Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MLI notes from retreat #3

These are some of my notes from my recent Missional Leadership Retreat with Reggie McNeal. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing these. I probably have them all wrong anyway. And part of these were Tom's notes that he was nice enough to send me (minus the cool drawing he did, which I can't seem to duplicate on the blog).

DAY 1 - SEPTEMBER 20, 2010

"We've got to be working on better problems than the ones we're working on solving now." Reggie McNeal

"When people don't own their problems they don't see themselves as part of the solution." Reggie McNeal

How do we prepare ourselves for the future God wants to give us?

5 Key Components To A Preparing Modality:
  1. Vision (What are we looking for?) - We don't create vision, we discover it. How do we create a culture where vision can arise?
  2. Values (How we're behaving) - What do we have to do to make sure what we are saying is actually what we are doing?
  3. Results - How do we create a culture where people are motivated? How do we know when we're winning? We need to re-teach what a win is. "What is it that I want to see God do?"
  4. Strengths - Focus on our strengths (what has God given us; what do we have going for us; where do we already have influence?).
  5. Learnings - People who are prepared know what they need to be investigating. "Initiatives" instead of "goals". What initiatives do we need to take?


"Christianity starts in a garden and ends in a city. It's a very worldly religion."

"There's not a reference in the NT of a church that is smaller than a city. There is no 'church'... it's about the city. The church is not the destination, the kingdom is."

****What is different in our town because of this? If the city is not better, then we're not being the church.****

What are the 1 or 2 things, if solved, would make the most difference in our city, or school? (good question for a mayor or principal or someone)

Transition Tips - (transition to missional)

It's not change that does us in, it's the transition.

5 Stages of Transition (there is a chart that helps explain this):

1. Denial
  • You know you are here when there hasn't been change for a long time.
  • You have to sell the problem, not the solution
  • Use biblical examples
2. Resistance
  • Expect resistance, but don't push for it
  • This is why we need a scorecard - to see/show where we're "winning"
  • If you don't handle this there is a danger of looping back to denial
  • Expecting this does not mean heighten resistance, but work to lower it
  • Sell specific solutions
  • You must be present, seeable, touchable
  • You must have an unanxious presence
  • We've simply got to learn to "take it"
  • Understand their pain - empathize. Some people will be grieving the loss of a culture they remember from the past. Anger is a part of the grief process. Help people grieve.
  • People need to have their say - let them talk. People expect to be heard even if you don't agree. Sometimes they will accept that you don't agree but they will not accept not being heard.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Make sure the problem/solution is in context because people will make up what they don't know.
  • People won't hear anything we've got to say until they've been able to say what they want to say.
3. Exploration
  • Exploring how you will get where you want to go.
  • The crazies will come out in force in this stage because you have created an environment that encourages open-mindedness to new ideas. Don't let them hijack the mission.
  • Be able to say, "No, that won't get us where we want/need to go."
  • You still need to fulfill basic expectations - worship, congregational care, sermons, etc.
  • Study how God showed up in the wilderness
  • Explore the boundaries - where will the boundaries be for your church
  • Learn to create and celebrate short-term wins
4. Commitment
  • You will get there first so give time for your people to enjoy it even when you are ready to move on to the next cycle.
General Tips:
  • The transition phase can take 4-6 years and then you can plateau in the Commitment phase for 2-4 years. So 1 cycle can be about 10 years. The length has a lot to do with the power behind the change.
  • Learn to describe the change that you are after.
  • Get good at describing change in just a few sentences.
  • Make sure to think through the details and make appropriate assignments.
  • Understand WHO has to let go of WHAT - including maybe you.
  • Create boundaries for closure - celebrate your past so you can move on.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate...
  • Be able to articulate new behaviors.
  • Remember that some of the people who are angry are actually grieving (the loss of a culture). Anger is a phase of grief. We need to help people grieve.


From Program-Driven To People-Development
(How to create a culture that develops & deploys missional people - Making people successful, rather than programs)
  • Things must be customized. We have to start with people, not programs.
  • Intergenerational. Program culture tends to isolate generations; we need to bring them together.
  • Service. Help people learn how to serve. How do we create a culture where everybody gets to serve.
  • Debrief.
  • Life-centric rather than church-centric.

DAY 3 - SEPTEMBER 22, 2010

"The future has arrived, it's just not been evenly distributed" (The kingdom busting out is the distribution - God sightings).


Strengths Finder...
  • Don't underestimate your strengths/talents.
  • These come from nature, not nurture (if they could find language for a 3-year-old they could measure them with this - we're BORN this way; we don't become this way).
  • They are in order of strength, but we can equally access all of our top five.
  • Don't imperialize your strengths. They are unique to us (don't expect others to be like us).
  • We are equally capable in the top five, but we don't always employ them equally.
  • Your strengths are also your needs. I was made to use these talents, and when I don't get to use them I feel cheated. Using them feeds my soul. Most burnout comes from dealing with trivia rather than using our strengths. If we don't use our strengths we die.
  • We need to learn how to get to do the things we're good at.
  • "The purpose of team is to make individual weaknesses irrelevant." Peter Drucker
  • Compare StrengthsFinder results to SSP. How do I express my strengths? How does it show up in my life? It will show how I prefer to do my work.
  • Practice your strengths.
  • Allow other people the grace to practice their strengths.


Create a 4-week scenario where you adopt a more aggressive people-development agenda.
  • What shows up on the church calendar?
  • What shows up on my personal calendar?
  • - Relate it to my strengths
  • - Remember external focus
(In other words, in a month of time what would I do differently based on what I'm learning?)

My strengths from the StrengthsFinder are: Restorative, Empathy, Deliberative, Connectedness, and Intellection.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Thanks, as always, for your notes. Much more helpful than my scribbles!