Saturday, September 16, 2006

Towards a Missional Church - Step 2

Our first step in taking a church from traditional to missional was developing your own missional mind set. If you missed that post you can read it by going here. Once you have started on the missional path yourself, what do you do?

The next step is to begin to build a small group and a network within your own church. I have found that each church I’ve had contact with has had a small group of people who are feeling the draw to something more.

The people you are looking for are not ones who are looking at starting new programs or outreaches. You are looking for people who’s spirits are unsettled by the church as a whole and who are expressing a desire for God to more in them. The have an un-easiness, a heartache, a burden for a passion to have more of Jesus. They most likely don’t have any idea how to get there, but they know they want to.

Search these people out. Get to know them. Share coffee and share your story. Let these people know your searching too.

Is this a risky strategy? You bet. If you’re an established leader in a church this just might be your undoing. But until leaders step to the plate and take a chance, the core groups that need to form in order for deep institutional change to happen, will not. The church becoming missional will then only be a pipe dream.

"The truth is, that given the right circumstances, from no more than dreams, determination, and the liberty to try, quite ordinary people consistently do extraordinary things," - Dee Hock

Are you gonna launch out and seek those around you? If you are – I want to pray for you. Drop me a note so I can.

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John Lynch said...

This is very helpful & encouraging with where I & some others in my relational world are at. Thank you.

David said...

Part of the shift involves changing our thought process. The church is no longer my identity but part of my network. My identity is in Christ. I am networked with the local church. I choose to tie into the local church that will be a valuable part of my network. So as a church leader - I have to ask myself - what value does this church offer to the individual networks that choose to plug into it. I realize that this may seem to contradict the "being part of the body" teaching of the new testament. But it really doesn't.
I am a vital part of the local church that I attend. I want to influence it to be a missional congregation. I do all I can to participate with and engage the other people who choose to affiliate with it. The corporate worship, preaching, teaching, service etc all are vital to my life in Christ. However, my personal vision and mission lead me as a person to be engaged in activity way outside of the scope of that local church. Yes, the church's ministry could be said to be extended through my ministry. However, it is the Kingdom of Christ that is extended by Christ's work through me. The local church is just part of the network of people and organizations in my life that enhance my part within the Body of Christ. So if the local church chooses not to be missional, then its role in my network is diminished and I am forced to rely on other network pieces to help me do what Christ has called me as a disciple to do.
The challenge is not to become an orphan Christian for we are called to be part of the local church, so I either start a new church (with the old church's blessing and NOT as a split) or I continue to engage the existing church and the small group of friends that I have in order to influence them toward missionality. Maybe I become a missional missionary among that congregation?
In short, after much rambling, I am a Christian, a disciple of Christ first, and affiliated by choice with the denominational network and the local church.