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[o r e w o r d hy ALA HIRSCH

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Praise for Creating a Missional Culture

"JR Woodward reads widely, writes defrly and lives deeply. Creating a Missional
Culture rcflects a11of thar. Read it and explore what leading can be in lhe .trange
new worlds of mission in North America."
DAVID FITCII, B.R. Lindner Chair ofEvangelical Theology, Norrhern Seminary, and
aurhor of Tbe End ofEvangdi(lJlüm~

"I have been craving a book that would facilitare rhe reimagination of church
culrure, and ir is finally here. This ís a book I hope many will devour."
DWIC~(T J.FRIESE:-I, associare professor of practical theology, The Seartle School of
Theology & Psychology, and aurhor of Tl;y Krngdom Connectcd

"A relevant and important book for every congregation. The chapters on poly-
cenrric leadership alone are worth rhe price of rhe book."
MARv!:CnE MORSE, professor ofleadership und spiritual formaricn, George Fax
Evangelícal Serninary, and author of /Vlaking Roam for Ltada,l;ip

"While some erroneouslv insisr 011 dichotomiúng between rnissional and spir-
itual forrnation, JR rnakes a solid case for rhe necessary intcgration af the two.
Iudeed, authenric spiriruality is rnissional rhrough anJ through. JR's work accen-
tuarcs this holistic approach to our disrinct yel integrated calling as equippers: as
an apostlc, propher, evangelist, pasmr or tcacher."
WIL llER~ANDEZ. director 01' rhc Mastcr of Arts In Forrnarion and Leadcrship.
prin!!: Arbor Universírv, and author of Henri Nouuien and Sp,ritual Polarnia

"JR Woodward blends head, heart and h •inds tu reinvigorare rhc church. I hi)!.hly
rccornrnend rhis book fur those studying missiol<?gy. ministry anJ ecclesiology."
ih'los YONC.J. Rodrnan William, Professor otTheolozv, Regem Universuv Schoul
()f 1),V1.nlty. and aurhor of TI;,· R/bit, O"abil!ty, and Ih, Cburdr

Forge Books [rom IntcrVarsity Press

How cun (Jod's people glvc witness [O his kingdurn in an incn;asingly pust-
Chrrsrian culturer How can thc church rccover its truc rnission 111 thc tacc of a
world in necd? Books published by Intcrvarsiry Press thut bcur thc Forge irnprinr
hclp birrh and nurrure the rnissional chureh in America and hcyond. For more
info: matiou un Forgc Arnericu, visit www.forgeumerica.cum.




God has called us ro ministry. Hur ir's not cnough to have a vision
for minisrry if you don'r have rhe pracrical skills for ir. ar is ir
enough to do th<; work of ministry i f what you do is headed in rhe
wrong direction. We need borh vision and expertise for d[ecnve
minisrry. Wc necd praxis,

Praxrs puts thcory inro practice. Ir brings cutting-<;dge ministry

experrise Irom visi'ln:rry pracririoncrs. You'lI tind sound blblical
nnd rhcolozical foundations tor rninistry i" rhc real world, wirh
roncrerc cxamrles for dfecrive :!nion und pastoral minisrry. Praxis
h'l"k.s are more rhan rhe "how r,)" - rhey'rc also rhe "why to." AnJ
hccausc /Jáng is <.:very bit J~ importam as ,]o;lIg. Praxis attends to
the inner lifc of rhc lcuder as well as thc outer work of rninisrrv,
FeeJ your sou], anJ Iccd yllur minist rv,

If JOU are called ro rninisrrv, y01I know you can'r do ir on your

own. Ler Praxi:; provide rhe cornpanions you need to equip God's
pcople for üfe in lhe kingdom.
IfllrrVóJrsdy PUH
P,O a.X 1400, Do",",,, Grofle, f L 60515-1426
W(Jrld Widt WtÍJ: 'W'W'W.

E-maIl: ~ma;MPftJprt$l.cDm

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dll nghij. reserved No part oi tins ÓQ,,!t. maJ b~ reproducsd rn any fqrm -unthout usrütcn pU-frtlSStOn IrtJll1.
lnlt1'VaTllly Pras

Int"VarlilY Pre.u· ij lhe óooJt.-puhlishing díúision oflrlltrVllrsity Christiar. Ft./IO"UJshJplUSA-, Q IfHJ'Utmarl 0/

studerüs andfoculty active on ai hU7Idruis cf umuersícus, colieges und ub""/f of nurnng in th~ Uni/t:J S/alei
rif America, and a memlur .vement
m(1, ofthe lnternotional Fe.I!l7WrhJpo/EuQ1Jgtlical Sludurlf. For injãnnutifJn
IJ.DaUf lota! and TtlroniJl acti-uitses, 1J.Jntt Puh!J', ReltUr"nr Dt-pl .• InttrVarJity Chrlstiall FtlllYWsl;',vUSA, 0400
SchTOt:du Rd .. P.O. Box 7895, Madison, W! 53707-7895, er visis lhe IVCFwdmtt: at <'>.

Ali Srrrptllrt: ouottuions. untas fJlh"rwLU indicatrd, are (lJktrt j70m Ih,. Holy Blblc. Today's New I nrerrtationa l
Vemo,,-, ~.JIV·Cap)'r1ghl Ç) 1973,1978.198-1,2010 óy Biól,,", f.c.''' Usd Ó, /,<rmiJúon Ali righlIreia-tJ<d

Ta.b/~ 52 011 Pil.{~ 71u repri ntcd /roml\<lemoric:s. l Icpes, and Ccnveraanons: Apprccieuve lnquirv a nd
CllOgft;g~ril.,n:11 Ch;lllgC b)' "'JJT~ t,1/{ Branson, lJJtih p~fhHu:()"i"Qm !heAlb'lrI insnruse. Copyngh( l!-J10V-I oy
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To tbe missional leaders in lhe Ecdesia Network-

your laith. bope and loue inspire me. Your wi/lingness to explore

Tl!!W wayr to he lhe cburcb '1.uith lijôrm on 7Y!nking dirripl", fI./J"ur.

Ihrough Ih!! POWf!T olthe Spirit to the gloTy ,-?/God and for lhe good

01 thc tuorld, bringJ s--« encourayemerrt to my beart.

'\ ~!

'"Y qH J


List ofFigures and Tables.

Foreword by Alan Hirsch .
Inrroducríon . . . .


I. Whar Is Missional Culture and Why Does Ir Matrcr? . 25

2. How Culture Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

3. Whar's Going On in the Culrure of rhe Chureh Vou Serve? 45

4. Polycentric Leadcrship and Missional Culrurc ..... '. 55


5. Facing ToJay's Challcnges
6. Hcaríng rhe Srory .....
7.!!,"l'hcological Roors ,
R. Emhracing Emo! ion.rl Hc.ilrh.
'J. Rdinquishing rhc NccJ to l'uIllr,,1 .


10 . jesus rhc Archetypícal Culrure Crcaror .

11. I\p()~t1es: Drt'am I\wakcncr~
12. Prophcrs: r Lcart R.cvcalcrs.
11. E.vangelísls: Story Tellcrs .
14. Pa rors: oul Healers . 150
15_Teachers: Light Givers 160


16. The Culrural Web and the Neighborhood Church . 171

17. Cultivating Missional Environments 186

18 Cultivating an Equipping Erhos 197

19. Polycemric Leadership at Work _ 209

Appendix 1: Equippers and Their Roles 225
Appendix 2: Equipper Candidate Reference Form . 230
Appendix 3: Equipper Candidate Interview 239
otes _ _ . 243
16.1 The cultural web 172
16.2 West Los Angeles Church's strategy 176
18.1 Player-coach continuum ..... 198
19.1 Equippers' different focal concerns 216

5.1 Leadership viewecl through the Míllennium Matrix. 68
5.2 Classical sciences versus new systems sciences . . . 71
10.1 Equippers, focal concerns and te/os (destinations) 121
11.1 Apostles. . . . . . . . . 126
11.2 Discipleship continuum . 127
12.1 Prophets. . 133
13.1 Evangclists 143
14.1 Pastors , . . 152
15.1 Tc::adlc::r~. . 162
ló.1 Equippers . 180
17.1 T'hick practices and creating missional environmcnts . 189
A1.1 Apostles: Drearn awakeners 226
A1.2 Prophets: Heart rcvcalers . 227
A1.3 Evangelists: Story tellers 227
Al.4 Pasrors: Soul healers . 22R
A 1.5 Teachers: Light givers. . 229
2.1 Five-point scale . . . . . 231
2.2 Theological evaluarion . 232
A2.3 Churacter cvaluation 23.3
A2A kill evaluarion . . . 21'1
A2.S Missional evaluarion 2st

As our best leaders know, in jusr abour every Western cultural setting
that the church find itself, we are facing somerhing of a crisis. The
somewhat gloomy situation broughl about by lung-term institutional
and spiritual decline has been forcing church leaders to ask some pretty
.rrobing questions abour the church's identitv, pllrp()~e anJ pruct ices.
It's fair to say that rhere has been some pun ic, as well as a fair bit of
denial. But a crisis there is anyway.
This is nor all bad. While the rheological, spirirual, orgunizationul
anti missiological rnalaise poses a d irect threar ro Chrisrendom church-
as-usual, ar the same time it presents us wirh an opporrunity to clcan
out, to do some nece;:ssary pruning. Any dccenr crisis does rhis: whcn ir
is well-faccd, it facilitates for thc movcrncnr or ,)rg.lI1iz,Ltiol1 .1 r.ul ic.t]
recover)' of its dcfining idcus.
This is pcrhaps truer of thc church rhun ir is of orhcr orgall iz.itions.
As people who bclieve in rhc uuthorirv of Scripturc and thc Lln iquc role
o OUt Founder, we must constantly return to thc sclfsame cncrgic:; rh.rr
initiatcd thc carly churcbif wc are to truly rcd iscovcr .1 scnsc of who wc
are, why wc are here and how wc rnusr .140 .ibour bLing rhc church iJ,.H
Jesus intcnded in the firsr place.
Lcarning systcms theorv asscrrs rhat ali lc;unint; takcs placc wl icn
programming is subjectcd tu questioning (L=P+Q). An nrg-aniL:Llion
begins to (rcllcarn when it applics honcsr, cxplorarory qucstion ing tn ali
kcy aspccts of lht; organization/sysrcm. T'his qucsrioning in rum ini-
riatcs a search for betrer answcrs rhan thc nnl"<; currcntly on oflcr, Ap-

plying the lessons of learning systems theory, then, what are the pur-
poses of the church? What is the nature of our core message, and how
do we acrually embody and extend it? Is the gospel really capable of
renewing the world and transforming the hearts of ali human beings?
Did Cod realiy mean for the ecelesia to be the focal point for the
wholesale renewal of society? Are we reaIly called to be a colony of a
much-disputed kingdom, ar did Jesus actually intend rhar we becorne
the chaplains of a so-called Christian civilization in the West? Why do
we do things the way we do? These are questions that take us to rhe
roots of the ehurch.
Undergoing such radical qucstioning iniriares a serious pursuit for
the rediscovery of our most basic seripts-or, to use another metaphor,
our orienting maps-in an attempt to reorient or resituate ourselves in
the world. In many ways it can be said this is exaetly what constitutes
the hearr of re-neuial. And if we do ir well, with ali the intellectual in-
tegriry and spiritual passion that we can mustcr, we will reeover a rnuch
more authenrie understanding (and experience) of ourselves as ecclesia
than rhe one we now possesso
Having spenr much of my adult years grapplingwirh thc factors that
together form a dynamic, disrinctly rnissional ecclesiology, I also fully
believe rhar the ccclcsia (church) that Jesus intended was speci fically
Jesigned wirh built-in, self"generarivt: capaciries, and was mude tor
"u(hin~ less rhan world-transforming, Iasrillg, revolurionury irnpacr
(see, tilr CX<llllplt:,Mr J 6:18). We werc almost certuinly nor rneant to
hccorne a dOnll;~(ic.ltcJ civil rcligion! As Iar as I can tell.jesus intcnded
us to be sornerh inl{ of a pcrmanr'llt r/?'vo!,,/úm-no lcss rhan an expunsive
ourposr of the kingJom of GoJ. vVhen we are nor acruully being tbat,
then wc have gUl lo rake srock in a b'g way.
\Ve ~eL glimpscs imo thc design and rurro~es rhat Jesus intended for
his ccclcsia in var ious rexrs scrttcred throughout rhc New Testalllt:nr.
But few are as clcar, aurhoritarive, and significam for the church as
those found in rhe book ()f Ephcsians. Ephcsi:ms is rightfully con-
sidcred the coust it utionn] documcnt ofthc church. Everything abour ir
hus rhe ring of constitutional ity. To use another rnetaphor, ir has long
bccn considered as containing the basic genetic cedes of thc church-
Foreword 13

particularly in its Pauline expression. Therefore the images of both

constitution and DNA grant us direct clues to the defining narure of
the texto This can be no less true for Ephesians 4:1-16 as ir is of rhe rest
of the book. I am on record as being utterly convinced of the sheer
power of the typologies of ministry (what JR Woodward here calls
"the five equippers" -apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and
teachers, or "APEST") laid out in this passage to bring renewal to the
life of the church,
Not only does Ephesians 4:1-16 poinr us to a dynamic manifesration
of ecclesia, but it implies that there can be no lasting effectiveness to the
church 's mission without the fuUy functioning ministry that Jesus has
once-and-for-all "given" (v. 7) to his people. We are called to be the
fullness ofJesus in the world, and according to Paul's logic in Ephesians
4:1-16 we achieve this not through the twofold shepherd-teacher model
of ministry and leadership that we have beco me so used to, bur through
this fivefold, equipping approach.
For reasons I (and my co-aurhor Tim Catchim) have tried to cxplain
in Tbe Permanent Reuolution, by effectively exiling rhe apostolic, pro-
pheric and evungclistic (APE) functions from thc life and srrucrurcs of
the church, we have done terrible damage to the church's rupacitv to
mature. In order to respond to rhe missional challenges rhat we now
face, we have to leurn again what it means ro operute wirh a/lflvc
equippers. In particular, we must work doubly hard to integrate the
cxiled ministries of uposrlc, propher, and evungelist back inro the func-
tioning imagination, langllage, leadership and ministry structures of
rh« church, In the end I do believe that without rhese mure geller~ltive
anti aduptive ministries, we will neither advance thc cause o[ thc church
in our time nor achievc any significam and Iasting missional impacto
JR knows thi~ [C01l1 dccp personal rdlcdiul1 UII t hc Sc.r ipturcs, <i~

well as frorn being involvcd in lcading-cdgc church planting in difficulr

circurnsrances. As a result, yOl!are holding a hard-won trcusurc. This is
not some fluffr, shullow, exploration of thc topic-s-those caricatures
abound alreacly. Th is book is well wr ittcn, thcologic:llly wcll W(I-

sidered, and peppered with rhe kind of rnissiological insighrs thur 011 1y
an apostolically inclined leader can bring. As a long-time pructitioncr of

these idcas,]R brings a distincrly practical edge to the equation, and so

the reader is given real, live possibilities to irnplernenr 10cal1y. But by
uniqueJy combining missional theology with the concepr that each
equipper creates a certain culture, which in turn shapes meaning and
practices in the community,]R has developed an excellenr heuristic for
leaders ro acrually make Ephesians 4 a living reality in the local
churches. By actively enhancing each distinct cquipper-culture, and by
developing what hc calls polycentric leadership, he provides churchcs
wirh a direct pathway to activating the dormam energies contained in
je us' ecclesia.

