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claiming new territory

May 11, 2010

Mike: I’ve spent a lot of the past two weeks teaching on “Launching Missional Communities” as we are in our 2nd Learning Community here in Pawley’s Island.

I thought I’d put up a few notes from this time that people seem to have found quite helpful.

One of the key metaphors I used is that of a castle or fortress.

Much of the way we have learned to do church is through the lens of a fortress. With a fortress model, it is true that the number of people in the fortress could be growing, but that means if we are always trying to grow what’s inside the fortress, all of the territory outside the fortress lays unclaimed.

What seems to have happened is that our enemy has a contract with the church and has for a long time: The church can grow as much as it wants as long as little-to-no territory is taken outside of the fortress.

But to establish new outposts, to claim territory and put it under the full reign of God (his Kingdom), we actually have to go into the territory! We can’t just stay holed up in the fortress. I promised you, we are making virtually no Kingdom impact within the fortress. God wants his Kingdom expanded.

However, the metaphor starts to break down when you think about it only geographically. The BIG territory is NETWORKS, not neighborhoods. Think about it: Even within neighborhoods there are existing networks of relationships.

So…if we are going to take new territory, start new works, claim things for the Kingdom and see breakthrough, it’s important to understand that we will each do this differently as we’ve been gifted within the 5-Fold Gifting in Ephesians 4. Having a vision and a leader are key, but it’s important that the leader knows how they naturally function best.

APOSTLES as Missional Community Leaders | They love new frontiers and want to see HUGE, public breakthrough
PROPHETS as Missional Community Leaders| Incarnational expressions, they take on the skin of their mission context and live there
EVANGELISTS as Missional Community Leaders| Looking for salvation using Persons of Peace principles
PASTORS as Missional Community Leaders | Compassion and identification, find and meet the perceived need of MC context
TEACHERS as Missional Community Leaders | Looking for a way to engage with interested people wanting to discuss an apologetic (think Alpha class)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. ann scales permalink
    May 12, 2010 5:24 pm

    that is so what i keep trying to tell people… thank you for sharing that … myself and two others have stepped. when we read things like this we know we were right to do so …. we believe we were taken out for our protection and to wait upon god …. ALL IN HIS PLAN…

  2. May 26, 2010 10:23 am

    the concept of the fortress is a hugely helpful one. But not only does the fortress not change the context or the culture in which it resides, it can only change what’s within.
    also, the fortress or castle, if i can extend this image, is a symbol of power, control, dominance, none of which seem to be related to the gospel.
    If the gospel goes out, has the outposts as suggested form within this writing, not only does it enable kingdom change, but also removes control, force and dominance, and thus enables engagement, togetherness, mutuality which if building fortresses doesn’t exist.

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