Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Can Missional Change Occur From the Inside?

On Sunday Seth Godin has this quote in his post:

“History has shown us that the answer is crystal clear: if you want change, you've got to leave. Change comes, almost always, from the outside. The people who reinvented music, food, technology and politics have always gone outside the existing dominant channels to create something new and vital and important.”

I believe the missional church is just such a group. A group that will reinvent (poor term but you get the idea) the church. At a minimum they will return the church to its mission.

Lots of questions get asked me about how to help a church change from where it is to a more missional mindset. Im writing some posts on that subject, but Id like to share another thought as well. In addition to understanding the changes that need to occur and education congregation members, churches need a stir stick.

A stir stick, someone who comes in and stirs up discussion, a person responsible for directing and facilitating the conversation. This person can be of great benefit. How? An outside conversation starter allows for the leadership to maintain a distance. They get the ability to, as “Mission Impossible” would say, disavow themselves from anything that causes to severe a backlash.

The benefit is from a distance, leaders can identify the concepts and people who are moving in a missional direction and latch on to them. The leader can keep whatever the facilitator presents that’s helpful and toss all the rest.

I believe in order for the missional church to grow, God must raise up a group of intentional stir sticks to go into churches and stir the pot.

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Anonymous said...

Is it possible to change a traditional evangelical seeker-friendly(ish) church into a missional church just by having a great pastor and an explanation of missional? Or do we all actually need to go and start new churches to avoid having to spend effort on changing church cultures?

Travis Johnson said...


Great words. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on denominational stir sticks at Thanks for adding to the conversation over there.