The sociologist Alvin Toffler once rightly observed that the illiterate
of the future will not be those that cannot read or write. Rather, they
will be rhose thar cannot learn, unlcarn and relearn, lf you are indeed
willing to unlearn the cloying, missionally impotent ecclesiology of the
traditionalisr paradigms, and subsequently relearn whar the BibIe itse1f
(and the history of m issions) direct1y says in rhis rnatter, thcn rhere will
be much hope.


Mom and Dad

I'm thankful for your love, your provision, your cncouragement and the
exarnple you have been for me through the years. Ir has been more than
I could have irnagined.

My Brothers and Extended Family

joe, Suzanne, Luke and Kara Woodward, I always enjoy hanging wirh
you. AlIen, Elaine, Kurt and Wil, yOl! guys bring a lot to m)' rife. I'rn
also thankful for rhe resr of our large tribe, my many aunrs, uncles,
nephews und nieces,

Paoi Thomus
This book would nor have bccn writtcn if ir were not tor all the convcr-
sations that wc have had over lhe Thanks tor your friendship und

Kairos Los Angeles

I'rn grareful ror your courage and wiJlingnt.:s~ to experrrnenr with ncw
ways ofapproaching leudership anJ being rhc church. A spcciul thunks
to all of you who have scrved as t.:qlllppcrs .u the various ("ongn:ga-
rions-Grcg Larson, AuJrey Blul11ber. D,IVC k luur, l Jou Chcsworrh,
AnJy Blcycr. joc Rucck, Dcbbic Kirn, Daniel Cunningham. Dustin
jarnes, Jeremiah Culeb, Murr lVl:.tbrey ~llILI Maria [)rews (1IUIl()1 ;(r)

Forge rlmerlca anti rllan Hirsch

Ir's an horror to serve Cod's kingdom with you. ALto, I apprcciarc thc
many convcrsaiions thur wc have had, ano )'our down-to carrh way of
life. Kirn Hammond, thanks for wclcominq me so warrn ly iuto thc
Forge Trihe.

Rick Nlysse and RCA

This book became a reality because you cornrnissioned me to write on
the five equippers for the Classis of SoCaI. Thanks, Rick, for your
consistem encouragement.

Tbe Turkana Tribe in Kenya

It has been a real privilege to walk beside you for nearly a decade. I
look forward to what God has in store for us in the future. I'm espe-
cially thankful for Bishop KaaJeng, ]oshua Lemuya, Moses Lorukudi,
Michael Lojao as welJ as Mike and ]essica Thomas.

Some ofMy Life-Giving Friendships

Dustin ]ames, Rudy Hermanto, ]oe and Lisa Racek, Chris, Rachei and
Elliana (godchild) Backert,]oshua and Rachael Swanson,]im and Tracy
Pace, Michael Chen, Will Andrian-I deeply appreciate each of you.

My Ministry Partner Team and CCM

WilhuUl yuu I wouldn'r be able to live out my calling in life. Thanks to
my feUow GCM board mernbers and all who work ar the office. A
special rhanks to Tom Mauriello, KZ and Dave Meldrum-Green.

Hope Internationa! Bible Fellowship

I'm inspired by your exarnple. Thanks for serving the neighborhood
and uso I want to give a special thanks to Pastor Ed, Lenny and Richard.

[n/~fl in BlacksbllTg, VA
J'm rhankfuJ ror a11of you (1200+) whom I've had to opporruniry to connecr
with in my time in Blacksburg. You helped me becorne a better person.

Ecclesia Nelwork
I've thuwughly enjoyed rhe journey ofplanting more m issional churches
with you und experiencing yOllf faith, hope and love along rhe way.
You're rhe besr, Now help me sell this book. lo!.

My Felkn» MAGL'crs
I'm grateful to ali my íclhiw clussmares anJ professors in the Master of
Ares in Global Leadership (MAGL) program at l-uller Theological
Serninary. You guys are the real deal, 1 want to give a special thanks to
Acknowledgments 17

Bob Freeman, who had the faith to start this program, to Eddie Gibbs,
who made himself available for independent studies, and to Shelley
Trebesch for just being you.

East Hollywood Neighhorhood Council

I'm honored to have had the opportunity to serve with you in seeing our
neighborhood becorne more of what it could be.

Tbose Who Cave Me Helpful Feedback

David Fitch, john Chandler, jonathan Williams, Kurt Fred.rickson,
Chad Srnith, Noel Hiekkenen, James Paul, 1- R. Briggs, Greg Larson,
Chris Baekert, Heidi Simanjuntak, Jason Malee and Audrey Blumber.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy sehedule to give me
valuable feedback.

Those Who Went Ahove and Beyond Expectations

laria Drews, Scorr Boren, David Kludt, Samuel Srnith, S 0([ elson,
Keas Keasler, arhan Elrnore, Jason Lee, joey Tomassoni, Wil Her-
nandez, Dustin James and Jen Collins. Your feedback was valuable
beyond estimation.

Interl/arsity Press
I'm deeply thankful for a11thosc who supported me at IVP, especially
my editor Duve Zimmerman, who gave me suggestions that rnade this
book mueh betrcr chan ir was, And thanks to Andrew Bronson and
ream-i\drianna \Nrighr, Narhan Baker-Lucz, Lcah Kiplc and Suunnc
Carn field-for your warm welcorne arul for ali yOLl are Joing to hclp me
ge! rhe worc] out ahour this hook ,

falha, lhani... yvu fur your unJyin)4 love. jcsus thank yuu IOf yvur li 111
itlcss gracc. Holy Spirit, thank yOli for your comforr, direction ano
pnwer. I arn blcsscd, and my praycr is that this buok might be J. blessing
to many for your glory and the good of rhe world,

How would you characterize the typical person in the congregation

you serve? A mature follower of Christ? A consurner of religious goods
and services? Or something in-between-
In your atternpt to make disciples, do you ever feel as ifyou are swimming
against the currenr? Do you have a dcsirc to scc rhe congrcgurion be :l

greater blessing to the ncighborhood and to those [Ir from Christ?

When you consider the congregarion you serve, would YOU say thc
community is ful! oflove,joy und peacer Do vou ever feel ovcrwhelrned
when it comes to equipping thc church to live in rhe world for rhc sake
of the world, without being qfthe world?
As a church plante r, I havc been huunred by rhcsc qucstions, I'v;:
srarred churches rh: r continue tu rh rivc, IIllJ!1iplyi ng Ji~Liplc~ anti
churches around the counrry. I've abo srar ux] ch\lrl"he~ rh.u havo.: hecn
510w to gct off lhe grounJ. I'vc cclcbratcd wirh church pl.inrcrs whosc
churches have rhrived und are :\ ~re:lt b'cs~in~ ro ihcir Ileighborhllnd I
have abu wulked with church plantcrs lhruugh thc agony of havmg tu
close church doors, Through Illul..h I dlo.:<..t iu!" ro.:J.diJl,~ .u n l IlUII)"
sleepless nighrs, I've Jí~cuvereJ th.u ..:fr<:Lriv..:Li lU ["l..lIfJl,l] lli 11,1.; I o.:l.ju ir..:~
thinki ng- about fhc1 culture o/lhe cOllgrega!iQII.
Mure than a stran.:gy, vision or plan, the unsccn culrurc of u churc]i
powcrfu lIy shapes her abiliry to grow, mature and livc m ission.illy,
Successes and t~ülures alike in church pblltingu)[[Ilrm thc role rhur til':
cu lrurc of a congregation plays. The unstated assurnprions cmht:Jdcd
in a congregution's culture either aids or hinders it in its missiou .

Culrure is like gravity. We never talk about ir, except in physics classes.
We don t mclude gravity in OUI weekly pIanning processes. No one gets up
thinking about how gravity will affeet their day. However, gravity impaets
us in everything we do, every day. Like gravity, the eulture of a eongre-
gation can either pull people down to their base instincts or lifr people up
to their sacred porentíal. We creare culrure, and culture re-creares uso
If we want to ereate a missional culture in the congregarions we
serve, we need to understand how the different elernenrs of culrure
work. The language we live in, the artifacts that we make use of, the
rituais we engage in, our approach to etbics, the institutions we are a
part of and rhe narratiues we inhabir have the power to shape our lives
profoundly. In add ition, we need to cultivare fearning, healing, uiel-
coming, Izbaating and thriving environrnents, We do this by yielding
to the work of the Spirir in our lives by developing communal rhythms
oflife-grace-filled spiricuaI praetices whieh engage our senses, grab
our hearts, tor m our identities and reshape our desires toward GI..IJ
and his kingdorn.'
It's not cnough to simply n/lU/age: rhe culture we operare within. For
wh ile managcment acts untbin cu lture, leadcrship createseulture. In fact,
our very approach to Il'czde:nhip shapes culture in profound ways. Hier-
archicalleadership tends to brced an individualistíc approach to spiritual
forrnarion, while polyccnrric leudership Iends itsdf to a more eommunal
approuch. If we desirc to conncct wrth the digital generarion, we need to
Iearn to livc as a cornrnuniry of leaders wirhin thc communiry.
Back in 11198 my fríend Pavi Thornas and I started meditating and
rhi I1king Jeeply ahour thc hook of Ephesians, in particular the rirsr half
of Ephesians 4. When pbnting our churches in LA, we sought ro ex-
peli rncnr in how to in habir this tcxt, becausc in rhis passage the apostle
Paul makes a di rcct link bcrwccn rhc spiritual maturiry of rhe church and
thc fivc kiuds vI" l'lluippers opcraring in thc chureh: aposrlcs (what I
nickname drcarn awakeners), prophers (heart rcvealers), evangelists (story
tellers), pnstors (sou 1healers) and teachcrs (light givcrs). As the equippers
incarnate their livcs and mi n ist ries within thc body, the whole body
will be aroused and awakened to live in thc world, for the sake of rhe
world, in rhe way of Christ.
Introduction 21


In this book you will
• undersrand what rnissional culture is and why it is irnportant
• discover the five environments that unleash the rnissional irnagi-
nation of God 's people
• learn how to assess the culture of the congregation you serve through
the cultural web
• understand how the culture of the congregation you serve wiJl help
or hinder the maturity of the church
• learn how to identify, cultivare and multiply the five equippers in the
congregation you serve
• learn why polycentric leadership makes more sense than hierarchical
leadership or flat leadership
• di~wvcl th.;: pvwer vf storics, liturgics, ritu ..ils and rhythrns in dcvcl
oping a discipleship culture that reshapes peoples desire for CoJ and
his kingdom
• get practical tools rhat will cnhance ynur ability to lead as a team
of cultural archirects, culrivaring cnvironmcnts whcre good things
ruo wild
hopc to add to thc rich conversation ubout the rrussional church.
While some th m k ir is just another fad or strntegy, people like C raig
Van Ccldcr huvc hclped us to understund rhut rhe ruissiuuul ..:1lurLII ha~
,1 rich history .md has beco in thc making over rhe b~ ceutu rv.é Oue
irnportant devclopmenr hus been the rcfusiou l)f church and rnission,
ecclcsiology and missiology,
As a person who secks to love the church (wurrs a nd ai I) as Chrisr
does, and understanding rhar "he gave hi msel l IIp t()J' her" (Eph 1:2'».
I try to reter to rhe church throughout the book as "she" or "her" msrcad
()f "ir." Nor nnly is rhe church rcfcrred to as thc hride of Christ
throughout the New Testament (e.g., Jn 3:29; 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:27;
Rcv 18:23; 11;1:7;21:9; 22:17), but by using a personal proll<)un we are
likdy to hold Lhe church more Jcar. This meraphor for thc church lcnds

itself to a stronger ecc1esiolgy in a day when, in some people's writings,

the church seerns to have vanished. On top of thar, I've always been
fond of Sr. Cyprian's saying, "You cannor have God for your Father
unless you have the church for your Mother."J
My hope and prayer is that this book will help the church to be a
[aithful sign, [oretaste and instrurncnt of God k.ingdom, that is here
and corning. As Lesslie Newbigin has said,

The question which has to be PU[ to every local congregarion is rhe

quesrion wherher ir is a credible sign orGod's reign in justice and merey
ovcr the whole of life, wherher ir is an open fellowship whose conccrns
are as widc as the concerns ofhumanity, whether it cares for its neighbors
in a way which reflect and springs our ofGod's care for them, whether
its common life is rccognizable JS li toretaste of rhe blessing which God
mtends for the whole human 4

As you read rhis book, ask God to show you whar is helpful thar you
should apply, what is unhdpfuJ rhar you should disregard, and tor thc
wisdom to know the diffcrence.

.IR WoomvARD
Hol{vwood, California

The Power of Cu/ture


What Is Missional Culture and

Why Does It Matter?

The Church is called to be a provisional demonstration of God's will

for ali people.


Doot become 50 well-acJjusred co your culture ihe! yuu tit tnio it

without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'l! be
changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from
you. and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always
draggmg you down to tts levei of tmmsturity, God bnngs the best out
of you. develops well-formed maturity In you.


