Original Research

Perspectives on church and mission: The missional church and metaphors for the church

Pieter Verster
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2379 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2379 | © 2022 Pieter Verster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2021 | Published: 11 January 2022

About the author(s)

Pieter Verster, Department of Practical and Missional Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


The most important issues for the missional church should be to establish the relation between mission and the church. The methodology used is to listen to voices concerning relevant issues in the missional church. Many important aspects of the missional church are discussed to give an overview of contemporary challenges. Metaphors for the church, such as people of God, body of Christ, temple of God, bride of Christ and witness of God give many essential guidelines for how the church should engage the world. By evaluating these metaphors, new suggestions can be made. It is concluded that the church should always be the church of the living Christ, living new lives in this world with the eye on the world to come.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The relation of the Church and mission is of great importance. In the discipline of Missiology current ideas about the missional church call for new interpretations. Only by thoroughly interacting with the metaphors of the church can the missional church be understood in a new way.


church; mission; metaphors; missional; relation to Christ


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