Developing a Missional Engagement Strategy 

By Brad Brisco

As a planter begins to create a missional engagement strategy, these three theological foundations must be kept clearly in focus.

Three theological foundations need to inform, shape and determine the content of your missional engagement strategy: 

1. Recapture the missionary nature
We must first be reminded that God is a missionary God. Scripture depicts God as a sending, missionary God. There are hundreds of times throughout the Old Testament and New Testament when God is calling out men and women and sending them to participate in His redemptive purposes. (See Isaiah 6:8 and the book of John.) The nature of the church is rooted in the nature of God. So, if God is a missionary God, then we as His people are a missionary people. The church doesn’t just send missionaries, the church is the missionary. Your missional engagement strategy must start with helping people see that they are a sent, missionary person. They live where they live, work where they work, hang out where they hang out for a purpose – because God sent them there. 

2. Rethink mission
We must recognize that this is not our mission. It is all God’s mission. Missio Dei is a Latin phrase that means “mission of God.” It reminds us that it’s all about what God already is doing. It is not about our techniques, our human ingenuity or how smart we are. It is all about what God is doing. Your missional engagement strategy needs to be, in large part, about discovering what God already is doing in your context. And it’s about becoming great observers, listeners and learners. You have to listen to your community to discover what God already is doing and to discern how He wants you and your church to participate. 

3. Reclaim the priesthood of all believers
Your greatest resource in your church plant isn’t your preaching, your building, the location where you meet or some particular program. The greatest resource in your church plant Is your people! No strategy will reach every kind of person except a strategy that mobilizes every kind of person. We must activate all the people of God.

As you begin to create a missional engagement strategy, think of these three theological foundations.

Adapted from “The Church Planting Masterclass” valuable, accessible training from expert practitioners that will help kickstart your church planting journey with clarity and confidence. Start the Church Planting Masterclass here.


Published June 27, 2022

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Brad Brisco

Brad is currently the Director of Bivocational Church Planting for the North American Mission Board. He holds a doctorate in missional ecclesiology; his doctoral thesis was on assisting existing congregations to transition in a missional direction. He also serves on the National Leadership team for Forge America Mission Training Network. Brad is the co-author of “Missional Essentials,” a 12-week small group study guide, The Missional Quest: Becoming a Church of the Long Run and Next Door As It Is In Heaven.