I was driving in Golumbus, Ohio, when I carne "pnn a hirchhiker whn

alternared bctween holding his thumb out and clusping his hunds to-
gcthcr as ir he werc praying. I pickcd him up.
His n:J.n1Cwus Mikc, and I 500n drscovcrcd hc was a hardcore Aryan
(white suprcmucist), pointing to a passage in Scripture about being "a
chosen peoplc" as the rcason for his convictions. I asked if he would be
willing to reread rbe passage in contexto 1 Ic agreed. As J rcached in the

back seat to grab my Bible, he pulled a gun and poinred ir ar my head.

I assured him I was just gerting my Bible, 50 he put his gun away, and
roy hearr started to beat again.
T realized Mike had no place to stay rhar night, 50 I invited him to
stay with me.
"You mean you would trust me to stay wirh you after pulling a gun
on you?" he asked.
"Yes," I said, "because God has given me a love for you rhar I can't
expiam, and he loves you." As I was saying this, I was aying to myself,
Yeah, what am I thinking?
Tears welled in Mike's eyes.
We got back to the hotel where my roommare Tom and 1 were
staying. I woke up my roommate to ask him ifMike could stay with us,
mentioning that he had a gun. He wasn'r favorably disposed to the idea,
so r ended up getting Mike another room. Mike didn'r wanr me to, bur
I i nsisred. Ir gave me the chance to share more of the go pel wirh liim.
We talked until 4 a.m., and I told hirn abour rhe Jesus rhe apostles
wrote abour, thi~ Jesus who had become my hero, my Savior and my
example. r rold
him how Jesus was the liberator of those epprcssed, rhe
lover of those
rejected and the deliverer of thosc seduced by consurn-
crisrn, and Mike responded with rears of surrender.
Later thar week he rook me ro a Chinese restauram and conrinued to
inquire abour Jesus. I rold him how Jesus lived his life for thc sake of
others, how he dicd 50 we could live, and how he rose again to show
what God was going to do for the world.
Somcrhing in lvlikt: ..-hanged rhar evcning; he understood in a pro-
found way who Jesus was and whar hc had done for hirn and the world.
When I left Columbus, Mike had a hcarr to share wirh his Aryan
friends whar hc had lear ncd, hoping they would Íct go af their racism
allJ be parr of a community rhar mc/uded pcople from evcry race,
tonglle, rrihe and narion,

As I reflecr on my encounre- with l\tlikc, ir rt:rninds me of lwo realitics.

we live in a messcd-up world ftllcd with violl.:l1ce,prejudicc, racism,
poverty, greed, pride, envy, lust and gluttony; andjesllS has invired messed-
IIp people likc us to partner wirh GoJ in rhe rcdemption of thc world.
What Is Mlssional Cuiture and Why Does tt Matter?

The Federal Aviation Administration once developed a cannon-like

device to test the strength of windshields of airplanes. They actually
shot a dead chicken (I'm serious) into the windshield at the approximate
speed of a flying plane to simulate a bird hitting a plane while in f1ight.
WeU, a British locomotive company heard abour this testo 50 they asked
the FAA if they could borrow the device. They had just developed a
high-speed train and they wanted to Jikewise test their windshjeld.
They loaded the bird up and shot it ar the locornotive at its approx-
imate running speed. The bird went through the windshield, knocked
over the engineer's chair and put a dent in the cab of the loco motive.
They couldn'r undersrand what had happened. 50 they asked if the
FAA would please review all the trungs that thc locomotive company
had done. The FAA's final report said, "You mighr want to try rhe tesr
with thawed chieken."
Why did everyone in the Íocornotjve company conclude rhar a rrozen
chicken was used in rhis cxpcrimcIH- Therc.: wasn'r t:Vt:11 a debate ubour
whether rhis should be a frozcn chicken or a rhawed chickcn-reglll:Jr
or crispy? No one asked this most basic question.'
We often jump to conclusions abour how to rnuke rhe church work
berteror how ro devdop a missionul strategy--without asking some of
rhe most basic questions. C2.!:lestiullS likc \ d,)e~ ir to bc lhe
church today? Whar does ir mean to crente ;t m issiona I culru re and why
does ir rnarter?
Creating a missional culrure is more thun jus r adJin~ some ourward
programs to the church structurc. Cn:ating- a missionul culture goes to
rhc hcar t and idcnrirv otCod, to who wc are .uul who we are becol11!n~.


One of lhe rnost influenrial theolog ians ot rhc last ccnru rv, Karl lhrth.
wus instrumental in the reintroJlu:tion of thc classic docrrinc of missio
Dá. We flnd rntssio Dei in SLriptllre: (;uu lhe Farhcr scnd-, t hc Stln
anrl thc Spirit inro rhe world, nnd rhe I;athl.:f, SOl1anJ Spirir sund thc
church inro the world jÕr rhe 5;1 kc t?/the world. In ("lIhcr words, rn isxion
does not originare wirh the church but is derived from thc very nutu re
of God. As Jürgen Molrrnunn has said, "h is 11M the church rhat has a

mission of salvation to fulfill in the world; it is the mission of the Son

and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church.'?
When we read the Scriptures, we learn that it is God's mission to set
things right in a broken and messed-up world. God's rnission is to
redeem the world and restore it to its intended purpose. The church
exists to fulfill God's mission, and when we participate in God's mission
wc beco me living signs ofGod's intended future for rhe world, bringing
glory to God. In other words, mission exists because God is a missionary
God. And "a church which is not on m.ission is either nor yet ar no
longer the church, ar only a dead church-itself in need of renewal."
If we seek to create a missional culture, it is irnperative that we un-
derstand rhat Cod creared the church as a sign, foretaste and instrument
by whi h more of his kingdom would be realized here on earth.I


Signo The church is to be a sign of God's coming kingdullI, poiniing
people to a reality that is right around the comer. Jesus said, "You are
rhe light of the world." We are called to be lights that point others
toward God, his Son and his future. 50 what kind of sign are we? What
kind of sign do we want ro become?
Foretaste. The church is called to be a foretaste ofGod's kingdom, a
place wherc people can get ataste of the future in the presem. When
rhe church is a forerastc, ir demonstrares what life is like when men and
women live undcr the rule and rcign of God, when the people of God
love one anorher, cxhort one another, encourage one another, forgive
onc anorhcr anti live in liarmony wirh one anorher, In this way thc
church becornes a concrete, rangible, though not perfect, forcraste of
rhe kingdum thar is to come.
lnstrnment, Creating a rnissionu] culturc requircs not only under-
,tanJing rhar rhe church is called to be a sign and foretaste of God's
kingdom, but also nn instrument. Whcn writing to thc church in Epheslls
rhe aposrlc Paul ialks abour how the church is Cod's chosen instrurnent to
show thc rnauifold wisdorn and gracc::of Cod [() borh the visible and in-
visible workl. I Ie says, "His intcnr was that now, through rhe church, the
manifold wisdorn of Cod should be made known to rhe rulers and au-
whet Is Mlsstone! Culture and Why Does tt Matter? 29

thorities in the heavenly realms, according to his erernal purpose that he

accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph 3:10-11). We see th.roughout
the letter to the Ephesians that the church 1S to be Iike a preview or movie
trailer of what is to come. The church is an instrument through which
God's will for justice, peace and freedom is done in the world.
Creating a missional culture helps the church live out her calling to
be a sign of the kingdom, pointing people to the realiry beyond what we
can see, a foretastc of the kingdom where we grow to love one another
as Chrisr loves us, and a.n instrument in rhe hands of God to bring
more of heaven to earth in concrete ways. For the church is to be a
credible sign, foretaste and instrument, it needs to be a community rich
with the fruir of rhe spirit,

Yet in our most honest rnoments we recognize that we aren'r rhe kind of
people that God wams us tu be. 'vVeuren't even the kind of peopie that
we hope to be. To be honest, sometimes when T 100k at thc worldwide and
local church, including churches 1 have pastored, 1 think, God, tbis isjust
one big mess! And apparenrly, l'm not the only one who rhinks this,
In March 2009 we received the resulrs frorn the widest reLigious
survey conducted in rhe Unired States, the ARIS (Ameri..:an Rcligious
Idenrification Survey) study. There is much to gain frorn this report,
which is based on over 54,000 intervicws conducted frorn f.'ehruary to
ovember 2008. This survey was a conrinuarion of the ARIS surveys
in 1990 und 2001, which are part of the lund ruurk series by the Prograrn
of Public AfÚirs at Trinity Collcgc in Harrtord. Connccticur.
The report indicares major shifts in the Arnerican lundscapc in thc
past eighteen ye,lrs, including rhe facr rhar rhe perct:nragc ot" peoplc
who eaU thernsclves some type of Christian hus droppcd more than
11 pcreent in a gencration. One of the most widely cired resu lts frorn
this survl:y is the signifi..:anl r ise in the number of thc-e whu cluuu no
religious idenrification or faith. This group has grown from 8.2 perccnt
in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008. Ariela Keysar, the associare d irecror of
the study, says that rhe none's (nonreligious) are thc only ~rollp to
havc grown in every state of the union.

So why are more and more people in the United States no longer
identifying themselves as Chrisrians? What is turning people off to the
church, or ar least some forms of the church? And why is the digital
=generarion the least involved?
While there is no simple answer to these questions, Iwanr to suggest
that ar the heart of the matter is the lack of mature missional disciples,
notjust as individuaIs but as communities ofGod's people. We need to
be more like Jesus.
Neil Cole makes a good point when he says,

Ultimate1y, each church will be evaluared by only one rhing--irs dis-

ciples. Your church is only as good as her disciples. Ir does nor matrer
how good your praise, preaching, programs or property are; if your dis-
ciples are passivo, needy, consumeristic, and nor (moving in the di-
rection of radical obedience,] your ehurch is not good.s

StanJcy Hauerwas says the sarne thing in anorher way, "[The rnost im-
portam social rask of Christians] is nothing less than to bc a community
capahle of forming people with virtues sufflcient to witness to Cod's truth
in the world .... [T]hc task of the Church ... is to become a políry rhat
has rhe character neccssary to su rvivc as a rruthful sociery'"
So why elo we lack mature Jisciples anel mature communitic::s of
r;tilh) Om, reuson is rhar we fàil to undcrstand the hidden power of
ndrllre in life tramformation.
Tndividualism saturares American culrure o the point that we no
longer norice it. [ndividualisQl rell« IIS we cun h'~mrne more likcJcsus by
ourselvcs, through :t sclf.hclr prograrn or more efforr, BUI the gospel
tells us transtorm:ltiOIl harren, :IS We embrace [he work of the pi rir in
OI/r livcs togethcr. BecoQli ng mo n- Iikl" .fcql'i is not ., ma ter of trring bur
yic.:lding, sctting rhe <;;lil, Clt" onr livcs to carch thc wind of hc Spirit. It
huppcns whcn we devclop a comrnuna) rhyrhm of life-a collcction of
rh il k , hodily prucrices (Iiturgics) rh,u eng::tgc our sensos, grab our hearrs,
I~)l"fllou r idcnrities nru] rcshape ollrJesircs toward Cod anti his kingdom.
A~ wc collenivcly t'llgagc in gracc-tllled spiritual practiccs, we cultivate
particular environlllenrs that hclp to creatc » missionnl culrurc, which in
turn rcshapcs lIS. As coworkcrs with God, wc crente culturc and culture
What Is MisslOnal Culture ena Why Does It Matter7

reshapes uso Understanding the transformative power of culture is vital

if we want to nave mature communities of faith.
Phillip Kenneson, in his book Life on the Vine, gives a vivid picture
of what it means to be a mature com munirv of faith. Using the fruir of
the Spirít Iisted in Galarians, he otIers a picture of whar Christ is
seeking to do in and through uso A mature community cultivares a
lifcsryle of love in rhe rnidst of markt:t-style exchanges: a lifesryle ofjoy
in thc midst of manufacrured desire, peace in rhe midst of fragrnen-
tarion, patiencc in the midst of productivity, kindness in the midst of
self-sufficiency, goodness in the rnidst of self-help, tàithfulncss in the
midst ofimpermanence, gentleness in the midst of aggression, and self-
control in the rnidsr of addicrion.


In Tbeories cifCulture, Karhryn Tanner makes this rernarkable sratement,

Although less rhan one hundred yeurs old, the modern anthropolilgical
meaning ()f"culrure» now enjoys a rcmarkahls influcncc within
istic disciplines of rhe academy ano wirhin eommol1sense discussions of
Jaily lih:. "In explalJ>\rury impor rance anu i n g-ent.:rahry otapplicanon Ir

is comparnhle to such caregorics as gr<lvily in rhy~ics, Jlsc:ase 1J1 rncd-

icine, cvolution in biolog-y."~

In othcr words, the idca of'\:ulturc" sh.lpcs everyrh illg wc di) .l~ hllllJ;lIl',
frorn our tnoughts wh ilc alone to how wc dcvclop 1:1111 i Iy sy"rC:111", til
our inrcractions at the workplacc, to the W:.lys 'I spcl"ifi . coullrr.v tinc!; ih
Kcnnesol1 understands the po\Vcr o!' culturc in thc devdupmclH uf
char:letcr. Culturc has parricular 1Z,;;r.:t:,,·u. ;;IJfÚiitiDII.,, I iu.u], .uul
dhi.-s thar shapc us as pcoplc, ThL dornin.inr u lturc scc] .., tu 'LILlLt../,ell~

(the church) into irs mold of murkcr-sryl- exchalll4"cs, m.II1U EILI urcd
dcsirc, sdF'sulficicl1cy and addiction. Thc aposrlc Paul puts it rhis wuv,

Don'r bccornc so wcll-adiusred tovour rultur: rh.u rOll fir imo ir withour
CVCII thinking. lnsrcad, flx your .u rcnt inn 011 Cod. You'Il ht.:
from tht.: inside out. !{caui[y rec()gniz~' whar hc wunts trorn yOI1, .md
quickly rcspond ro ir. U,,/ikc Ih,' rttltnrr around yOll, always dragglflg .V' 111

down to its Ievel of immaruriry, God brings the best OU! of you, develops
welI-formed rnarurity in you. (Rom 12:2 Tbe Message)

Paul tells us that the dominant culture shapes who we become. Ac-
cording to cultural theory, culture is largely made up of artifacts, lan-
guage, riruals, ~thics, institutions and narratives. In other words, the
longuage we Live in, the artifacts thar we use, the rituais we engage in,
our approach to etbics, the institutions we are a part of and the narratiues
that we Iisten to have the power to shape our lives profoundly.
As we look at the culture around us, here are some questions to help
us understand how we are being shaped:
• What is the guiding narratiue of our host culture?
• Which tnstitutions most shape our lives?

