Formational vs. Missional

“It is, I gently suggest, a serious error to make ‘outreach’ a primary goal of the local congregation, and especially so when those who are already ‘with us’ have not become clear-headed and devoted apprentices of Jesus, and are not, for the most part, solidly progressing along the path. Outreach is one essential task of Christ’s people, and among them there will be always be those especially gifted for evangelism. But the most successful work of outreach would be the work of inreach that turns people, wherever they are, into lights in the darkened world.”

Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, 244

This is one of Willard’s clearest statements to the effect that he had serious doubts about the biblicity and viability of a missional model of church.  I have my own for these and other reasons.