The Blog of Gordon Pruitt the Pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Richmond Virginia

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Missional Leader, chapter 1

My friend Dwight said to read the Mission Leader first and then read the Missional Church. So i will do as i am told. (see previouse post about the Missional Church).
Chapter 1 of the Missional Church, "Six Critical Issues for Missional Leadership"
"This book was written out of the conviction that we need a new approach to leadership for missional communities," and the authors have identified six key issues.

issue 1- Missional leadership is the key, but how do you do it? There has been a lot of buzz about the idea of the missional church and people have come to love missional theology but not much has been written about how to lead in this way.

issue 2- Most Models Repackage Old Paradigms. -Many books about Church leadership and Church are just repackaging the old paradigms from outside the story of God's people. We borrow from business models, medical models, teaching models, psychology models, but not from the narratives found in scripture.
"when the church borrows and applies such models to the community of God's people it misses an opportunity to shape leadership around the biblical sense, in which leadership is about cultivation an environment that innovates and releases the missional imagination present among a community of God's people."

Many churches that i am aware of have used the business model and i believe have been very successful and have impacted me and motivated me in positive ways. Are these not missional?

issue 3- Discontinuous Change Is the New Norm- Continuous change is expected and can be prepared for, like you know your child is going to grow up and there is going to be continuous change in how you relate with them. Discontinuous change is disruptive and unanticipated and challenges our assumptions. I totally agree with this. I know a pastor who in many ways had great success at a previous church, he came to his new church and figured he could do the same things and have the same results. Well its not happening and he is trying to repackage (issue 2) things other have done and are doing, but the truth is he is not prepared because he is experiencing discontinuous change. What do we do when this happens?

issue 4-Congregations Still Matter - This convicted me and this is the quote that was like a dagger to my heart,

"Through the Incarnation, we discover that God's future is at work not where we tend to look but among the people we write off as dead or powerless to make things different."
I am sad to say i write off a lot of people and say "they are not going to change." But they are the people of God and they matter to God and can be used by God.
issue 5-Leaders Need New Capacities and Frameworks- the role of the pastoral leader needs to change. Because in a situation of rapid discontinuous change, leaders must understand and develop skills and competencies to lead congregations and denominational systems in a context that is missional rather than pastoral. Say amen if you can.

issue 6- A Congregation Is a Unique Organization- "A congregation is not a business enterprise and cannot be treated as one." Guilty. There is a sentence about how a congregation should not be strategic planning around some big plan, (part of my study break was to begin this process, i guess i better skip to that chapter now) but we are called to be formed into a unique social community whose life together is the sign, witness, and foretaste of what God is doing in and for all creation.
Good chapter, a lot of information and i am sure the next chapters will unpack this.

1 comment:

John Wesley said...

I should not dare to interrupt your more weighty affairs with a letter of mine, did I not hold you to be a disciple of Him who would not have the smoking flax quenched nor the bruised reed broken. But since I am entirely convinced of this, I beg of you that in your prayers and the prayers of the Church that sojourns with you, I may be commended to God, to be instructed in true poverty of spirit, in gentleness, in faith, and love of God and my neighbor. And, whenever you have a little leisure, do not disdain to offer to God this short prayer, which I have heard frequently offered by your brethren at Savannah (would they were mine also!):

Then the dauntless mind
Which, to Jesus joined,
Neither life nor treasure prizes,
And all fleshly lusts despises,
Grant him, Highest Good,
Through Thy precious blood.

God's most humble servant, I remain,
John Wesley