I am interested in contrasting missional church with various things. I think that making contrasts helps me learn. So I went on to YouTube and looked and did some searching…not that YouTube is the reliable educational source for all things but often people post seminars and the like. That turned out to be true for this topic.
Tim Keller contrasts Missional Church with Seeker church in a 2006 video short. Give it a listen. Here is basically what he is saying: The Seeker church is focused on programs and divides up its ministry into two services: one for Christians and one for non-Christians. Then he laughs and says that the type of person that goes there has an MBA. He contrasts this with the Missional Church which he says infuse consciousness into the people who attend that it is inclusive, non-segregating Christians from non-Christians, that it seeks to creat community is organic and says that the folks who like to go there are artists.
I honestly thought that his comparison on the video short was too short.
I thought Mark Driscoll was more helpful. He said so much that he has two video shorts on the topic. In a nutshell he is saying that the Seeker Church leads with pragmatism and seeks to attract the community to itself while the Missional Church leads with theology and seeks to send people out into the community. For him the Seeker church is built on a business model of church. I guess that is why Tim Keller says that MBAs feel at home there. Driscoll says, “the [seeker] church is a business that produces goods and services to a market.” He contrasts this to the Missional Church which sees itself as a “representative of God’s kingdom on earth,” assumes a counter cultural stance and begins with theological assumptions trying to translate them for the culture.
In the second video he focuses on the Seeker Church attracting people to itself so that they receive the gospel and effect change in the culture while the Missional Church sends its people into the culture through their existing networks of relationships in order to bring the gospel to them and transform the culture.
He describes the Seeker church as finding out about community needs making a program for it, drawing them in for an activity and then giving them the Jesus pitch at the end. Honestly, I like the idea of sending people out of the church to share their lives and the gospel as much more attractive than bringing people into event after event hoping they will hear the pitch and convert.
In the end I find missional much more of a transformational model than the seeker church..