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I saw this article over at www.weare3dm.com and had to share...
past 6 weeks or so I’ve spent discussing the importance of creating extended
families on mission (Missional Communities of 20-50 people) and in the midst of
that time I’ve been doing workshops talking about similar things.
these last few weeks, two things have stuck out to me in interacting with
pastors about Missional Communities:
1. So many pastors are looking for the
Silver Bullet. They are looking for the one thing that can save the day and
keep their church (and the church in general) from the precipitous decline they
2. They are hoping to master whatever this
Silver Bullet is, whatever it may be, and hoping they can do so almost
overnight. As if you could stick their church in a microwave, and two minutes
I do believe there is a Silver Bullet for the church and it’s discipleship.
However, the issue is that discipleship is something that is simple, but hard,
not complex and easy. It takes a while. And because we’ve been about building
churches first and foremost (hoping it would grow as quickly as possible) and
rather whimsically hoping we get disciples out of it, we’re not accustomed to
the amount of time and energy it takes to make even one disciple.
and more I see this phenomenon happening with Missional Communities (MC’s) as
well. I meet pastors who are looking for a quick fix to their seemingly
unfixable problems. They assume that learning how to start, grow, disciple
people and multiply MC’s is as simple as doing a 40 Days of Purpose sermon
series. But it’s just not. It takes a long time to learn it.
of it this way.
pastors spend years and years becoming experts in running Sunday morning
worship gatherings. They go to seminary for it. Spend 15-30 hours of sermon
prep each week. Many grew up attending worship services and are thus
pre-conditioned to have a certain level of expertise already (through the
immersion process). If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it takes about 5 years
of hard work before a pastor feels really competent in large gathering services.
A lot of time and energy has gone into this.
we assume that learning something like Missional Communities will be any easier
or take less time? Why do we think we can learn to do MC’s faster than
we can learn the worship service, something that most of us grew up with? MC’s
are foreign to so many of us. It’s not like we can stick it in a microwave and
pop it out.
talking with our Director of Content last week, Doug Paul, and he mentioned that he didn’t
feel he was competent in launching, growing and multiplying Missional
Communities for 18 months…and even then, he only felt he was “OK” at it and was
still a ways off from “very good at it.”
imagine people like Michael Stewart
at VERGE/Austin Stone and Jeff Vanderstelt
at SOMA would agree, as they’ve been doing great work with Missional
Communities for several years now. It’s not easy, it’s not quick and it takes
time to learn.
it’s completely worth it, but if we approach it like it’s a quick fix
that will come easily, we’ve got a surprise coming our way.
coming back to this quote from J.S. Bryan, but I think it’s so true:
Many men can build a fortune, but few men can build a
would say that many pastors can lead a worship service, but few pastors have
the patience to learn the art of Missional Communities. It’s going to take
longer than a week, a month or a year!