• Whar ethics are we developing in lighr of the stories and narratives

that bornbard us frorn every side?

• What rituais, practices and liturgies are we engaging in that shape our
desires, our idea of the "good life" and the kind of people we are

Ir we rake a quick look at American culture, we can see that an indi-

vidualistic and consumer narratiue shapes much of our culture and
rhereby socialized uso 'vVc are ali. socialized beings.

Socialization-the process of growing up wirhin a culrure-invoLves

intcrnalizing our culture's way of seei ng rhings .... The result is that
wc J<> not sirnply "scc" life, but we see it in cnculturared ways .... We
are likelv ro fecl t:"0od or not good about oursclvcs 011 rhe basis ofhow
wcll we live up lU rhe mc:ssag~s and standards of culture mterna lized
within us."

Our nnrratroc of growth and succcss includes the ability to purchase

comfort, security aud stahil iry. vVc are socializcd from a young age to
believe rhat Fulfillmcnt cernes rh rnugh products. Research indicares
thar childrcn can identify a brand as young as eighteen months, and
youth influencc abour $600 billion of adult spcnding.'? Some of our
strongcsr institutions are chain stores. We crente rituais around product
consurnption and hold closely to our brand-name artifacts.
What Is Missional Culture and Why Does It Matter? 33

If we hope to experience rransformation, we need to develop a

culturc in the congregation that encourages people to Iive in rhe world
for the sake ifthe world, without bcing q/the world. Gcrhard Lohfink,
in Jesus and Community, makes a strong case that it has always been
God's intention to work through a visible, tangible concrete community
that lives as a contrast sociery in the world for the sake of the world.'!
Tim Keller concurs when he says, "Chrisrians are truly residenrs of the
ciry, yet not seeking power over or the approval of rhe dominant culture,
Rather, they show the world an alternative way of living and of being a
human community."12 When we grasp the power of culture, it gives
both perspective and fresh hope for rransformation.


Leaders of God's people uniquely contribute to the culrivation of ,t
culture disrincr and differenr frorn the dominam culture. For ir is the
role of Spirit fillcd lcadcrs to create a missional culture within rhc con-
gregation. If we hope to create a missional culture, we rnusr undcrstand
the power of culture in shaping rhe life of the congregution. and leurn
the basic elerncnts of culrurc.
In addition, WI:! must examine our very approllch to leadership. For an
individualistic approach to leadership oftcn leads to an individualisric
approach to discipleship, while a shared upproach (O leadersh ip ofren
leads to J. communal approach to discipleship with an apprcciarion of
rhc life-shaping powa of culture. To change the erbos ot rhc church wc
also nccd to change our tlpproach to lcudership. 1 will uddress rhis larcr,
l3ut fir·;r we need to undersrund rhe nnrurc ot cultu re and how il works.

How Culture Works

The idea thet one can or couta at any lime separa te out by some

process of dlstlflatlon apure gospel unadulterated by any cultural

accretions is en IJluslon. It is, in tect. en abandonment of the gospel,

for the gospel IS about lhe word made ttesh, . . . There cen never be

a culture-free gospel. Yet the gospel, wtuct, IS from the beg;nning to

lhe end embodied in cultural/y condlt;oned forms, calls into question

ali cultures, ;ncluding lhe one In wtucti it was origlnal/yembodied.


So here's wnet I weu! Vou to do. God helplng yOI!: Teke your everyday,

ordmary life-your Sleepmg, eating. gomg-to-work, end walking-

dround life-and piece 1I before GOd as an offering. Embracing wbet

God does fOI you 15 fIle cest thlng you cen do for tum. Don't become

so wel/-adjusted to your culfure IhA! you ttt mto tt wittiout even

lhil/kmg. II/stedu. flx your attenllOll on God. voutt be changed from

Ih/:' IIJs/ue out, Reddilv ":~()51117P wnat ne wsnts from you. dnd quiCk/y

respond to Ir Unllke the culture arollod you, always draggmg you

dowr; to tts leve! ar Jn?m<1tullty Goo bnngs ttie besi out or yau,
devl:!/ops well-follned rnatun/y tn YOu.


How Cu/fure Warks

Cu/ture is considered one of the two or three most complicated words

in the English language.1 We talk about pop culture, high culrurc and
folk culture. Different people groups (ethnos) have different cultures
(ethos). Bur whar does the word mean? Sirnply put, culrure is what
hurnans make of crearíon.? In Cu/ture Making, Andy Crouch makes the
case thar being culture makers is at the hearr of what ir means to be
made in the image of God. For Crouch, wc become culrure makcrs
when we create Cultural goods (arrífacts): to be shared with the public-
from ornelcrs to poerns, [ram bui lding bridges to making laws. Cultural
influence is related to the degree to which rhe specific cultural goods
thar we creare shape and affecr specific groups of people. J While there
is a place for condemning, critiquing, consuming and copying culturc,
the primary posture Chrisr tollowers are to havc in the world is as
culrure makers.
In regard to history, the word m/lure is Middle French .ind comes
frorn thc Latin ,;u!:Urtl, whk.h i" bvrrl1wcJ livJI' lllC L,üiu word wlt:,t'
meaning to rill, cultivare or rend.:' Thus yOll have horricu/tuTI', rhe
science and arr of cultivating planrs, agrimltur,\ thc scicncc and art of
cultivating land JnJ livcstock, allJ in n:g,lrJ to .111thrupology (srudy of
hurnans), culrure is about cu//Í'í.>clting ar dcvcloping a W:1y ofbci n~ in rhe
world. The anthropujogical scnsc of rhc word only d~vclc)pl.:d within
the lasr cenrurv, primarily in AlIlcrica. ano rdt:r~ to rhe ide:! lha! dit:-
ferem peoplcgroups luve particular W:lys of I i fl:. S


I\nrhropolo).;lsts anu thcolo~ialls with an mtormcd plnlosopluc.ri

anthropolog-v zive more detuiled definirions of cu lturc. ,harill~ thc
variou, clerucm , th.11 ruake up \ u lturc, 'vVillialll 1{()l1lall')w~ki de-
fill<':~ cu lture as ":1 coll<.:ctlt)fl ,)f' ideais ;lnu belll:ts, vn lucs anti assull1p-
t ioris , t hut m.ikcs IIp a kind o l musrcr plan rill-li~'ill~ .uul illrcrprl'tinl!;
fite."" Philip [(cnneson, whilc conccding thcrc are numcrous
srrcngths and wl.::lkl1l.:!->·cs
to v.u ying det'illiLit)Il~. ~;ty~, "cu lt ure-, .i rc
distinguished from onc anorher hv rhose sh ared j>me/irel', CO11'l'l,-tlfJt/S.
instit ntion, anti /l(ll'Iilli-UCJ thut order and givc shupe to thc lives of a
particular grolljl of people."

As Ive read on this topic I've noriced that some authors make ir very
sirnple while others make ir 50 complex that the average person has dif-
ficulty understanding what they are saying. Choosing to live berween
complexity and sirnplicity, my approach to understanding culture in-
volves six elements-Ianguage, artifocts, narratives, rituais, institutions
and etbics. These elernents interrelate to create culture and make up
what 1 call the "cultural web."8


Language. We are bom into a world filled with words. The world was
created with words. Words create worlds. Words bring life and death.
Words shape us and form uso
When someone says, "Ler's go to church," ir reveals ignorance of the
nature of the church. The people of Cod are rhe church. Church is not
something we go to, ir is something we are. We go to a week1y garh-
ering, we attend a worship scrvice, but we are the ehurch. Thc Ianguage
we speak, and the language that is used in the congregations we serve,
reveals how missional the culture of the church is. Wirh our tongues we
can build a rnissional culrure, and with our words wc can desrroy ir.
Language is central to any culture, Ir is through language that we have
a narrative to inhabit.
Se, whar does the language of the wngn::garion vou serve reveal? Do
the words people speak reveal an understandinj- thar GoJ is rnissional
iu his essence, and thar we, (ih hirn, are a scnr peoplc, und that we are
to livc in rhe worlJ tor the sakc of the world>
/lrlifacts. In .iddition to lallgu<1gc:, the use of and creution ot' arti-
Jàct.ç (cultural goods) are central to creJting- culture. An cssential ar-
tijtut toe Chrisr fnl10wers is rhe Holy Scripturcs. Within tlus divine-
hu m.m artijàct is thc nnrrativc th,it shupcs the missionul congrcgarion.
As wc rcad rhe histo: y. poems, provcrbs, psalrns, propherrc uttcrance ,
Gospels, lerrers and apocalyptic lireraru rc, we discover that God is 00
mission in thc world. We learn frorn Scriprurc rhat thc Holy Spírit is
hn::athing on pcoplc to write thc artifacts (scriptural books) as they are
on mission, so thar we gain an understanding of how the good ncws
incarnates itsel f inro var ious cultures th rough the passage of time.
How Cu/fure Works 37

How do rhe members of the church you serve approach Scripture? Do

they seek a theology of mission in the Scripture, or do they recognize that
Scripture is a byproduct of mission, revealing a missional rheology, which
is forming them to join Cod in his mission? Do they look to the Scripture
to inforrn or transform them? Do they spend more time critiquing the
Scriptures or allowing God to critique them through Scripture? Does the
community understand the Scriptures as static or dynamic?
The bread and wine are primary artijacts as well. They are earrhy
and divine. Jesus takes these elements of the Passover meal, by which
the Hebrews remember how God rescued them from the Pharaoh, and
transforms them into his body and blood.
When peoplc come to the Table in the congregation you serve, do
they remember that Jesus' body was broken for ali and thar his blood
was spilled for the whole world, and rhus seek to be bearers of God's
saving purpose for his whole world (see Col 1:20; 1 )n 2:2)? Or do rhcy
view thernselves as exclusive beueficiaries uf GvJ'~ gra,-e? J.;~u~lJ.h.L:~
rhe table of fellowship and exrends ir to include the tax collectors, pros-
titutes and those left out by the religious system. How well does thc
congrcgation you serve do this?
The rich hymns and the liturgy thar thc church has inherited are
urtifilcts that huve shapcd the culture 01" thc church through rhc ccn
turie . Examining rhe :ong~ wc sing and ou r uppro.ich to liturgy are
important ir we wanr to develop a culture. in fact, congrcga-
tions with rnissional cultures take rheir cue lrorn formcr l!;eJlt;:rilLiuns
and seek to write new songs lor new times und new places, and thus
be .ome culturc mukcrs.
Narratiues, The dominant story of a pnrricula r culturc gives meaninz
to Ih I:" Illnguflgf' and urtifacts of a culturc. und lhe nurrut iue shupcs allll
torrns a cornmuruty In powertul ways. The nnrrat rue ot Scnprurc pro-
vides rhc ehu rch for "a sufficicnrl y truth fui accounr oi' ou r cxistencc" hy
which the conunuuity of t~lith can navigate the arnbigllitics nf our
lives," Thc presuppositions we holJ, knowingly OI" unknowingly.
as a cornmunity, are bascd on the primary n.rrr.itivc we livc by. Thc
narrative is the p;lliding story rhar hclps the cornrnuniry unswer thc
qucst ion Wbat ir God's cal1ingjor our churcb?

Stanley Hauerwas writes, "Just as scientific theories are partially

judged by the fruitfulness of the activiries they generare, so narratives
can and should be judged by the richness of moral characre- and ac-
tivity they generate."1O As you consider the congregation you serve, is
the narrative of the community shaping people to love Christ more, be
more like hirn and deeply engage the world in order to see God's
kingdom becorne a greater reality?
Elements strongly related to the narrative include theology, stories and
doctnne. The%gy is a systematic approach to understanding the story,
taking imo accounr various theological discipli nes, such as biblical, his-
torical, contexrua], practical and philosophicaJ. If we wanr to develop a
missional culture, we need to move from a theology of mission to a
missional theology, unJerstanding rhat cripture is created by people
00 mission, for people 00 rnission.

When I say stories, I mean rhe primary stories rhar are shaping the
comrnun.ry Whar are rhe Scriptllre storics that rhe grollp focuses UII,
and how do these stories help them love God, rheir oeighbors and their
cnemics more? Wnat srories ar tesrimonies are discussed within rhe
comrnuniry> Whar storics from the churchs history are rehearsed>
What cu rrcnr rnissiona] srories are bei ng retold? Thcse stories convey
whar is valuer] in the communiry. Developioo- u missional culrurc re-
quires enr people to shure how God 's mission is shaping their s[Ory in
everyduy litc.

