Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Frequently asked questions from church leaders about going missional

Reggie McNeal gets several questions at the end of his workshops a lot. In his book Missional Renaissance he deals with them:

Is there a role for a "traditional" chuerch in the missional movement?
Of course he says yes. So many manifestations of church will be there for all kinds of different folks. But even traditional churches can turn loose missional communities, can be an umbrella non profit for missional communities. But as he says churches in the traditional mode must understand that the people who will be transformed will not all of a sudden change and "grow up" and start attending church. McNeal says this is the real test of whether a traditional church understands what it means to be converted to missional life.

How can you maintain doctrine and orthodoxy if you turn loose these missional communities? (believe me that applies to liberal doctrine and orthodoxy the same as for conservative ones). McNeal says we have to trust the Spirit, we have to trust the Truth, like life, will find a way out. (It is the old arguement from Puritan John Milton that you have to trust the marketplace of ideas and liberty). Also he says we have to remember that what has been considered orthodox has changed some over the centuries; in fact the missional movement like the reformation itself may lead to new understandings of theology.

What is the role of clergy in missional movements? Some of this covered below. But here are his responses (seminaries pay attention): clergy need to continue to develop role as teacher (but remember it is not didactic but behavioral linked); life coaching; developer of missional strategies, connecting people's passions with the work in the world, helping them start new communities and projects; train new missional community leaders (we have to pass on what we know to others or all we do will die with us)

How will clergy earn a living going missional? 1. This will prompt us to face the truth of whether we are called to a job or a life in God. We have to clarify our life purpose, find our voice, keep up our work skills so we can be flexible and employable and be able and willing and often prefer to be bi or more vocational. But we might find ways that going missional sustains our own lives and our families in ways that the status quo traditional professional ministry undercuts.

Type rest of the post here