No single idea is more important to my vision of the church and to its future than what is meant by the hyphenated word: missional-ecumenism. I am not sure how I came up with this term but in working with the ideas of missional church, and with the development in the early twentieth century of the ecumenical movement and its concerns for the unity of the Christian church, I put the two words together to describe what I saw going on in John 17:20-23.
I mention in the book that I had never previously seen the two words put together in this form but since the book was published in April I have discovered some online places where the term seems to predate my use. I never claimed originality to this word choice so this is fine with me. What I did claim is that these two words properly expressed a vision that I have been led to embrace and teach. I believe both words need to be defined carefully or the result will be confusion. (Some militant conservatives frankly hate the term “missional.” Some hate term “ecumenical” even more. I realized all of this but I also realized that such readers would not like my book regardless of my word choice.) I wanted to create a memorable way of expressing my ideas and this did it for me. When the publisher agreed to produce a glossary in the back of the book this resolved all remaining issues regarding defining words in a popular and understandable way. In today’s video presentation I explain the term in simple, clear, straightforward language.
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