FínalJy doe/Tines starr to tc)rm within :t comrnuniry as they develop

arcas ofconvicrion in regarei ro rhe subsrance of (hei r Iairh. Thc primary
.wthorilati\e teachillg~ til" rlrc L(J11l 1111 111 iry, hnth torrnu] and inrorrnal.
.irc thc docrr ines of rhe cornlllllnity. Do thcy reflecr a missiona] the-
nlngy?" Til his Icrtcr to Timorhy Paul says. "Watch vour life and doe-
tr inc closel)'. Persevere in thcm, UCGlUSt.:
ir y(JU do, you will save both
YUllJ,clJ' .ind your hcarers" (l 'rim -k (6). N"tice rhar tor P.lul, Jocrrine
is a practicccl thcology and a livcd spirituality-which rerniods llS of
rhe interrelatedl1\;:'s of cach of the dernents of \.ulturc.
Rituais. RituaIs are procedures or rnurincs thar are fused wirh
Illeaning. Ritual uctions include various rires of passage (birth, mar-
riagc, dcat li) or c:.tlendrical rires (religiOlls hnly days, national holidays),
How Culture Works

and are characterist.ically formal and tradirional, engage the attention

of ao audience, and are marked by precise reperition wirh an appeal to
supernatural beings.12

A ritual never cxists alone, lt is usually one ceremony among many in

rhe larger ritual of life of a person or cornmuniry, one gesrurc among a
multitude of gestures both sacred and profane, one ernbodimenr among
others oftraditions ofbehavior down from one generation to another. In
other words, for each and every ritual, there is a thick context of social
cusrorns, hisrorical pracrices, and day-to-day routines rhat, in addirion
ro the unique facrors at work in any given rnorncnr in time aud space.
influence whether and howa ritual action is performed.lJ

Rituals answer the question What are our corepracticesê When talking
about rituais, we willlook ar rires, !rac/icc?s and liturgies. As we do, con-
tinue to assess the congregation yOl! serve in thcsc arcas.
Some ritual acrions includc rire s nf passa.e;e, ceremonics that ac-
company and dramatize major events as birth, gradllation, marn.lge and
dearh. When rhe early church starred to connecr with non-jews, ir was
common to bring new Christians through an intense carechisrn, which
had four phascs offcrmarinn anel growrh marked by thrcc rires ofpassage:
we1come into the church, cnrollment of munes, and buprism. This is
documenred in Tb« Aposto/i.: Traditiou, writren by H ippolyrus around
A.l). 215. Dcvcloping a missionul carcchisrn wirh vurious rires of r~t~sa,(!;c
is a way to instill a rnissionul DNA U1 thc congrcgution. Does thc C()Il~re-
gnricn you serve huve a missional carcchism with rires ()r p;l~sagc~
Calcndrical rires, which "give sociullv me.m iIH!;f"lII clcfinirion« til thc
passagc of time;' is unorher way co crearc :\ Illi~~illll:d c u lt ure in Ih,·
congrcgarion.>' The Christian is ;\ ,:..;~t:;1t CX:\1ll1'11'(Ir rhi, Ry
llbser.'ing lhe Chrj~ri;Ul calcndar we concrcrclv and crc.i ivcly rcrncmbor
what is central to our tàith-the birth, life, dearh, resurrecrion anel
sccond coming of Chrisr, all)ng wirh rhe birrh ol lhe church .rt l'cn-
recosto Thc scuson of Advcnt hclps lIS prepare ror Christs sccond
com ing, and rcrninds l!S to live incarn.uional Iivcs. In Ilbsc.:rvlllg
Epiphany, wc are rernindcd ofjcsus' dcsirc to rcdccrn thc who!c world
and are frcshly rnotivared to join hirn Oll this rnission. Ash Wedncsday

prepares us for the season of Lent, where we travei with Chrisr on rhe
way to the cross, in deep seif-examination, prayer, repentance and
fasting. We consider the ways we have failed to join God in bis mission
to redeem the world. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday prepare us
for Easter and the following Easter season, the fifry days where we
celebrate rhe victory that Jesus won ar rhe cross. During the Easter
season we remember how Jesus conqucred death anel celebrare the evi-
dence and first fruirs of the new creation. Pentecost is a reminder of the
gifr of rhe Holy Spirit and how we can taste the future in the presenr as
we live in 5pirit-transforming comrnunities.
In what way does the congregation you serve use calendrical rites to
bring a missional meaning to time in a habitual way?
Practices or spirirual disciplines reshape our desires and point OUI

hearts in particular directions. Embedded in practices is the te/os to

which wc are bcing oricnted."! Practil.:es help us to grow to become
mature human beings. )):1lla~ Willard defines spiritual disciplines as
"activities in our power that we engagc in to enable us to do whar we
cannot do by direct effort alonc."!" People through the ages have en-
gaged in rhe spíritual disciplines hoping thur rhcse practices becorne
habits rhar reshape rhern inro the image of Chrisr. What practices is the
congregation you serve engaging in, in order to rcshape their desirc for
God and his m ission in the world?
Lifurgzes are a certain kind of practice. They are thick pracrices.
jarnes K. A. Srnirh, in his book Desmng fh.' Kingdom, makes a good
drstrnction bcrween thin und thick pracrices, Some practices or habirs
wc cngagc in are tbin, likc cxercising or bru~hing our teerh. We do
rhese habirs roward a particular end, to be in shape and have clean
teeth. T'hin practiccs don'r rouch un our identity. "Ir would be <In odd
thing, tor instuncc, for mc to think of rnyself first und foremost as a
'tooth brushcr.' Thcse practices or habirs don'r touch our loue or funda-
mental desire."17 Thick pracrices or (Iiturgies) are rituais of ultimare
concern, rituuls thar are iJcntity-forming und tdor-laden, rhat ernbed
particular visions of thc good life, and do 50 in a way rhar seeks to
trump othcr ritual formations.18 50 what kind ofliturgics do the people
in the congregation yOll serve in embody? IIow do they increasc peo-
How Cutture Works 41

ple's honesty and love for Cod? How do they help shape people for
God's purposes in the world?
Institutions. Some may consider that thinking about the ehureh as
an institution runs contrary to creating a missional culture, but the fact
is that institutions shape and mold us in subsrantive ways and represent
an elernent of stability, lnstitutions can be an ally to movernenrs. The
issue is not institutions; they will be with us forever. Thc problcm is
institutionalism, when rhe institution takes on a life of its own and
starts rewriting the story thar gave it birth, or when an institution over-
steps its bounds and beeomes 'o bureaucratic rhar death i inevitable.
Farnilies, church and governmenr are good; the wrong use of thern is
what is bad. Instirutions answer the question Houi wil! uie fu(fi!! God's
calling together?
The ehureh is a living organism as well as an institurion. Institu-
tions are necessary for 1ife. Miroslav Volf, with rhe help of Perer
Berger and Thornas Luckman, defines an insrit .•ition as "rhe stable
structures of social i nteraction" that develops when at least two people
do the samc th ing togerher repearedly.!" With th is dcfinition it is
clear the church is an institurion. Ac 'oniing tu Volf, two pr y
factors shape rhe life of an institution: the partem of power distri-
bution and internal cohesion and unity, Understnnding h0w a congn:-
~ation handles power distribution uud how rhey rnu intuin unity when
ir comes to thcir vision, strategy and marks of tairhfulness helps
disccrn thc culture of the church. lf the church as an insritution IS

going to be missionul, 1 belicvc the chureh necds ,1 PO~VÚ?lItriL approlldl

to lt:tlJ.:nhip, where lhe <':lluippers cuablc thci r Jéllow jJlll'lt\ to livc Ln

rheir sucrcd potential. Thus the entire b.xly is activ.uci] for Cod's
mission in the world. We have ull bcen sent; ali of us .irc to tc.icl: une
anothcr, ,,!tare our failh livc in thc Spirit an.l .ldmini"tc.r h,-.t1in~ tll

onc anothcr. Ilow rnuny pcoplc in rhe eongrel!;atiol1 y011 serve umlcr-
stand that they are "a chosen pcoplc, a royal pr icsthood;« hnly nar ion ,
God's spcciul posscssion" (1 Pet 2:9)?
Struct ures, jymboll and jystanJ are closcly rclutcd to the inst it urion.
Structures deal wirh the various ministrics 01' rhe church, Thcv deal
with thc following qUCStiOI1S: r Iow is powcr distributcd? Who mukcs

what kind af decisions? Whar is thc straregy of rhe group, and how is
the group organized to fulfill rhar strategy?

As you assess the congregation you serve, ask yourself these ques-
tions: Does the congregarion takc a hierarchical or grass-roots approach?
Does one person wield authority, ar is authority revoJving and dispersed
(a polycentric approach)? 1s rhere a bottlencck in the strucrure, ar does
the church takc a more open-snu rt:e approach> ls cohesion maintained
by rigid authority or rhrough relationships and collaboration?
Our Jjvcs are surroundc:J by symbols-a wedding band, golden
arches, a Nike swoosh-artitacrs that ar a glance bring a rush of
thaughts and emorions. Symbols have been a long parr of whar it means
to be human, from rhe Egyptian hieroglyphics to the drawings found
on the wails of catacombs. Thc archirecrurc of thc building we meer in
and evcn how ir's er up and organizcd symboLizc differcnt things. In
cleveloping a mis ional Cultllre the lcudcrs ask qucstions like: What
JOt:~ the physical cnvirolllllcnr signal [() people? Wh<lt does our logo or
church narne signi(v to our COllllTluniry? What are rhe symbols of
success in the commllnity? DI) they hclp move pcople toward God and
his mission ti)r rhe world>

SYJLc·lII.1 work ,dulIgsidc srructures to hclp a eongregarion to move

torward in rheir sacrcd ealling. Our boJies have a numher of sysrerns
rhaL work rOg"ether to kCL-p us ht:alrhy, rhc .t;asrrointcstinal tract, bones
.md nervOllS -ysrcm c.lrry out t hc ir vuriuu-, fllnnions. Everyeongre-
garion Jus \Va.,·s (S\ srcrns) in wili h 111I.:yllIollirnr the heulrb of thc
ChUfl h :lIld CIlU)lILIgc J>cople In .~rl)\\.1 .1 COllllllunirr. Sysrems ask the
ljuL'srions; Do rlle"n!, fllll' '·.'c· li I\'L' brill:.., ,\ lIt:r::;.\ J.nJ el1t:rgy lu our
visioll? \,vhar are r/ie wriucn .111,!li nwrurcn r u Ícs rhar shape our cu/tu re?
'vVhar behaviors a rc CO!lSldcred 1:llrl1tu l to r hc ,hUfeh 's sense of c:J.lJing
und rhus cclebr:!rcd~ 'vVIl Ir Iwh:\vi<lr~ are (onsiJereJ dislop.l to rhe
vi,ion .Ind thu- finw!Jed 1l1'C11~ or JlIlni"hcd? EX<llllillillg thesc questions
will hclp vou disl"crn how missiollal thc t:1I1turc 1l1ight be.
Rth;cs. Everv' ("()Ill11111
n itv has llloralco[H·ic·tions tltat inforrn how thc
COlJ1l1luniry IIVCS, whi.-l\ nrc rhe dNu of rhe group. Equippcrs remind
people th.u erhies urcu'i lilllilt:d to ollt\.\.ard eOl11pliancc, for God is con-
ccrncd .Ibllut rhe 1.'<'11"1 /)1" lhe cru 11munu Ir. iVIissi()nal t:thit:s is rclarional
How Cutture Works

in narure, for we live in a covenanr relationship with a holy and mis-

sional God who calls us to live in healthy relationship with each othcr
and all of crcation. Equippers encourage a rnissional ethic by encour-
aging the community to do good in the world for the sake of the world,
as well as to avoid doing evil, The equippers seek to help the com-
munitywalk in thc Spirir, for "as God's image-bearers we are to reflecr
GoJ's character tu euch other and to alI creation by aligning ourselves
with the divine cause in the world."20 Ethics answers the question What
does it mean fôr us to befoithfu! and fruitful in God's mission?
As you consider the congregation you serve, i there a clear under-
standing of whar it means ro be fairh fui and fru iefu 1, anti does ir retlect
something more substancial than how many people come to a service
and how large the budget and blliIding are?
When talking about erhics, J'm talking abour báng. doillg ano rt'-
j7ecring in a cychcal narurc. Because missionul Ícaders understand rhut
JOiilg procccds from ,~üng, rhey hclp pecplc undcrsrund 7.;.'.i;~thcv are i:"1
Chrisr prior lo what he 11:IS called thern to do. Til Christ wc have a ncw
idcnrirv and a new tetos (end or goal), à new ui rn for ()1I[ live~--j()inillg
GoJ in rhc rcncwal of a11things, which brings glory to Got!. R'in,,:: in
volves abiuing in Christ. Jesus said, "Rcrnain in me, as 1 ulso rcm.iin in
you. No branch can bcar fruir bj- itseJf; ir IDlISr rcmuin in rhe vinco
Ncithercan you bcar Iruit unless you rcmain in me" (Jn 15:-1). Wc c.ui't
bcar fruir nn our own-thc fruit of the Spirit is rcflccted in ou r livcs as
wc lcarn to uhrdc in Chrisr. !\bidi n.t; in Chri~r mcuns illvlring Jesus lo

walk with 1I~ ar every rnorncnt of our livcs, Ir is a way Dt st.\ying l"()I1-

nccrcd 10 (;od, heil1)!; nourishcd hy rh« S)llrir. 111 wh.u W;}y~ d"c~ r lic
congrcgancn vou serve cquip mcmbcrs lo ahi,lt: in Christ, to g;ct into
rhvthrn-, .,fliL th.u rcsh.ip •..thcir dcxircs?
[3eC<luse oi" ·w};o wc are. we Ii-o, ,liiTcrclllJ}. \VllcII ,~C rc,tli/c HC .uc
scnr pcnplt-, whcn wc wc are ambassadors of Chri-«, ir
shapcs us tor mission. Doillg is abour hearinL!; the fruir of lhe Spiru,
making rhc llh))C": to wulk in rhc Spinr .nsrcad or'w.dking 111 thc flcsh.
As we Icarn ln abide in Chrisr rh rDlIt;h th il k prac rire~ of rhe hcur t (Iit
urgies), wc will dcvclop a counccrion wirh CoJ, a tlow oflifc bcrwccn
GoJ and u~-like;l hranch ro lhe "inc. Cod's li k- will rlow inro OIlf';:I~

we rake time to engage in a rhythm oflife, in splritual disciplines. Over

time it will change the way we aet, see and speak. In what ways is the
eongregation yOli serve eoncretely blessing the neighborhood, living as
sent people and ambassadors of Christ?
When being and doing are cornbined with refleainy, we cngage in
praxls, where the process of action and reflection, pracrice and thought
is repeated cydically, each informing the orher. Maybe that is why Paul
says to "practice hospitaliry" (Rom 12:13). Being able to think abolir,
assess and examine our lives belongs to the essence of what it means to
be human, and it is indispensable for our growth and developrnenr. If
we don't reflect on our life, ir eventually Ioses irs meaning. In what
conerete ways does the eongregation you serve engage in refleetion?

So the cultural web involves language anti artifaas as well as narratiue,
ritual}, institution and etbics. Scek to stash these six elernents in your
rnind. As you reflect on narratiue, rernembcr ir involves theology, stories
and doctrines, As yOLlreflect 00 rituais, call to mind rites, practices and
liturgie. As you think about institution, ler ir rrigger the memory of
struciures, symôols anti JYSll!11'H. And as you dwell on ethics, let ir bring to
mind being, doing anti rcf!ecting. Each of rhe elernenrs i nrerrelatcs and
gives IlS an understanding of culture as a whole. Take some time to fa-
miliarize yourself with these elemcnrs, beca use rhese ideas are woven
throughout thc book, sometirnes in more focused ways.
I laving growl1 in our understanding ot culture, let's now take a look
ar rhc fivc envi ronmcnts needcd to crente u nussional culrurc. As we do,
as yoursclf, How strong are tbcs« ernnronments in tbe church that I seruei'

What's Going On in the Culture

ot the Church Vou Serve?

