Spent some time with the newest book from Mike Breen and the 3DM team this week. Leading Missional Communities was released last fall and is the fourth and final book of their current series (includes Building a Discipling Culture, Multiplying Missional Leaders, and Leading Kingdom Movements). I really like the way the ideas of Building a Discipling Culture and Multiplying Missional Leaders are integrated into the fabric of Leading Missional Communities. These books are clearly part of a larger tapestry.
Taking the concept far beyond launching, Leading Missional Communities is designed to explain “how to lead [missional communities] well so they become a reproducing hotbed for discipleship and mission in churches.” Part one builds on a collection of four foundational principles:
- MCs are Communities of Discipleship (building a discipling culture at the core).
- MCs are Communities of Good News (embodying and proclaiming the gospel).
- MCs find the Person of Peace (noticing where God is already at work).
- MC is cultivating a commitment to the organized and the organic elements of the community’s life together
Part two gets right into the nitty gritty about leading a missional community. Covering important aspects like vision and prayer as well as growing and multiplying, there is the distinct feel of walking side by side with a wise and knowledgeable guide. The examples given are so helpful. There truly is the sense that this is not theory, but recollection of actual events.
Part three digs into some very practical tips about life in missional communities. The top ten reasons missional communities fail as well as the answers to many frequently asked questions provide a great overview of some of the biggest challenges (what to do about children, what about pastoral care, how do we handle conflict, etc.).
The appendices are packed with a ton of great material. More about building a discipling culture, how to start a pilot missional community, what to do about existing or current programs, and a lengthy treatment of missional communities and church planting are included and really adds to the value of the resource.
As we slip further into the 21st century I am more convinced every day that we are rapidly approaching the time when it will be much easier to say “come on over to my house” or “meet me at Starbucks or the pub” than “come with me to church.” Leading Missional Communities is a must read if you want to be prepared for what’s coming. I highly recommend this book and this series.