Monday, August 17, 2009

Missional renaissance - pt. 5

Chapter 7 in Reggie McNeal's book Missional Renaissance deals with missional shift #3: "From Church-based To Kingdom-based Leadership." This is a very good and practical chapter - especially for those involved in the traditional church.

On pages 131-133 he talks about how he used to refer to "Apostolic" leadership, then "Apostolic-era" leadership, and finally settled on "A.D. 30 leadership" as the term of choice. I agree that I don't like "apostolic" for the connotations associated with certain traditions. I'm not really sold on "A.D. 30" either, but... whatever.

He sums up the meaning on p. 132: "What I am looking for is a way to talk about leadership that transcends traditional clergy roles but doesn't deny their importance, that can incorporate new expressions while retaining current practices, and recaptures the essence of the unchanging mission as it morphs forward into the emerging culture."

He also says on p. 132: "Some find that they can be missional only in new settings and are quite at home engaging cultures that are not culturally Christian. Other leaders are more comfortable and effective at home serving as missionaries to the church culture, challenging those in it to connect with the Spirit's agenda in the world beyond them."

And on 133: "Now as it was then, A.D. 30 leadership is not restricted to clergy roles, nor is it isolated in church. It is leadership that is deployed by God across and in every sector of society. A.D. 30 leaders perform their roles as viral agents in the place of influence already assigned to them in their life pursuits. It would be a huge mistake to assume that the following shift descriptions apply only to clergy roles. They detail a work of the Spirit that reaches across all walks of life, giving leadership to the movement."

The bulk of the chapter is on SHIFTING LEADERSHIP GEARS (moving from primarily leading an institution to giving leadership to a movement), and he highlights 6 changes that must occur for kingdom-based leadership to emerge:
  1. From church job to kingdom assignment
  2. From institutional representative to viral agent
  3. From Director to Producer
  4. From reliving the past (the historian) to rearranging the future (the journalist)
  5. From train and deploy to deploy and debrief
  6. From positional to personal
He ends the chapter by addressing some frequently asked questions (good stuff):
  • "What is the role of the traditional church in the missional movement?"
  • "How will you maintain doctrinal and biblical orthodoxy if you're all off in your own communities doing your own thing?"
  • "What is the role of clergy in the missional movement?" (Answer: The clergy will be valued for the following functions: teaching, life coaching, missional strategies, training for missional community leaders).
  • "How do I earn a living doing what you're talking about?"
  • "What about my call?"
In the "how to earn a living" part he discusses the need to "Clarify your life purpose." This is a three- or four-sentence statement of what you want to accomplish. Something I need to do (regardless). Something I think everyone should do.

Good chapter. Honestly, this answered some of my own questions regarding clergy and our role in things missional. Made me feel much better.