This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Why missional?

What is my motivation? Why do I do what I do? What is my end goal? What am I valuing above anything else that would inspire me to behave the way in which I am behaving?

As Mennonite people, deeply rooted in tradition, history, and a strong communal story, we need to ask the question “what is my motivation?” before we can ever really move toward becoming a missional people.

Why missional? Why now? What is our motivation? What is our purpose?

Because the answer to this question will determine whether or not you will be satisfied with the results of a very intentional, time-consuming process, or whether you are met with a gaping hole filled with disappointment.

How you determine your motivation needs to be based upon your highest values, your greatest goals, your deepest loves and your ultimate aspirations.

Be honest with yourself.

What is your church’s motivation, highest values, greatest goals, deepest loves and communal aspirations?

What does it look like to be a “successful church,” according to your church’s culture, or according to you? How do we know when we are getting it right?

I love the saying, “What you measure improves. What you celebrate gets repeated.”

What do we measure and what do we celebrate? And how does that compare with what Jesus measured and celebrated?

Take some time to consider:

  1. What are the top three values we hold as a congregation? How do we measure these values?
  2. What are the top three stories we tell about ourselves? What do these stories celebrate?
  3. How do these values and stories affect the way we behave as a community? How do they affect the way we behave with each other? How do they affect the way we behave toward those “outside” of our church?

Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg pastors at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio. 

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Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg

Jessica is on the pastoral team at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio where she lives with her husband Shem and three children. Although she graduated from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind.; Goshen (Ind.) College; and Hesston (Kan.) College her upbringing was less than typical Mennonite. This gives her

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