Missionalleadership is about cultivatmg an envuotunent that innovates

and releases the missional imagination present in God's oeopte.


Christ tumselí gave the eoosues. the prophets, the evsngensts. tne
pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so lhat
the body of Cnnst may be built up until we ali reach unity m lhe faith
and in the knowledge of tne Son of God and become mature, attammg
to the whole measure of me fullness of Ctuist.


Helen Keller, the htind-and-deat woman who 111;10" hisrorv hy lcar ninz
to overcornc her disabi lities, W'\S once nsked 1f rhcre w;\~ .myrh ing wor sr-
rhan being blindo he answered, "Oh yes! Therc is sornething worsc
than being blindo lt is being able to sce and not having any visiol1,"1
While rnost leuders have vision srarcmcnts, how lIlany would yOl! say
have cluriry in regard to the kind of culture they desire to cultivare in
thc eongrcgations they serve? As lcaders recognize the powcr of cu lturc,
ir hccorncs imperative to dariFy rhc kinds of cnvironmcnts that will

need to be deve1oped. I suggest that there are five kinds of envíron-

menrs we need to cultivate if we are to creare a missional culture. As we
look at these five environments, take some time to assess the congre-
gation you serve. In chapter seventeen we will talk abour specífíc ways
to cultivate these five errvi ronrnents. Ar this poinr, ask the Spirit to give
you a sense of thc 'trengrhs and weaknesses in the church you serve.


Cultivating a learning environmenr is es enrial to creating a missional

cuIture. A learning environment helps the congrcgation to inhabit lhe
sacred lex! in such a W:ly rhar Scriprure is undersrood as not simpIy a
book to be read bur a voice to be heard. Through Scripture we en-
counre- the voice of God and meaningfully connect with him in such a
way that we experience transformation and hear his call to join in his
mission to transform our neighborhoods, cities and world.
While Icarning cnvironmenrs mighr inrlllde weckly o-arherings,
midweek stlldies and Bible stuJies, it goes beyond these meerings. Real
know1edge is krlt)wlcdge rhar iq practiceJ in cvcryday life. Praxis char-
acterizes a learning environmcnr. Ir takes pince when people cngagc in
a lc;Jrning activity based on a new undcrstanding, articude or conccpt,
and then immcdiar<.:ly renect on whar they jusi did. This process of
acnon and ret1ecrio!l, pracrice a nd thollght, is rcpcalcd in a cvclical
proL·ess, e:lch informing lhe <llhcr.

A [earning cnvironmt:/lt im'ulvo dialogue, nor just monologuc.

f.C:Hllillg cnvironJ1l\:llb IlIvilt.; p\:ople lo ilJ1ll1ediareIy use knowleJg
:Intl CxpcriCl1cc irs hCIl\:rir, (!Jus inl"r\:;lsing lhe lJ1otili,ltion tu Ícar n more.
A Ie:lrning l.:/lvironI11t:nt rcquires ucrivc [earning, where pcople are
gi t:1l lcarning objcClives th.u help thcrn to think, feeI und do.
Culriv nng a learnl/lg cnvirnnment enahlcs peorle tu live ill rllc \VurJ,
alltl :h thPJ livc in thc \iVord and h,l\{t: lhe \VlIrd live in them-they
beclJl1lt:instrumenrs of love, jn.r,justice and pea«- in rhe worid. Histori~
cally, when rhc pcople nfGod have dWc/t in rhc ~acreJ rexr, rhcy havc lefi:
tlle rumt()j"ts of ho111
C lo go ro the four COmer of the earth to share the

gnod neW$()~·Jesusrhrough thci r <terions und words, 1 hey havc buih hos-
pitaIs nnd scllOuls. They have givcn sacri.ficially to help alleviarc suftcring
What's Going On In the Cutture of ttie Ctiurcn You Serve?

in the world. They have promoted peacemaking, by overcoming evil with

good. They have crossed social, economic and racial barriers, recognizing
that every person is made in God's image. They have appreciared beaury
by creating arr like Handel's Messiah and Bachs epic Mass in B Minor and
the great churches ofByzantium, the Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance
basilícas. Even more impressive, "they've done their work a teachers,
farrners, bricklayers, nurses, scholars, meehanics, sellers, public scrvants,
scientisr, homemakers, cab drivers, and cooks with a . pecial sense of
purpose, love and joy."2 They Iived their everyday iivcs for God, turning
their jobs into sacred caIJings, by which rhey glorified God.
Jesus said, "If you rernain in me [rhe living WordJ and my words
remain in you, ask wharever yOll wish, and ir will be done for you. This
is to my Father's glory, thar you bear much fruir, showing vou to be my
disciples" On 15:7-8).

learning Environment
As you think about the congregation you serve, how you would rate it in
regera to cultivatmg a learning environment? Here are some questions
to guide your rettection.

• In what ways does Scrrpture shape the community you serve?

• ls the community listening to God through lhe Scriptures and
practicing /O their everyday lives what lhey are learrung? How?
• In what ways are people actively rerlectrng on what they are

• What percentage af the congregatlan IS unrnersed in Gad's story

and teachrng the Scnpturo to others?

• Haw rnany are (;It;tlvely IIlterddlfl~ wllh lue Gud'~ .-;túry <.15 ,t
relates to therr local cantext and fTlISSIOn'

If a congregation dcsires to bccornc more wholc and holy, rhcv nccd to
cultivare a healing environrncnr as well, whcre pcople can ruke ofr" iheir

masks and live imo their true selves in God. Too often churches are over-
program med and leave roo little time for people to re1ax, playand enjoy one
another, Franríc minisrry and busyness sometimcs are ways to avoid facing
OUI true selves. A congregation that both works and plays becomes family.
A healing environment creates space for people to pursue living out a life-
giving spirituality within community and engage in habits that refresh
them physically, recharge them emotionally and renew them spiritually.
A healing environrnent helps the congregation seel: wholeness and bo-
liness. This comes first through understanding God's unending love for
us: "Most of us werc taught that God would love us if and wben we
change. In fact, God leves yOl! so that you can change. What empowers
change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. 1t
is that inherent expcrien e oflove that becornes rhe engíne of change."3
As John has said, "We love because he firsr loved us" (1 J n 4:19). So for
deep healing to take place in our lives, there needs to be an armosphere
of acccptance. As Paul has said, "Accepr one another, then, jusr as
Christ accepred you, in order to bring praise to God" (Rom 15:7). What
does it mean to accept someone?

Healing Environrnent
How would you rale the healing environment in tne cburcn yOL! serve?
Think about these questions.

• Do the rhythms of the church make space for people to have

down time a-io just hang wi h each other?
• Are their regular times for people to be genuine with one another-
with no rnasks?

• How well do people know each other and share life with each

• What percentage of the congregation considers the church as

• How many are expenencing healing from past hurts and moving
toward wholeness spiritually, physrcally, mentally and emotionally?
What's Going On in lhe Cu/ture ot tne Church You Serve? 49

Ir is a remarkable action, di fficult to define, yct unmistakable when we

experience ir. To accept people is to befor thern, Ir is to recognize that
it is a very good thing that these people are alivc, and to long for rhe
best for them. Ir does not, of course, rnean to approve of everything
they do. It rneans to continue to want whut is best for rheir souls no
rnatter what they do."

Not only does an utmosphere of acceptance help cultivare a healing envi-

ronrncnt, but it is important for the congregation to havc a realistic picture
of communiry and understand that communiry-building is a process filled
with both pain and joy. If people come into community expecting utopia,
they willlikely leave hurt and disappointed. Paul's letters dearly revcal the
messiness of community. Cornmuniry is mes y because ir is a collecrion of
imperfect people, seeking to be rransforrned by God together.'

Cultivating a wekClming environrm:nt meuus helpina rhe comrnunity
practice hospiraliry as a way of life. We huve u11 fdr the puin of ex-
elusion, offceling unloved, unwelcomed or unappreciareJ. We c<ln;tll
recall wound wc have rcceived. And wc huve ali felr rhe longing to bc
a part of some cxclusivc group. While the nurrative of ou r world en-
courages us to be exclusivo, the narrative oi" God encourugcs some-

rhing quite differcnt.

Ou r Cod is a wclcorning em.\. Froru rhc cal! ufAbr.tl1J.m-whcrc
God said he would blcss h irn .md ul l the nutions ot chc c.i rrh rh rou!!;h
him-to john's vision of peoplc frorn cvcr y tllnguc:, tribc ;tnd n.rr io n
gathcred arúund the throuc of Chr ist, W~· -ce r (;pd i~wclcorni ng.
Jesus e xcrnpli licd this, consisrently ex rend ing rhc table to t hosc who
were marg,inali.lcJ by r hc ['l·o['1e o! (;od anti SOCH:ty. .Jesus ("nn-
sta ntly crosscd bou rular ics to dcm()n~tra tr- h,H (;o.! WekOlnL'~ ul l ,
and as Chr isr's di~l..iples wc "hn\lld scck to do lhe sarnc.
A numher of worncn at Kairos Los i\ngclcs have ar times assisrcd a
local ministry that hclps wnmen who <In: in transition. Thcy prf)vidl'
housing and oftcn hclp these worncn find jobs. Some nf t hcsc worncn
starred to get involved with OUf congregation in Hollywood. A. nurnbcr
of years ago, une iady by the numc of Lati fah carne up to me, und .l!" shc

was introducing herself, she said, "And by the way, 1 am a Muslim."

Latifah was welcomed inro our congregation, and larer she told me,
"You know JR, I have visited a number of churche , and most of the
time when I tell thern that I arn a Muslim, people start to exclude me.
Ir's like a walI goes up. But as 1 have come here to Kairos, people have
welcorned me. I wanred to rhunk you tor rhar."
Latifah conrinued to come rn our weekly gathering, undayafter
unday. I starred a -even-week serie on the life, death and resurrection
of Jesus, and she cume faithfully each week to Iisten. By the time we
finished the last tal k, Lanfah, who happened to be sitting in the center
of the roam, jurnped out of her scat, pur hcr hauds in the air and
shoured, "Jesus is Lord, jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord!" She then fell
down to her knees, bowed her head and cried, Latifah felt welcomed
and accepted. As a resulr she desircd to hcar more abour Jesus and ul-
tirnarely recognized him as her Lord.

Welcoming Environment
/s your church cuftivating a welcoming environment? Use these questions
to attain a new vision for the cu/fure of the church you serve:

• How many peop/e genlJine/y welcome others into the.r tight


• How wel1 dop.s Ih" frlith com"'-,urlfty reflec the diversrtv of the
nelghborhooti )

• What m1fl1S1rl"S,r" '11p/d(:e In h~lo nr'pnt flP0f:l1•• H1lo lhe Ilfe of

the congregabu(l~

• Wlidl ~ef(..eflfrlW' ot pel'ple lTIeanlng ui/V :::onncct with others in

,/1<:: f1elgIIUOrlioOd, at work Or In nthpr mlsslnnal spaces?

• Hnw well loe~ 'ho [gnrT"J11lt., :;'C:1rõ1nteth.: good I'ew~ withrn

lhe var.ous ITIJSSronalsoaces/

• How Wlllln,g are peonla te ilcriflre their own cultura: comfort to

mee neopla where they are?

• How many people willingly initlate with people wno are dlfferent
Ihan thern>
wnets Gomg On In the Cutture of lhe Ctiurch You Serve}

Cultivaring a welcoming environrnenr, where we pracrice hospiraliry as

a lifestyle, helps the congregation to incarnate lhe good netos. Ir gocs beyond
how tbe church receives people, It means we take the initiative to live out
our mission incarnationally, but this comes ar a price. The price is that the
church "musr always be willing to die to irs own cultural cornforr in order
to live where God intends it to be.''6 We must cultivare a community of
faith for them, among thern and Wilh thern, under the spirir of God. We
need to have a listening and learning posture as we Iive with thern. Jesus
said, "I teU you the truth, unless a kernel ofwheat is planted in rhe soil and
dies, it remains alonc. But its death will produce many new kerncls-;l
plenriful harvest of new lives" (jn 12:24 NLT). If we are willing to die to
our comfort and personal preferences and faithfully plant oursclves incar-
nationally among the people groups anJ neighborhoods Cod scnds us to,
fruit will abound. Living incarnationally is "entering thcir world. Taking
it ;1S scriously as thcy do and he1ping them fino Ch rist there."?

Cultivating a liberating environmcm encourages pcople to crnbodv a
holisric gospel, helping peoplc cxperiencc liberation frorn personal and
social siris by lórming Spirit-transtorming comrnunitics. j\ !ibt:Lltlng
environment encourngcs people to overcornc addictions, grow in per-
sonul holiness and livc in the power of thc Spirir.
LJltim:ttely :l libcranng environrncnt helps rhe con!!;rel?;alioIl/'"rJUl'
God's sba/om-"rhe.: wa)' things oughr to be ". r r i~ allCllll scci ng t hc re.:-
.rliry ofGod's kingdorn orou,!!;hl to bcur on rhc carril. Ir s whcn cncrn ics
.irc rcconcilcd, mjusuccs arc m.ulc right, !tUII, .rrc hculcd, .mxictic .irc
soorhed and cities flourish.
A libcI:tlillg environmenr i uluvatcs <halom mnkcr«: rt'nplc who ~C('

what could bc, pra) thar Cot!'s will hc done on curth as !r i~ in hc.rvcn,
anel thcn [oin (;,>d in t he reuewal "falllhing ....SILt!"1l1 m.tkcrs «:c], to
resrore ali rhur wus In" at thc f:lll-our rclat ionship wirh Cot!, with
cuch orher, wirh crcariou anel wirhin oursclve s. T'hcv v.ire ;thOllf .111 of
crcnt ion and scck to bc goud stcwarcls for rhc suke of the whole. lI, lib-
crating cnvironrncnt cncouragcs lIS lo spcak rruth to rhc powers bc
ano root out opprcssion in the church and in thc world,

We have all heard rhe srory of rhe good Samariran. A guy is trav-
eüng 00 the road between jericho and jerusalern, and falls among
robbers. He is stripped and beaten and left for dead, and the good Sa-
rnaritan comes and picks him up, eleans his wounds, takes him to a
hotel and cares for him unril he recovers. The good Sarnaritan did the
right thing. "But if every day two ar rhree people get mugged on the
road between jerusalern and jericho, there comes a poinr at which we
must realize that being Good Samaritans is not enough. At some point,
if such crimes abound, we have to figure out how to put up a better
lighting system 00 the road and perhaps have ir patrolled by police, and
put ao end to people being mugged on that daogerous highway. In
short, it's one thing ro care for the casualties from the system, but
sooner or later we have CO change the systern 50 as to not have 50 many
casualties in rhe first place."?

liberating Environment
How much of a flberating envtronmeni has been cutuvetea in lhe
congregetio» you serve? Pray through these questions:

• What percentage of the congregation is pursurng God's shalom

In the power of the Holy Spint?

