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.