The Missional Minimum: The Roof

00 Next door to my family is a boarded up abandoned house, they’re all over our city. At one point this house next door towered as a beautiful stoic home; now it’s’ a wreck, rotted and dilapidated. In the last year it’s had a guest (they call them squatters in our neighborhood). This house guest has been mowing the lawn, working on the exterior, genuinely trying to take care of it. I’ve become friends with our guest. He loves this broken down house, loves it. He knows about all its unique architecture and history. But the major problem with the house, despite its vintage qualities is that the roof is like swiss cheese. When it rains the house floods on every floor. Mold is creeping throughout because of the steady stream of water. He wants this house so desperately that I fear he might start moving furniture in. My concern is that until this place gets a new roof everything on the inside gets rotted and ruined.   The Furniture Figuratively, I’ve watched this ruininghappen on the missional frontier. In the last 10 years I’ve met hundreds of people who have left the faith. Over a drink, a few tears and […]

Where’s the Spirit in Missional Communities?

00 If you’re familiar with the lively soundscape of a modern worship set or a historic setting with breath-taking liturgy or the delivery of an inspiring sermon then a Missional Community can be a bit of a, well… let down. Some entering into a Missional Community go through a transition. When your senses are atuned to these channels it’s natural to expect to feel a certain way in church.  Our eyes and ears are accustomed to the obvious most blatant signs that “something spiritually dynamic is happening”. Without these channels it can be difficult to decipher the whereabouts of the Holy Spirits activity.  Emotional Expectations On the surface there’s nothing spectacular about 20, 30 or 40 people doing ho-hum activities together; eating, conversing, singing (without bells and whistles), serving (without much fanfare),dialogical teaching (with interruptions and questions). I’m being a bit sarcastic but I’m attempting to poke at a real emotional occurance for people when they enter into this simplified, raw, relational way of being the church.  In a Missional Community many of the dynamics that sparked an expressive return may not be there for orientation. Many aren’t aware of their emotional expectations until they begin to feel unmoved by […]

My Meandering Journey to Missional

00 I know many are fatigued by the use of the word “Missional”.  Many see it as just another fad, I hear that.  I can’t stand the smell of fads either. Honestly that’s why I have a love/hate relationship with the word.  The more I travel around, I’ve observed that “missional” is increasingly becoming a commodity.  Missional is developing into an available tag that can be pasted on any ministry-thing doing a new-thing.  I’m disappointed it’s been picking up commercial collateral that has been steadily draining it of inherent implications.  So should I bail on the word?  Well?  Personally and emotionally the word Missional has deep meaning to me.  I could junk the word if need be.  To understand why “Missional” offers me a frame of reference it is best to understand the quest that landed me in this awkward space I inhabit with others.    (This post expresses opinions about certain theological camps.  I have friends in all of them and respect their voices highly.  The following is simply my interpretations from my experiences in each tribe.  In no way do I want to stereotype or make sweeping authoritative generalities on these movements.  I believe all of have contributed […]

Mutual Missional Leadership (5 Principles)

00 My story is that before being part of a team that planted a church in the city, I had been blessed to be a pastor for over a decade working in fairly organized churches. In the last few years I’ve had to go through a serious overhaul in my apprehension of ministry leadership. I am now  part of a “Leading Community” that is forging a network of missional-communities in a very Post-Christian city.     The Anabaptist Influence  Over the last decade I devoured every book and conference I could touch that taught me how to be a better personal leader. But somewhere in that leadership hunt I stumbled upon an odd little book called “Body Politics” by John Howard Yoder. I first thought it was about American politics but discovered this short-but-sweet book was on Anabaptist ecclesiology. It’s contents lodged in my mind and spun an inner conversation. I started to read both Anabaptist works and the New Testament narrative, alongside my 21st century leadership library. A growing conflict and discontent was brewing in my leadership framework. Re-imagining New Scaffolding Since planting this awkward missional expression, I’ve had to re-imagine and reconstruct our leadership scaffolding. I had baptized my previous leadership commitments in isolated […]

Why I Lean Anabaptist

00I’m not a denominational guy. I’ve always had issues with the whole concept of denominations. Still there’s always been something about the Anabaptist movement that’s tickled my ears. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I even heard about the Anabaptists. When I was in college I studied the Reformation but my Prof seemed to gloss over the Anabaptist movement that birthed during the same time in church history. I always found it curious why he barely mentioned them, so back then I began to investigate on my own. I dove into a book called “The Reformers and their Stepchildren” by Leonard Verdui and another titled “Anabaptists and the Sword” by James M. Stayer. I came to understand why my Reformed professor didn’t talk much about the Anabaptist’s. Reformers in the 16th Century violently persecuted them. The Protestant Reformers under Zwingli were the first to persecute the Anabaptists using torture and executions. True to their convictions from what Jesus modeled, the Anabaptist responded with nonviolence. I’m not a fan of all the paths the Anabaptist movement has wandered down. Nor do I embrace in entirety their ecclesiology. Still I’m convinced a good chunk of the principles of […]