• How many people are actively usrng therr spiritual gitts to build
lhe body and serve the neighborbooc?
• Is the congregatron walkrng alongsrde the poor and oppressed?
In what ways?

• How IS the congregation speaking to the powers and subverting

systems that perpetuate injustice?

• How much of the ccngregation seeks to be good stewards of ali

creation for the sake ot the whole world?

One of the passions wc have had ai Kairos Los AngcJcs is helping

thc poor and lhe hurting, For a fcw years wc partncred with Central
City Mission, a rninisrry locatcd in the hcart of skid row. Our of the
What's Going On in tne Cu/fure ot lhe Church You Serve? 53

80,000 homeless that live in Los Angeles counry, 20,000 live on skid
row, The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is
children, and 600 to 800 kids live 00 skid row. vVe have helped out
with an after-school program designed to help kids develop physically,
spiritually, intellectually and socially. In this way we seek to subverr the
current system, joining others to create an envi.ronment whereby these
childrcn might reach thei.r sacred porential.
But a liberating environrnent is not just.about helping the poor and
oppressed, it is learning to walk with thern, calling the chun.:h to God'
new social order where the rich and poor live in community together. It
would be like the Bloods and rhe Crips (gangs in LA) finding thern-
selves sitting nexr to each other worshipiog God. Ir would be like a
horneless person teaching someone from Beverly Hills abour God.
Where else can we find mortal enernies enjoying fellowship? Yet this is
what God is doing by creating one new humaniry.

Creating a missional culture als o involves cultivaring a thrivi ng envi-
ronment where a strong discipleship crhos is dcvcloped and rhe multi-
plication of disciples, ministries and churches takes place. In a rh riving
environment people are getting in touch with their primai passions by
discovering how GoJ has rnadc thern and are learning CO rnarch rheir
passlOn with the needs around them. Menroring and coachinz i~ rakin).!;
place at every levcl, People are being cncourugcd by word anJ cx.uuplc
to find expericnced rnentors und pccr rncntors, und are star ting to
mentor othcrs.
A thriving environrncnt helps thc congregation to Iiue out ber wlfing
in the world for the suke of the world. Pcoplc hegin rn link Sunday with
Monday, and thcir work transtorrns frorn J. job o '1 ~aned vocar ion.
They lcarn to bring GDd\ powcr to bear on human necd. Thc bankcr
or person in financc looks for ways to tive out jubilec: judgcs hdp thc
court system move toward conflict rcsolurion instcad of evcr increusing
litigation. Realrors try to house pcople according to thcir need instcad
of their greed. Engineers and urch itects look to bring a scnsc of order
and bcauty to ciries. Artists seek ro disturb, awakcn anJ cnlightcn us in

hopes that we might be more presenr to ourselves, our world and to the
One who is behind a!1 of creation. People Iearn to live our their calling
in their vocation in a way that blesses others and brings gIory to God.

Thriving Environment
50 how is the congregation you serve doing In cultivating a thflving
environment? Take some time to respond to these questions:

• How many people are diseovering their ealling and living it out
with great passion>

• To what degree is the multiplieation of disciples taking plaee?

• What pereentage of people are being mentored and are mentoring

• Are there apprentiees for each mirustry?

• What pereentage of people has a sen.:;p (lf ownershrp in lhe


• Are there ministries rn lhe congregation that inlentionally help

mateh people's passrons with the needs of lhe church, the
nelghborhOOd, the rrussrona' soaces ano social justics issues?
• How many people see therr work as a sacred vocation by whieh
they are able to serve therr nerghbor and bring glory to Cod?


Sincc wc nced I" l Irltiv:1tc .1 ;'·(/lIJifl,'.{. .ind

!l'oI;il!':;'~'d'-:;/Ii;",:;, /iballtlllf!,
thnving cnvironmcnt lo crente a missiona] culturc, wc need to think
ahour the kmd-, ot lcnders needed to cultivate thesc cllvirol1l!1ents. No
onc leader 'an do rhi" hCIK' rhe reason wc nccd polyccmric lcad-
('r'hip-thc suhjcG I)f ch:lpter ror.r.

POlycentric leadership and Missional Culture

If one wishes to distinguish tesderstup from management or adminis-

irstion, one can argue that leaders create and change cu/ture, white
management and administration act wtthin cutture.


We are Gad's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,

so that we can do tne good cni/Jgs fie planuecl rUI us IIj'lg ego.


What if vou had the opportunity to gn back to A.D. ón and ask rhe
apostle Paul's advicc about rhe chun.:h yOll serve) Whar do you rhrnk he
111 ight say?
Paul was a wise builder orrhe church.' r le wu-, ~1I1 iucrcdihly humblc,
gifted and dcvotcd mano God uscd h i !TI to p<.:n Illany of rhc lcrtcrs of the
New Tesrament. i\olo~[ were sit uat , writtcn to addrcss purt icul.u
problcms within :1 church in ,\ parei locarion. Ccr t.rinly, \\C .a n
understand thut! Wc ali havc problerns in our churchcs. Some flf Puul's
lerters werc pastoral, writrcn to orhcr church lcudcrs, Anti ot hcr« wcrc
general letters. I n these Iettcrs, Paul answcrs t;cncral que-tions .uul
painr with broad strokcs.
Besides thc pastoral lctters, the book of Ephcsians is one of thc very
last gcncralletters thar Paul wrotc, and it is ali about how rhc church

can be a sign, foreraste and instrurnent of Cod's kingdom. Catholics

call ir the hallmark book 00 ecclesiology (rhe study of the church). The
book of Ephesians was likely written near the end of Paul's !ife and
contains some of his most mature ref1ections on how to be the church,
In this letter Paul encourages us to embody the good news in a way
where power is distribured rather than centralized, and truth is em-
bodied instead of debated, thereby speaking to a host culture that is
skeptical of power and truth.


Watchmen Nee, a Chinese missionary, surnmed up the book of Ephe-
sianti in just three words-sít, walk, stand. Thar is the flow of thc letter
to the Ephesians.
Sito The first thing Paul teUs us is thar Cod chose us to be with hirn,
ro be his adopted sons and daughters, and to bc a part of this new hu-
maniry he lias crearcd. He says rhat we have been seared with Christ.
We havc a place at his rable.
Walk. After tbree chapters of sitting wirh God, sceking to undcr-
stand h1S plan and purpose for the world fram the foundarion of the
world, Paul tells us to gcr up and walk. He urges us to walk with Cod
in light of aU thar Cod has done for uso
Stand. As we begin to live in the world for thc sake of the world,
when wc start to rnuke right what i~ wrUI1g, we will encounter rhe on-
shught of the torces of darkness and the el1erny of all rhat is good. Ir is
ar thosc times, wc need tu lcarn to rcly on Cocl's powt:r to srand,
With this in mind, I<.:r\ t.ikc '.1 closcr louk ar how Paul describe thc
parh to rnarunry li! Chrisr, so that we may be /ike Christ, After three
chilrrer~ of sittinjr with Chnsr and understanding his r[;1I1 and purpose
rrorn the foundarion of rhe world, Paul instructs us how to walk as a com-
muniry. This is wherc we see how Cod has dcsigned his J nasterpiece, Paul
rnentions earlier in this book, ·Wc are God's masterpicce. He has created
11$ ancw in Christ Jesus, 50 that we can do the good things hc planned for
us long ago" (Eph 2:10 NLT). Whcn Paul ~ays that we are Cod's rnastcr-
piece, he is talking about the church, IIc refers to the collcctive whole, not
just to individuais. This i~ why he uses use instead ofyou.
polycentflc Leadership and Mlsslonal Cutture 57

50 we, rhe church, are a work of art in progresso We are a painting

on a canvas, The canvas is the collection of our sou1 in community-
we are the material that God works on. He picks up his brush and, with
ali of the energy and depth that he possesses, begins to paint. Ar the
end of his creative work, there is a masterpiece.
When I think of masterpieces, I think of art. But what is art? I
like the way that Thomas Hoving, who was the director of the Mer-
ropolitan Museum of Art in New York, .put it: "Art happens when
anyooe in the world rakes any k.ind of material and fol hions it into li
deliberate staternent.V I like that because, as I reflect on my life, the
life of the prophets, rhc 1ife of a church, and the life of rhe people of
God throughout time, I see how God does that with people ano
comrnunities of pcople. He cratts us to makc a sratcrnenr in, to and
for the world.
It is important to have ehurches that eross ethnic, class and ·,Igebar-
riers because nne ()f the staternenrs our world needs [Q scc is rhat thcrc
can be un ity in díversiry when Jesus is of that community.
But how can wc tell if a work of urt is good? Hovi ng has some grcat
ideas ubout rhis as wcll. Therc are six good quesrions to considcr when
understanding the value af art:
• Does it express successfully whar it's inrcnding to cxpress?
• Does it amue you in ;1 diffcrcnr wav c.ich time you look ut it?

• Does it grow in starurcr

• Does ir conrinually mature?
• Does its visual Impact of mvstcrious , pun: powcr incrcusc cvcry c1ay'
• 1:, ir LlIt!C)rg<.-tt.lbk?'
Those are hclptul (llleqion~ to rhmk .ibour when Ir comes to whai C;,)J
is dning in our lives and our communitics. Jesus tal ked nbour Iwill)!; ;!

lighr to the world and living in ;t way thar brings our \·'ather grcat honor.
Iloving ulso gives us this incrcdiblc defin ition of p;reat ;1 rr:

/\S climb t hc stuirs of quul itv, youl! mccr individual works rhat

you'llnceu fór rhe rcsr of your lifc, works thut will thrill yOl!, em:rgizc
yOl!, lifr ypur ,qui, soot he yuu, m.ike yOl! srnile, mukc yOl! think nhout

the Iate of mankind and the un iverse, make you have to see thern
again and again for rhe good of your psyche, tarc of mind, and
srrength of hearr. 4

Wouldn'r that description be grcat to heur frorn sorneone who has come
to visit our communities of fairh> "Man, 1 had the mo t amazing time
ton ight.l sensed a great powcr in rhe room. Ir was an experience I won't
soon forget!" As I 1001.; through rhe book of Acrs, rhose are the kinds of
comments that peoplc rnade whcn they connecred to God's community.
houldn'r thar be the case tor us today as well, since we have God as our
ultimare Arrist? So how is Goel creating his masterpiece?
The aposrle Paul begins Ephesians 4 by addressing our attitudes.
Then he ralks abour our common creed, reminding us, though we are alI
different, wc are ali mude from rhe sarne clorh, thc sarne D A. The
chapter contai ns a hyrnn, nn carly Christian confcssion: "Therc is one
body and orte Spirir,jLl~t as vou werc called to one hopc when you were
e1lled; onc Lord. one birh, one baptisrn, onc Cod anJ Fatllt:r of alI,
who is over all anel through ali nnd in ul!" (Eph 4:4-6). Final/y, Paul
speaks of thc1 diuers« gij/J rhur Cod givcs the church 50 rhat it rnight
grow into rnat ur irv :LnJ be like Chrisr hirnsclf Ire dcscribes how Christ
has givcn the chu rch tive di frcrcnr cquippcrs-aposrles, prophets,
evangclisrs, pnstors and reachcrs-who embody thcir gifts in such a
way thur the cntire bodv i~awukcncd and ll1ove~ toward the full srarure
ofChrisr in borh character anel mission (F:rh 4:7-16).
1 f we wanr to bccomc Cod s m-isrcrplccc, wc need to rake rhe apos-
t lc's teach ing ~cri()lIsl.v.I.'i rsr, wc scc rh.u the cx.rltcd Christ establishes

rhis dcsign .lnt1 giH:, t lrc dltLr,,11 .1 J1articular structurr , Cod appoinrs
Christ to bc he.ul over rhc church .md rhe ulliverst:, and Christ then
,!;ivcs ccr r.un girts to rhc chu rrh. !\oti,'C thut rhc gifts Chrisr gives are
not rcrsClnal scrviccs bur p.uricul.rr :'CIval1[~-:lpostlcs, prophers, evan-
,l\e1iSI~,p:hrors :lnd rcuchcrx .\0 Inrncsting rhillg" 1,1 rcmember is rhat
cach of rhcsc ritles, t'xccpt fl,r prophcrs dcscribes a secular occupation
in t k fi rsr ceuturv." Paul hypasscs i mpres'iivc Old Tt:stalllenr tirles
sueh as king, pricst, scribc or Levite.
As T undersr.ind th is passage, Pau I sccs cach of I hese fivc equ ippers
and rhe rninisrrics t hey represem as thc "very mcchanism for achicvin~
Polycentru: Lestiershit: ena MIssiona/ Cu/ture 59

mission and ministry effectiveness as weli as Christian matur ity.'"

Paul seems to say thar without a fivefold ministry pattern, we cannot
mature and beco me the rnasrerpiece that God intended, Commenting
abour this passage, Frosr and Hirsch say, "If this is [rue, ir is impos-
sible to estimare what rerrible damage the church has done through
the loss, even active suppression, of this crucial dimension of New
Testament ministry and leadership."?
Perhaps one of the reasons for the immaturity that we find in the
Western church, and for the church being tossed here and rhere by
every wind of doctrine, is because these five different equippers have
not becn apprcciated, understood or nurtured." To grow up and bccorne
like Christ we need cach equipper, and we must have a clcar undcr-
standing what each of thern bring to the body.


