Children's Ministry in a Missional Paradigm: Defining Missional Part 3

The above video is Dave Gibbons from Newsong Church. He’s written a book entitled The Monkey and the Fish that talks about what he terms Third Culture Christianity.

As we continue to look at Children’s Ministry in a Missional Paradigm, I want to make sure that the term “missional” is adequately understood and explained. We’ve looked at a couple of other explanations of missional here and here. I think the idea of third culture sums up missional pretty well and highlights the characteristic of being applicable in a variety of different contexts.

Now, what does children’s ministry look like when it strives to help children and families take on this mindset of living out the Great Commandment (loving God and loving others) even in the midst of discomfort and pain in and beyond their cultural contexts? That is what the next part of this series will try to flesh out.

What are your thoughts? What does a “third culture” children’s ministry look like? How does it feel? What does it do? What is in it’s DNA?

BTW, another place to enter into this conversation is at The Origins Project. The Origins Project is a new network of people and churches looking to figure out what it means to live missionally and yet still be true to Scripture. Join the community section and then join the Third Culture Children’s Ministry Group.


4 thoughts on “Children's Ministry in a Missional Paradigm: Defining Missional Part 3

  1. Great video! Where does the term "third culture" come from? Is this from 1 Corinthians 9:19-22? At the Gospel Coalition this past week, Don Carson pointed out that in this passage Paul no longer considers himself to be a Jew. Rather, he has to flex to win a Jewish person. Neither does he consider himself to be a gentile. Paul is in a third position–the Christian position–from which he can flex in love "so that by all means I might save some." So, we can sacrificially flex to love any culture. But we must call the lost out of their own culture into this third position–the Christian position. You can find the audio of Carson's talk at

    • Henry Zonio says:

      Third Culture was a termed coined to first describe kids of missionaries and diplomats who grew up abroad yet had very strong connections to their home countries. They didn't quite belong in either culture so they had their own culture… a third culture. There is an extended video with David Gibbons talking about that at David Gibbons has redefined third culture a bit (which I think is OK) to fit in more with how we should be living out our Christianity.

  2. […] paradigm, here is an explanation of the conversation and there is more conversation here, here, here, and […]

  3. […] We’ve looked at a few definitions of the word “missional” here, here and here. We’ve also looked at some scriptures to serve as the backdrop to what a statement […]

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: