Sunday, December 11, 2011

Leading Missional Community

This wraps up the series on 9 Practices of Missional Small Groups (Community) Leaders. I wrote these to build upon my book Missional Small Groups where I introduce a way of understanding Missional Community as a story that a group tells through their life together. As I have written these posts, I have come to see how these practices and the concepts that underlie them show us how to create a missional habitat, a natural environment where the missional community story spontaneously happens. To those who are new to missional life, one might think that missional community "just happens." But life doesn't just happen. Life happens when the environmental factors are right to support that life.

I grew up on a farm. My father who loved just about every farm animal imaginable. Chickens, sheep, cows. You name it, he raised at least one of them at some point. We even hatched chicks from eggs we collected from the hen house. Sometimes a hen would “nest” and incubate the eggs herself, but we also had an incubator that would create the right environment for the development of chicks. It takes 21 days for a baby chick to develop and start pecking its way out of the egg shell. But for this to happen the eggs had to be placed into the right environment. Eggs don’t just become chicks without an intentional environment. This is the purpose of an incubator.

I've sought to identify missional incubation practices. When you do these things, you are much more likely to create an missional habitat where missional community "just happens." It just flows organically almost as if life is supposed to be lived this way. But that makes sense. God created us to live in self-sacrificial, other-oriented love. God is agape and we are made in the image of agape. We are most ourselves when we live in agape. These practices aim to create an environment where agape can be experienced freely. 

Here is a list of all the posts in this series:

1. The Practices of Missional Community Leaders

2. Typical Expectations of Small Group Leaders

3. Rethinking How We Train Leaders

4. Missional Heroes as Missional Group Leaders?

5. Missional Community Leadership: Saints Needed Not Heroes

6. 9 Practices of Missional Group Leaders: An Overview

7. Practice #1: Hear the Call to Missional Community

8. Practice #2: Focus on Character Formation

9. Practice #3: Lead as a Team

10. Practice #4: Develop Basic Small Group Skills

11. Practice #5: Gather Around the Presence

12. Practice #6: Make Time to Waste Time

13. Practice #7: Be Present in Your Neighborhood

14. Hospitality, Generosity and No Vengeance

15. Practice #8: Prepare to Fight

16. Practice #9: Work Together for Missional Synergy

Let me know what you think about this series. I plan to refine these idea and do further research on them. So if you have input or feedback please add your comments or stories.

1 comment:

Michael C. Mack said...

Love this post, Scott! I'm often amazed when I read something you or other authors write, and I'm thinking, "Yeah! I've been thinking or writing about that, too!"

In Small Group Vital Signs (, I wrote that "discipleship happens" in the environment of a healthy group. It's not a program or steps or a particular study. Discipleship, as well as all else that is missional, spontaneously happens when we enter into a natural and yet strategic ecosystem.

God's Word shows us what that environment looks like. The "one anothers" are a great place to start!

Thanks, Scott, for this series. I'm praying God uses it to expand the Kingdom!