Here are some thoughts inspired by Matt Chandler's recent post at theresurgence.org, "Ned Flanders and Me."
Among younger Christians leaders, "missional" is the current buzzword. It's almost become a nailing-jello-to-the-wall term like "evangelical," meaning different things to different people, but it usually has several emphases: (1) Thinking of ourselves as missionaries to the West, influencing from the margins rather than from the center of culture; (2) Living in a way that connects people to Jesus by going into their culture - their music, movies, books, classrooms, bars, and coffee shops -and showing how the gospel connects to their deepest longings. Paul at Mars Hill (Acts 17) is our hero.
This is all a good thing, and I've embraced "missional" myself. But there is also a dark side: Because they live in a more positive relationship with pop culture, missional people can often have a condescending attitude toward other Christians (typically older and more traditional) who aren't as culturally savvy - those who don't drink beer, listen to indy rock, watch TV, and hang out at coffee shops. These Christians are often scorned for being cocooned in Sandi Patti worshiping Christian subculture and having no influence with non-Christians. As Chandler notes, Ned Flanders of TV's The Simpsons is a satirical stereotype
This attitude toward other Christians has always been a little bothersome to me, as I've battled it in my own heart. Afterall, isn't the gospel for overchurched people too? Somehow I want to drink the missional waters without acquiring missional halitosis toward other Christians.