As I pointed out in Discipleship, Mission, and Church: A Plea to Learn Our History, the words “mission” and missional” are being used in two different ways today.
One refers to the impulse toward evangelism and individual discipleship. According to this view, churches are missional when they are focused on “going out” to the world rather than attracting unbelievers to a worship service. In this paradigm, every individual Christian is called to be a “missionary” of the good news.
The other refers to God’s grand, glorious, and original Mission – His Eternal Purpose, the very thing that provoked creation itself. While the Eternal Purpose of God benefits us humans, it’s primarily by Him, through Him, and to Him.
It’s a Purpose centered not on saving lost souls or making individual disciples, but creating face-to-face communities under the headship of Jesus Christ that embody and reflect the Kingdom of God on earth as the habitat of God and humans. Its focal point is to expanded the fellowship of the Godhead, creating a Bride, a House, a Body, and a Family for the Lord’s own good pleasure and enjoyment.
Discipleship and evangelism naturally and organically take place within this habitat, but they aren’t the goal. The goal is something for God Himself. (See From Eternity to Here for a detailed unfolding of God’s Grand Mission . . . His Timeless Purpose.)