"The long view." Yes.
A missional understanding of the church places us within a historical context. It removes the ticket to heaven pressure that the Western Evangelical Church has placed upon itself. Missional people recognize that God is on the move in our villages, towns and cities. We need to engage with Him in what He's doing. Rather than building big box church warehouses that "vacuum cleaner up all the surrounding Christians" (to paraphrase Al Roxburgh @ the end of the video, Three Churches and a New Age Mall) and calling that the Church, we are to be the leaven that permeates our neighborhoods with the lived out good news of Jesus Christ.
This is not a two-year, three-year, five-year or even ten-year plan. This is a lifetime's engagement with the communities where we have been strategically placed by the hand of God. We may see a great awakening that happens in our very midst - or we may be like David Livingston and Hudson Taylor - who never got to see the incredible harvest that came from the seeds they planted. But our call is to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus as we live amongst the people who are our neighbors. I believe that is what missional is.
Not an easy sell, is it?
Leaders, pastors, teachers: We must learn how to inspire and train the folks in our churches to think about church mission in terms of investment, cultivation, lifetime discipleship, long term covenanting with a community, etc. These difficult values are far more important to the biblical approach to "doing church" than any amount of programming or attractional goods and services.
What an awesome thing it is that the radical life of the kingdom of Jesus is countercultural even within American Church culture!
Daunting. But awesome.