Missional Coach for V3

00I’m extremely excited about my fresh partnership with the burgeoning church planting movement V3. I’ll be working for V3 as a missional-community-cultivator helping to coach seedlings of incarnation in real-time neighborhoods. V3 has developed a stellar training cohort that nurtures both woman and men to plant vital missional churches. V3 is passionate about Trinitarian Spirituality, God’s sent posture into the world in Jesus, earthy disciple-making, community dynamics and innovation for the Kingdom of God. JR Woodward author of Creating a Missional Culture and Tim Catchim co-author of The Permanent Revolution are just a few of the architects behind V3 If your looking to go on a learning pilgrimage with some of the best practitioners check out V3…serious. Jump over to the new site> V3Movement  00

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 […]

Missional Discipleship Cannot Be Microwaved

00 Discipleship is at the heart of the missional movement or at least it should be.  Jesus provoked followers to become gardeners that would till-and-toil for the flourishing of his in-breaking Kingdom.  Jesus was a rabbi.  Like other rabbis before him, he invited others to journey along side him. The rabbinic teaching style did not primarily consist of attending lectures, reading texts or going through a preset study.  The primary learning approach was through Midrash which was a way of processing with story, conversation, questions and reflection.  Today we are challenged with excavating an apprentice-heart in Jesus-followers for the sake of God’s mission in the world.  But I wonder if we have time and patience for Midrash anymore? Microwave Discipleship In many ways in the evangelical imagination, discipleship has become so intertwined with our consumerist tendencies that we are blind to how fused they’ve become.  Discipleship, beginning with the twelve and moving into the early church, did not have embedded expectations of programs for felt needs, affinity groups and fill-in the blank accessibility.  It’s become so innate that discipleship be quarantined to one night a week or to a 12 week notebook or to a one-year intensive.  Certainly, the previous […]

Book Review: Creating A Missional Culture by JR Woodward

00As a missional practioner, I am always looking for resources that come from others who have been digging deep in the garden of Missional Communities. Lately as I’ve traveled around a bit, I’ve bumped into a lot of “missional talk”; it can become a bit tiring. However, connecting with JR and his book “Creating A Missional Culture” I find missionality saturated in persevering practice. Walking through the book over the last month I’ve felt like I’ve had a conversation with someone who has taken difficult risks to pioneer for the sake of God’s in-breaking Kingdom. The Power of Culture My favorite section of the book is on the power of culture. JR is a diagnostician when engaging with the nature of how cultures form and form us. JR helps us see what we have potentially become too accustomed to. He helps us have eyes to see when he says “The dominant culture seeks to squeeze the church into its mold of market-style exchanges, manufacture desire, self sufficiency and addiction.”  I many ways the Evangelical church has built and planted churches leveraging these drives and cultural standards. JR is diagnosing the culture and like an archaeologist begins to uncover how the “host […]

Go Small, Go Missional

00 Recently I was at a missional conference and I found myself twitching at what surrounded me.  Sure the theme on the conference flyer said “missional” but the enterprise of “Bigness” was shouting at me from every direction; big buildings, big personalities, big movements, big stories of catalytic missional churches, big book tables with big stacks of missional how-to books.  The team I was with thought it was all a little curious.  I find myself increasingly becoming uncomfortable with the narrative being painted.  I’m not anti “mega” but I do think our unchecked passions for “big” are sometimes tangled up more with our cultural measurements than with how God authentically operates.  Going “Big” tickles us all but it has become a diversion from the diagnostics of real-time oikos as the sampling of the Kingdom here on earth. There is No Secret SauceAre we looking for some leadership secret to catapult our ministries to the next level? In coaching church planters and seasoned pastors I hear this sentiment between the lines with those considering the missional movement.  As a planter forging communities on mission I’ve had to come to accept that there is no secret sauce.  Sure there are some important […]


00I am not a good sleeper.  Almost fifteen years ago I had a 10 month bout with insomnia. I went through all kinds of testing to figure out the problem.  At the end of the day it came down to one issue, my inability to deal with stress. I was only 22 at the time and my life really was not all that complicated. I had average stressors for a youngster.  I just felt every pressure and responsibility like it was a cinder block laid on my neck.  I wanted to convince myself I was a contemplative person but I really had a deeper rooted issue. I was afraid of failure. I was afraid of not impressing the people around me. I was afraid of missing out on opportunities.  I was afraid I was not measuring up to some invisible standard that haunted me. I could not rest.   It was in that dark season that I came face to face with how self-conscience and impatient I was. I wanted to make a big impact and I wanted it to happen immediately. With all this external passion, internally I was riddled with insecurity, caught in an identity scramble and looking […]

Missional Communities Peel Back Pastoral Pride

00 I sometimes get the privilege of coaching young leaders who are attempting a church plant through a more communal and missional approach. I’m certainly no expert by any stretch, just a little further down the road. I have been able to acquire some bumps and bruises. In the immersion of pioneering church this way I’ve gathered a few wisdom-nuggets to throw in the bucket. When coaching I often feel a need to prep them for the transition this approach will require. Personally I’ve been “taken to school” in numerous ways trying to develop a network of mid-sized communities in the city. I don’t want to be a party-pooper but just a little cold water needs to be drizzled over the big visions. No amount of reading and conference attending can emotionally prep you for this new domain. I’ve been a paid pastor in traditionally structured churches for 10+ years before planting  and the biggest water-shed lessons have been on the expectations I imported from previous ministry experiences. Planting our church has peeled back a lot of pastor pride. Here’s a confessional of how leading in a missional community paradigm has been personally humbling and might humble you. 1. You […]