The big question I’m wrestling with these days is what it means to be a leader in a “missional” church? I’ve been asking God and I’ve been asking a lot of other Pastors that I respect. The answer is not coming with ease.
Reggie McNeal recently responded, “I’m not sure, but I do know that once you move in this direction . . . you can never go back.”
Here are some of the character traits that I am discovering are necessary to be effective:
*Authenticity. Yes, we all try to be authentic, but there is a risky authenticity that takes following Jesus to a whole new level. Being willing to open one’s life in the midst of deep struggles as well as exhuberant triumphs.
*Generosity. This goes beyond tithing to your local church. It means that we’re going to be open to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit. Promptings that may lead to the release of your financial resources, time and energies to see God’s Kingdom revealed.
*Collaboration. I’ve been reciting a new mantra: “It’s amazing what God can accomplish when we don’t care who gets the credit.” Good-bye ego. Good-bye self-promotion.
*Urgency. Life is short–everyone’s. Urgency is not busyness but rather a constant awareness of the necessity of God’s Kingdom in every life in all the earth.
The wrestling continues . . .
Our leaders have spent time studying the “missional” church in Acts. We have seen six traits that seem to flow throughout: 1) A recognition of the Holy Spirit’s presence, 2) commitment to prayer and fasting, 3) Authentic Community, 4) Confidence in the mission of Jesus (Urgency), 5) Focus on the Kingdom (collaboration) and 6) gave generously.
There may be more, but this is what we have discovered in our study time together.
Thanks for the post.
Urgency sounds like focus, like a dog with a bone. Even as you collaborate as a leader you and the other leaders are still what steers the “ship”. Even as one collaborates and has all the traits you mention, if leaders are all leading in different directions, what is the point. That is not to say that all ministries aren’t important, or must all look the same, on the contrary,but as we come, thrive and go in each of these, leaders can help keep the focus on God’s ultimate goal or “win” of bringing us back to Him (people from every nation tongue and tribe)
Sounds silly but remember finding Nemo when they were getting the fish stuck in the net to all swim in the same direction in order to save their lives? Until someone focused on the big picture(they would die if they continued in that direction) and until others realized this and brought forth talents and abilities that they might not have even known they possessed to focus on that goal, it would never have been accomplished…and also,… I ramble now.
Basically I would contend that an ability to stay focused on the “prize”, on the Ultimate Leader’s goal, so to speak, in the midst of life, could be an important character trait.
And how can you have this trait without the others you mention? Idk. I see why you are wrestling…
Great points…that go so much deeper than what is written. I mean I read through them and thought. Yes, and then I was prompted to read again and REALLY think about what I was reading…God is wonderful as those are some points I needed to hear at this exact time ….releasing even more of my financial resources even during this tough time…and releasing more of my time…when the world tells you to relax…”you deserve….” Oh I truly believe in a day of rest and rejuvination but we can be tempted to take that too far.
My Thrive group worked through a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. He’s the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley. I highly recommend the book. I’ve also been listening to his pod-casts. The reason for sharing this is I believe this is a guy you might want to tap into for thoughts on your questions.
Also, the recent sermon series at Rivertree has been very challenging and refreshing. Keep up the good work.