Work

What is missional?

Being missional is different than doing mission work – it is a way of life, not a project or a trip.  This paradigm shift is a challenge for all of us in the church who are used to how things have been. It is also an invitation into the new thing God is doing within our culture.

Our journey to becoming missional

At a regional meeting in 2011 the committee tasked with doing a year-long mission study of the presbytery presented its findings.  This slideshow is a summary of where we had been as a regional body and where we needed to go in light of cultural and church shifts.  

The Presbytery adopted major changes in our leadership structure and drastically changed what we did at our quarterly gatherings.  The map below shows what our leadership looked like before and after the shift. Our quarterly gatherings changed from being day-long business meetings to gatherings with worship, open space (different discussion topics were chosen and led by participants) with only a small portion of the day devoted to the business meeting.

The Presbytery received two grants that funded our work with The Missional Network, who consulted and partnered with us in our missional transformation.  Several churches in the Presbytery participated in “The Future Church Project” with congregational leadership attending monthly gatherings and pastors attending separate gatherings.  At these gatherings leaders and pastors learned and explored how to listen for and discern the Holy Spirit at work in the neighborhood, experimented with joining God’s work and reflected on that experience together.  The presbytery gathered in May 2017 to reflect on what we had learned in this process and explore how we wanted to move forward. These documents were presented at the Presbytery Gathering showing results of a survey and proposed actions moving forward.

As a result of our Executive Presbyter’s sabbatical study it became clear that to move forward in our missional transformation we would need to hire someone who would focus on the missional work of the presbytery by encouraging and supporting the transformation within our congregations.  Below is the job description for our Missional Expeditor, Katie Stark: 

While the Presbytery is attending to the missional transformation within the established churches through the position of Missional Expeditor, it also became clear that we needed someone to focus on nurturing new expressions of the church.  Our presbytery partnered with Cyclical and hired Mindy Smith as the Director of Cyclical Inland NW in January 2019.

Resources to understand what it means to be missional

In order to better understand what we mean when we talk about being missional, here are a few resources:

Our Missional Learning Communities

In the fall of 2017 we launched Learning Community Cohorts to listen, discern, experiment and reflect together on what God is up to in our neighborhoods and communities. Take a closer look.