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Mission Teams: More Concerned with the Team or the Mission?

Why Leading Today is So Difficult

In defense of the pastors and leaders!

We have a few other articles (read them here and here) that have focused on the mission challenge before leaders of the church in this post Christendom age.

If we’re not careful it can produce a “somebody should do something” bromide that leads to “nobody does nothing.”

OR, worse, we search for the scapegoat…someone to heap all of the blame (sins) on and drive them out. (Leviticus 16:7-10)

Let me try to illustrate the challenge and underscore the difficult leadership proposition that results.

You remember the earthquake in Haiti several years ago? Enormous devastation. The questionable construction that defined buildings was now exposed and the heartbreak and loss was enormous.

A church in the Buffalo area had a mission team of 15 or 20 people in Haiti at the time. They sent simple text before losing all communication that read something like:

“Earthquake! We’re all OK!”

Then…silence.

Silence!

Days of silence! Nothing from the chaos and turmoil of Haiti.

I was consulting with that congregation at the time. Everyone’s concern, my concern, was for the well-being of the team, the safety of the team…in the middle of the earthquake chaos.

Even though they were a “mission team” I was more concerned about the “team” than I was the “mission.”

Even though we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28) it’s hard for pastors and leaders and churches to not be shaken when everything in our culture is shaking around them.

And as a result to make sure the walls are high and the gates are locked so the “shaking world” does not penetrate our community/church/mission team because there are risks!

(Risks! Need overwhelms capacity. Biblical truth compromised. Simple chaos!)

Rather than be the mission team/rescue team that loves because he first loved us (I John 4:19).

Interesting… When there’s been an earthquake, the last place people want to gather is in the buildings and wait for the next aftershock to hit. (Much like our shaken culture is suspicious to gather in our churches!)

They look for the tents, the temporary dwellings, the temporary communities that are represented in the missional communities “triangle.”

post christedom path

Make no mistake: missional communities are not the only way to provide spaces for shaken people to “belong” and the people of God to engage. Missional communities are a way, not the only way.

So, the leadership challenge in the church today is enormous!

Even worse, it’s probably at a time when many of its leaders feel isolated or besieged and overwhelmed.

I find the earthquake analogy (not original with me!)  a helpful one to make sense of our present reality and better define why the simple decision to isolate and build walls or engage our world is such a difficult one.

Leadership Essentials learning community offers the essentials of leadership for young pastors and spouses to lead their congregations and navigate this cultural change.

Missional Leader enables leaders (pastoral couples or lay leaders) to understand and engage the “shaken world” around them with confidence and compassion while equipping them with a toolbox full of assets to enable their congregations to confidently do the same.

Discipleship to Missional Community invests in teams of leaders to disciple people who have been wonderful volunteers in the congregation to become leaders out in the mission and in the missional communities.

Would you do two things today?

Share this with your leadership group or Bible study group that’s legitimately caught between “building walls” and being a “rescue team.”

Make a gift today that invests in brand new and not so new pastoral couples for a lifetime of fruitful ministry in their congregations.

Contact Raechel for more information.

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