Missional Ecclesiology

"There is particular urgency today for a missional ecclesiology to reclaim the profoundly eschatological character of the church's calling.  The theological reductionism of both gospel and church has been accompanied, over the centuries, by a great loss of that future tense of faith that should powerfully shape our present life and action.  In place of fruitless speculation about events that have not yet happened, we must focus on the certainty of our hope that enables us now to witness to Christ fearlessly and point away from ourselves modestly.  A missional ecclesiology will always be candid about its penultimate nature; the continuing conversion of the church will necessitate obedient and serendipitous re-visiting of all our theological formulae and propositions.  This does not mean that the gospel is not sufficient to the task; it means that the church lives with the open confession that its grasp of and response to the gospel is always partial, that there is yet more healing to be done, more conversion to submit to, more wonder to worship."

Darrell Guder, "The Church as Missional Community" in The Community of the Word, page 127.