If you’re following the missional community movement, you know the name Mike Breen. Whether you’ve just begun thinking about moving in this new direction or you’re well down the path, you’re going to want to dig in to his newest book, Multiplying Missional Leaders: From Half-Hearted Volunteers to a Mobilized Kingdom Force. This is an essential read for all of us, but especially for those who are looking for ways to reach the 60% who will not be reached with the attractional model.
Although Multiplying Missional Leaders can be read as a stand-alone resource, it is designed to be the second building block in a series that begins with Building a Discipling Culture and continues with Launching Missional Communities. While intended to be content for participants in 3DM’s two year Learning Community initiative, I’ve found all three of these books to be rich resources for anyone on the hunt for eye-witness, practitioner, content that can shape strategy and tactics. Very much a practitioner, Breen is not a theorist. If you’re looking for a road map that leads to missional communities, start here.
Beginning with the end in mind, Multiplying Missional Leaders starts with a very thorough four chapter analysis of the essential qualities of the missional leader’s life. Packed with examples from the gospels illustrating Jesus’ own practice as well as the diagrams and shorthand terminology that brings that practice into the 21st century, it’s easy to see how this resource (along with the others in the series) becomes part of a curriculum for church leaders.
The emphasis shifts in chapter five to a very thorough examination of the systematic way that Jesus and Paul used to multiply leaders who could go and do the same thing. The pattern of recruit, train, deploy and review is thoroughly diagnosed, beginning with an examination of Paul’s recruiting strategy for missional leaders. Detailing Paul’s recruiting strategy with instances from Acts provides a helpful illustration of the role of character, capacity, chemistry and calling.
Chapters 6 through 9 are extremely practical and provide many of the nuts and bolts of doing what’s been described so well in the first 5 chapters. How to assess missional leadership capacity, recruiting ideas, and training strategies are all included. I also found a number of very helpful sections that relate to missional community philosophy. Remember, Mike Breen is a practitioner and some of the real gifts of the books in this series are the glimpses into being part of a missional community.
I like Multiplying Missional Leaders and I really appreciate this series. Whether you’re looking for personal understanding or a way to guide a leadership team, this is a resource that ought to be part of your curriculum.