We use the word “missional” to describe Second Mile. This is a strange word to some people. It’s a fairly new term used to describe churches, and there are many sources for definitions. We’ll narrow ours down to a few characteristics.
Acts 29, a church planting network, gives three characteristics of missional churches.
First, they “must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine.” This means that we believe the Bible is true and that it does not change along with cultural values and norms. We place ourselves under scripture, not above it. We base our actions, organization, and vision on a Biblical foundation.
Second, a missional church “must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister.” This means that we love our city, we love the people around us, and we want them to come to know Jesus and understand the importance of the gospel. We’re not trying to separate ourselves from people who do not know Jesus. We want to build meaningful relationships and connections in our city. We want to help good things happen in and for Tucson.
Third, missional churches ”bring people into church so that they can be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.” This means that we want to help people to understand Tucson, to love Tucson, and to live with purpose right here. We want to help believers engage in their own culture, to do what they have been gifted to do, and function as a part of a healthy community in order to see redemption in Jesus happen in Tucson.
We also want to join in God's mission of reaching all nations with the gospel. God's desire for all peoples to know him is a theme throughout the Bible, so we want to think missionally both in our own city and around the world. We develop partnerships with believers who live in other cultures in order to share Jesus, and we train people to go out from Tucson to various parts of the world to share God's redemptive story and work with people who know little or nothing about Jesus.
We will resist the temptation to settle into programs always searching for volunteers to meet a need. We are not interested in maintaining an institution or setting up man-made traditions. Instead, we will equip each other to discover our abilities and create unique opportunities for community transformation fueled by passion, not obligation.
It is the vision and endeavor of Second Mile to radically amplify Jesus through cultural engagement. We want to see people embrace the truth found in the Bible and use their talents, gifting, and vocation alongside their spiritual community to transform their areas of influence in our city through the sacrificial love of Jesus.