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Launching Missional Communities | Excerpt #3

September 21, 2010

We are just about to release the book so many people have been waiting for: A practical book on how to launch, sustain, develop and multiply MCs within a church. Couldn’t be more excited.

Here’s the website you can go to for more about the book.

Each week leading up to the release we are posting a short excerpt from the book.

You can read the first excerpt here, which is the Introduction to the book.

You can read the second excerpt here.

Today’s post is in the third section of the book called the Launch Guide. This section gives the steps and the process you can use to transition your church to using Missional Communities (and includes an addendum for church planters using MCs to plant a church).

This excerpt is the first part of this section that takes Senior Leaders through the things they need to consider before bringing this change to their church community.

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As the senior leader you will need to count the cost personally and settle in your head and heart that the prize is truly worth the price.  You cannot just do this because you believe it’s a good idea.  Faith comes by hearing the Word, so you need to know that this is what the Lord himself has called you to.

Jesus tells us that before a building project is started, the wise person estimates the cost to see if he can finish it.  As we read in Luke 14:28-33, a king going into battle will consider whether he has enough troops to win a victory.  In the same way, you should consider what the cost will be for you, your family and your team in this endeavor.

Practically you will need to re-adjust your calendar and re-order your priorities. You will have to become very strategic in the allocation of your most precious resource, time, investing it in your key leaders as they seek to lead those in their Huddles.  Emotionally, you will need to be prepared to deal with the inevitable consequences of change.  Spiritually, you and your family will need extra prayerfulness and prayer support from others, since the enemy will try to derail this process.   We write later on that spiritual warfare is a common pattern in churches that make this journey, so you need to go into the fight with your eyes open and spiritual weapons fully deployed.

Never forget that prayer is a powerful weapon that releases so much Kingdom life (as well as having the invigorating side-benefit of deeply annoying the enemy!).  However in times of warfare we are tempted to pray less and rely upon ourselves more.  Alongside that, the voice of the enemy will try to trick us into self-doubt and second-guessing, usually through the “What if” game.

What if no one wants to move into Missional Communities?

What if no one is reached?

What if giving and attendance go down on Sundays?

How will we pay the bills if we start releasing people all over the place?

If we aren’t keeping a close eye on everything, just think what nonsense they’ll start  believing!

The antidote, of course, is prayer―for you, your church, your city, those you lead, for the presence of the Holy Spirit and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

We strongly implore you to ensure that you have excellent prayer support, strong accountable relationships and the ability to invest deeply in your family life at this time.  Such tactics will help prevent the enemy’s ploys from being effective.

Consider the cost―

The Price:

  • Most of us have been trained as church leaders to act as spiritual benefactors, where we do it all but retain a lot of control.  We receive much affirmation when we function in that way, since that is what most of the church have been taught to expect from their leaders.  However, Jesus explicitly says, “You are not to be like that.”(62) Making this journey will mean having to learn
    new skills and we will inevitably experience our conscious incompetence at first.  If you want to see your community and leaders fully engaged in mission, it will have to start with you.
  • The battle is not against flesh and blood.  The enemy will attack us at the points of our greatest weakness and he will not give up ground without a significant fight.
  • Launching effective Missional Communities is impossible without creating a low control, high accountability culture.  It means you will have to trust the team you have discipled and recognize that you will no longer know everything that is going on.
  • There will be internal opposition from those who want to maintain the status quo of the consumer culture.  They may withhold their tithes, stir up dissent or even leave the church.  People you know and love may not want to follow you into this new paradigm.

But now for the good news―

The Prize:

  • With discipleship as your operating system (using a computer analogy), church will become the “killer application” that is capable of changing your community and fulfilling the Great Commission.
  • You will be giving your life for a vision you truly believe in rather than maintaining a feudal system, which weighs so heavily on your shoulders and does not create disciples.
  • You will be opening the door to unlimited Kingdom possibilities because it will be the Holy Spirit working through other leaders; the future will no longer be limited by your personal capacity and vision.
  • More of your leaders will be engaged in front line mission and living a more fulfilling and fruitful Christian life.

And all of those who have made the journey say the Kingdom prize is worth any cost.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2010 2:26 pm

    Wow. God has been stirring up so many things in me for the past 6 months, and has just yesterday sort of pushed me out of the nest in faith. I’ve been ruminating about so much of what these excerpts have been about for the longest time and never been able to put words or a picture to what my heart was telling me.

    Thank you so much for doing that, this gives me great hope. I look forward to the book, and what I hope will be a growing relationship with 3DM. David Reichly from Wayfarer invited me to the Taster Conference in August but I was unable to attend.

    I will not miss the one in January. Blessings!

  2. Jenna Surratt permalink
    September 23, 2010 2:16 am

    This is great!! I’m so excited to read your book and learn more about creating MCs.

Trackbacks

  1. Launching Missional Communities | Excerpt #4 « Mike Breen's blog
  2. Launching Missional Communities | Excerpt #5 « Mike Breen's blog

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