Friday, November 20, 2009

Becoming a Missional Church – T.J. Addington

Notes from our combined Allegheny District/Great Lakes District Elders Training Retreat

Institutional Churches

  • Emphasis on organization at the expense of other factors.
  • Focused on themselves
  • Love meetings, boards, committees, and bureaucracy
  • Guard status quo and resist innovation
  • Have little interest in influencing the community for Christ.
  • Often characterized by infighting and power struggles
  • Stay in the comfort zone
  • Few conversions and little spiritual growth
  • Are threatened by strong missional leadership
  • Rely on Professionals
  • Make it hard for people to get into ministry
  • Are resistant to change
  • Lots of rules
  • Live with illusion that everything is okay
  • Worship the past and want the future to look like the past

Missional Churches

  • A deep commitment to the mission of the organization where the mission always comes first and is the driving force of all energy, direction, funding and personnel.
  • Leadership is about the future
  • Celebrate the past but always reinvent their future
  • Understand the mission of the church: more and better believers
  • Flexible in their methodology
  • Empower everyone to be involved in ministry
  • Regularly innovate
  • Little Bureaucracy
  • Have great trust
  • See significant fruit
  • Have an attitude of "whatever it takes"
  • Few rules
  • Make it easy for people
  • Are change friendly


Jesus was about mission, not institution

  • Jesus was not about institutionalism, but was about mission
  • The Pharisee were about the institution not the mission
  • Matt. 28L18-20
  • Acts 1:8
  • John 17:18
  • Jesus designed a church to survive and thrive in any economy, any political system, any social environment. It was designed to be the most missional, most effective, most flexibly organization on the earth.

How to Get to Missional and Stay There

  • Single most important thing a leader does is to provide maximum clarity to those they lead about what is important to the church and how the church is going to accomplish its mission.
  • Four Areas of Clarity
    • On Mission – why are we here?
    • Maximum clarity on guiding principles or values…the unchanging channel markers that must guide all decision making…
    • Maximum clarity on your Central Ministry Focus…Eph 4:12
    • Maximum clarity on your Culture of Spiritual Vitality and Growing Maturity

How to Integrate and Live-out this Clarity

  • Challenge of alignment
  • Keeping the main thing the main thing
  • Not allowing missional to be subverted by institutional
  • Teach the congregation
  • Remind leaders what we are all about

The Sandbox Principle – see the book – "Leading from the Sandbox" – the 4 sides of the box

  • Clear Mission
  • Guiding Principles
  • Central Ministry Focus
  • Culture of Maturity

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