Earlier this week we had a webinar on “Getting your ministry moving in a missional direction.” Here are some of the questions I received during the Q&A time, along with some of my thoughts in response:
Q: I have a new parish I’ve recently taken on. If I’m presenting principles and wishing to move forward, I anticipate some of them not wanting to come on board or saying we have to wait until we get everyone on board. This is what you talked about with the “convoy mentality.” I agree that we don’t need everyone on board, but how can I respond to their objections that we do?
A: One way you can approach the issue in a more non-confrontational way is to talk about the idea of spiritual gifts. “Everybody has a different role to play. Not everybody is asked to do the same thing. Right now we don’t have everyone doing the same thing. What we want to do is have people responding to what God is placing on their hearts and be able to move forward with that, and this is one opportunity to do that.” In this way, those who want to move missional can, and those who don’t want to don’t have to and that’s okay. What you don’t want to do is create an “us vs. them” mentality.
Q: We have a leader who wants to transition a traditional church into missional communities. How can we help him move forward?
A: He can share the vision, gather those who are on board and start with them. In this way he can start small without having to worry about everyone who’s a part of the traditional church being on board. He can simply start a missional community with some who are willing. As it flourishes, transformation will take place and people will see a difference being made. Weave the stories into the sermons on the traditional church side. Be sure to maintain the quality of what you’re doing on the traditional church side. Both/and is fine. It doesn’t need to be either/or.
Q: We’ve been making headway in moving our small groups more missional, but not all of them are willing to move that direction. Meanwhile, our church is coordinating the small group studies with the sermons so that people can process what’s being preached on. How can we make that work for both kinds of groups—those that want to move more missional and those who are more resistant?
A: Make the curriculum multi-level so people can go as deep as they want: two tracks, essentially. Start with some basic questions that any group can respond to: “What excited you about this? What challenged you about this? What are you experiencing/sensing from God?” Then have a section for those who want to go deeper—kind of a wade-in vs. dive-in so you’re not segmenting people. This way the groups themselves can choose how far they want to go with it. You could also have some “for action follow-up” options that individuals from within a group can take one or two others and go do together. This would allow people to move forward into action even if the whole group doesn’t want to.
If you’d like to purchase a recording of the webinar and accompanying study guide that you can use with your leaders, visit the store.