In Paul's lcrters including the lcttcr to the Ephesians, we leurn how ou r
enuironment powerfully shapes who w«: become. Wc also scc how our
llpprolu'h to lcadership is vital if we are ro help lhe church grow to rhc
maruriry of Chrisr. The beaury of thc vision that P.n.J is laving our ror
U5 is that as we lcarn to dcvclop li dioerse team ofleada,1 who lOt;t:tha
can cultivare cornrnunitics to bc more like Christ. As Markus Barrh
pcirns out in lus e<Hnmcnrary on Ephesi:ln~, "The wholc church is rhe
dcrgy appointed by God ror a ministry to und lar thc world.?" P~lLlIrclls
us that whcn each af rhc cquippers are cquipping; wcll, thc wholc h()dy
will grow up (O the full starurc ot Chrrst. This irnplics rhar rhc IIw
":4u ippers togcthcr rcprcsent rhe [ul l rn in i,,1 ry /lf]..:.;us. ,\nd -vhi lc tlu-n:
are many other gifts thut the Holy ~pirir glves til[ rhe hui ld ing lLi> oro [!tI:.
body (seI:. ROII1 12: 1 Cnr 12; 1 Pct 4:7-11), each ot thesr !!;I rrs n rc al'l i-
v.ucd and flow in rhe rninistry p.rth ,,[" carh (Ü 1he C(l'lIpper,.


In the Unitcd Sturcs it is cornrnon for churchcs to have a h ierarch ic.rl
lcadcrship structurc, with a scnior OI' lcad pastor, rhcn associare pusrors,
other statfand finully those who giw of Ihei r 1 ime freei)'. Yct how does

this structure speak to people skeprical of power? And how does this
kind of structure take seriously whar we are learning in the sciences?
One of the reasons the church is losing the digital generation is we
have failed to incarnare an approach to leadership which takes seriously
the major shifrs OUI culture is experiencing. If we are going to be a sign,
foretasre and instrurnent of God's kingdom and incarnate the good
news in OUI conrext, we must learn to navigate the rnegashífrs I will be
addressing in chapter five: the media shift frorn print and broadcast to
the digital age, the philosophical !ihift from rnoderniry to postmodernity,
the science shift from classic science to emergem science, rhe spatial shift
from rural to urban, and the refigion shift frorn Christendom to posr-
Christendom. These cultural shifts highlight the vulnerabilities of a
cenrralized Ieadership structure, which 1 comend never should have
characrerized the church in rhe first place. If we are to meaningful1y
connect with the digital generation and live more faithfully to the nar-
rative of Scripturc, we need to shift from a hicrarch ica I to a polycenrríc
approach to leadership, where equippers live as cultural architects cul-
tivaring a fru itful rnissional erhos that fully activares the pricsthood of
ali believers.
While rhe terrn polycentric may seern a bit ccccntric, rhe richriess of
its meaning is irnportanr. As Suzanne Morse wrires in Tbe Community
cfroe Futuró,

Successfu! cornmunines, cvcn rhosc with long trad irinns nf organized

cornmunirv lcadcrship, will continue to broaden rhc circles ofleadcrshíp
to crente u sysrern for the communiry rhar is ncithcr ccntralized nur
dt.:lcnrr~IizcJ, but rarhcr polyccurrk , file;; polycentric view OI rorn-
rnunity leadership .issurncs rhar thcre are many centers 1)[ leadership
rhnt inrerrelate.!"

T'hc aposrlc Paul was ahead 01 his time, ror he does nor propose :1

cenrru1ized lcadcrsh ip srrucrure or a fiar le..ldership structurc. Rathcr

hc rcvcals to us a polycentric struc ture, where Icaders inrerrclare and
incarnate thc various purposes of Chr isr in such a way thar the
entire body is act ivared ri) service and matures in love. Thc Fivc
equippers are gifrcd by God to help the congrcgation move toward
Po/ycentric tseaerstiu: and Mlsslona/ Cu/fure 61

maturity in Christ and sce the reaLity 01' God's kingdom, which is
hoth here and coming.
If we are to cultivare mature communities of faith, we need rnis-
sional equ.ippers who live as cultural architects, with a heightened sense
of contextual awareness and the ability to shape and cultivare culture
within the congregation.


As we have learned already, all organizations havc a culture, including
churches. And the cu/fure shapes the comrnuniry .in profound ways.
Understanding, analyzing and creating culture is rhe work of a cul-
tural architect.
By definition a leader, an equipper, is a cultural architect, As Edgar
Schein, a specialist in organizational culture and former professor ar
MIT Sloan School ofManagement, says, "If one wishes to distinguish
leadership from ma n;\gemcnt or ad rrnrustration. one can arzue thar
leaders creates und changcs culture, while management and adminis-
tration act within culturc."!' Equippers should huve a growing
awareness of what W!tUTt' i~ and how ir is shaped, because the culture of
.1 group can cither help or hindcr the cornrnunity Irom fulfiLling her
mission in God's world.
When it comes to cquippers living as cultural urchitects, it is irn-
portant to remember that borh GoJ and WI: huve a part in culrivating
the culture of a congrcgarion. Paul said, "By the grace Cod has given
me, l Iaid a foundurion as an expert buildcr" (1 Cor 3:lO). I Ie becamc
skillcd worker, by Cods !!.pcc.:, in building rhc churrh, rl:LIlgnizing
the Ioundation of the church is Jesus Christ, Paul undersrood that he
planted seeds, Apollos watcrcd rhcrn, bur (~ocl causes thc ~rowth. 1n
othcr words whcn it comes to bcing- cultural arch irccts, rhcrc are some
things thut we GlII1Hll Ju, only GoJ cano Thcrc are other things rhat
Cod will not do, bccause hc has callcd us to do thern. When ir comes to
creating a missional cuhure in the congregarion, God has his part anti
we have ours.
In addition, if equippers are going to be wise culture makers, wc
need to kcep in mind that

there is more to the church than meets rhe eye. Thc ehurch is not jusr
another social organizaríon or hurnan iostitutioo. While ir has organí-
zational and institutional dimensions, it is more than jusr the surn of
rhese. The church is rhe crcarion of rhe Spirir. Cod 's divine power and
presence indwell the people of Cod. This makes the church a spíritual
community as well as a hurnan communiry. The church is both a spir-
irual realiry and a socioJogical enrity. Ir has divine roots in the eterna!
purposes of Ood, YCtcxi~ts as a historically conditioncd organization. Ir
ISboth holy and human, both spiritual and social.'?

Now let's take a Jeeper Iook ar how rhis polycentric Jeadership works by
thinking through the lcadership imagination we need in order to Jead
in this way.

A Leadership /magination
That Shapes Missiona/ Cu/ture

Facing Today's Challenges

Every geneteuon In every culture must take up the hard work of

discerning the opportunities for and the obstacles to embodying

the gospe/ faithfu/ly In that place and time.


From the trtbe of Issachar. there were 200 leaders of the tribe wttt:
tne« re/atives. Ali these men understood me sign: of tne lime»

and knew che best course for Israel to ieke.


Change in culture requires a different approach III leadership. A:.

Eddíc Gibbs ~4Iy~,
Ycstcrday's solutions anel procedurc- II\)! providc .In .1Jt:CIU'W: 01

appropriate rcsponsc to rhe prcscnt C hallcngcs, l icncc, lhe biggcst

hurdlcs fJ.cin)!; long-tirne leudcrs l11:ly nnt hc in lc;lrning new insurhrs
J.nJ skills, bu in unleur ning whar rhey considr-r ro ht' trit'd and truc and
whut li IUS providcs thcm with a fulse scnsc of sccur ity.'

\tVhy is the chun.h having a difficult time conncctinz with pcople

roday, cspecin lly the uigital gcnetation?
I arn convinced that sh ifts in media, philosophy, science :Iml rt:-
lig;ion in our world provoke a shift from the rradirional hicrarchal ap-
proach ro lcadcrship to :1 cornmunal polycenrric approuch.


A YouTube video from the Today Show in 1994 shows Bryanr Cumbel
and Katie Couric asking each orher "Whar is rhe Internet?" and de-
bating if the "@" symbol means "at" or "abour.'? The world is very dif-
ferem today.

Culture is shapcd by the primary medium of an era. Marshall

McLuhan is widcly known as the [ather of media studies, He coined the
famous phrase "the medium is the message" in 1965. And while some
today believe rhar the medium or method of eommunication is neutral
and that only the COntent of the message is vital, those like Marshall
McLuhan who have spent a liferime studying rhe effects of media
would say otherwise. He wrires, "societies have always been shapcd
more by the nature of media by which rnen communicare than by the
contem of the communication."3 J\llcLuhan made rhe case that we are
often blind to rhe way rhat the medium shapes us, and that "any under-
standing ofsocial and Cultural change is impossible wirhout a knowkdge
of the way media work as environments."4 A number of Christians who
have thoughtful1y engaged in the study of technology agree.s
Technofogyand media are cxtensions of humans. Thc phoue is an
extension of the car and the mouth. Thc car is an extension of the Ioor.
We creare our tools and rhen our tools recreare uso
The mcdium of rhc day shapcs us surrepritiousJy. For example, thc
medium of thc cur has profoundjv shapeJ rhe way cities operare Cites
in rhe Unitcd Stares rhar devcloped bdore thc car, like Ncw York,
Boston and San Francisco. tend to bc (cntrafizcd and cover srnall áreas
of land. Ciric~ fike Los r\JJgelt:~, wh()~c boom ycars happeneJ to co-
incide with the invention of rhc car, rend to be polycr::nrric and covcr
much more geographical spucc, For instancc, vou can fit lhe land arcas
of San Francisco, lVIanhattJ.ll, BostOIl, Minncapofis, Clevc1and, Pins-
hu rgh, Sr. Louis and Milwaukee wirlu n the city limits of Lo' Angcles,
with space to spare, When we contrasr the way fife rakes placc in a
ccntralizeJ ciry Iike New York or San Francisco, and rhe W<ly it takes
place in Los Angelcs. we SOOnrecognize thar lhe creation of cars has
drastically reshaped urban Iifc, cspeciallv in those cities thar cxperi-
cnced thcir growth after the invcntion of rhe car.
Facing Todey's Challenges

ew media crcates new kinds of people. Print media causes hurnans

to become more detached and logical, while the Internet causes people
to beco me more involved and participatory.
After rwenty-five years of researching social change throughout
history, Rex Miller found rhat rhe best way to organize rhe major 50-
cietal shifrs over time was by considering the dominam medium of the
age. He stutes,

The Millennium Matrix builds on the prerriise thar when the primary
means of storing and distributing inforrnaríon changes, our worldview
changes. Here's how this works. When our means of storing and dis-
triburing information change, our perceptions change. Changed per-
ceprions crcate changed understandings and even changed psychology,
Changed idenury affects rebrionships. Changcu rdaliollship~ ,dfect the
tradirions and institurions thar supporr those relationships.

These changcs cventually rcach a cultural criticai mass, igniting a

battle between old and new worldviews. Communieation is the 1I1c:Jiulll
for rclarionshíp, cornrnuniry, and culture; so a more efflcienr or pow-
erful tool of communication results in their restructuring."
The middle of Millcr's book presenrs a twcnry-three-page chur r
that indicares changes in how we belicvc, how wc know, how wc live
rogerher, how we see beaury ano how we work und trude. TIe COI1-

rcnds rhar rhere have been four differenr eras defi ncd hy rhc rncd ia of
the duy, These are the Oral Age (? B.t:.-A.n 15(0), thc Prior Age
(1500-1950), the Brnadcast Age (1950-20 LO) nnd rhe Digital ,\ ~c
(2010- ). VVhal is fascinaring is rhat filr rhc first time in rhe historv
of the world, we havt: pcople living who havc bccn predorninanrly
shaped by three difFercnt forrn« I'f I1wdia. T;Ihk 6.1 surnrnnrizes my
understand in;; of Millcr's rhoughr« '11 rt·g·tn! rI) hnw rh- di ftt:rl'llt
eras approach Ieadershíp.?
How are we to understand our apprOllch to /t,tldt'nhip as wc hegi 11 to
immcrse ourselves in rhe digital age? Miller says, "Ali impart.u
style ofleadership based on mutual rrusr wi 11rerlace rodays rop-down,
hicrarchic.rl lcadership stylcs," which is why he devored ;111 cnrirc
chaprer in his book to thc ropic of Icadcrship.f

Table5.1. Leadership Viewed Through the Millenium Matrix

Prínt Age Broadcast Age Digital Age

1500-1950 1950-2010 2010-

Kindof [ntedlcctual Motivational Impartarional

Leaders Leadcrs Lesders Leaders

Kindof Functional units, Purpose driven, Collaborarive, grass

Structures division oflabor, a empowerment, roots oriented,
hierarchical chain of information drivcn, raving leadership,
cornrnand: view buildings and open-source
organization as a prograrns: maintain approsc h, díspcrsed
Jiving machine; cohesion through authority; rnaintain
maintain cohcsion psychologíea I cohesion through
rhrough structure stirnularion and relationships and
and inertia sense nf mission collaborarion

FOCU80f Like field generais, Li ke rnotivntional Like gardeners rhey

Leadership rhcy scek speakers rhey seek cultivate 3 collab-
achievernenr and to harness the orativc appruach to
efflciency, usi ng potencial of lhe currcnt condirions,
rried and truc (lrg:lJ117:lrinn around opporrunities .1nJ
merhods; they rcach thc mission; I!ler challenges; they
by insrruction teach by exhorrarion tcach by examplc

Narure of Hicrarchical Appointmcnr Unscripred,

Relationships orienrcd: relarion- pcrsonal, farnilial;
with olhe," shi ps oftcu bccome J pcoplc use
Iunctional way Co organízaríons ro
complete objectives fulfill rhcir rnissions
tor rnutun] benefit

Approach to Takes pia cc In ehe Takcs placc in rhc Takcs plnce in rhc
Disclple hip L'1"''i:c;.r(')orn~ !ogic:,d sanctuary, living- room JncJ
prcscnration- pnlg:'r;tmm:ltIC, <;trcc[s; rclarion.i l I

scrnina r orierued intcractive,


Quat;tics and lnrellccru.d Cornmurucarlon, Approachahl«, .'gilr.

SItills Needed c,'(pc:r ise , rnain- rcr~u.Hhrc. high nerworker,
ta iII Ing: pIC'dkt prl)tlIc illl.l~Ct rouchablc, acccssrblc,
.rlulity, ..l(h,cvlrlg- IIllluV'aC1\I'C, missicnnl, trans-
•Lthilir}' intcrpcs soua l ~J...ii1:-., parent, advoc.rre,
novelty, JbJlity to susrainabi ],ty,
rhiuk ou l)f1C\' rct:t rcsilicnr, coJICC[lVe;
and utilize rhe hig achicveme nt,
cvcnt storytellmg
Facing Today's Cha/lenges 69

In addition to the media shift there has been a pbilosopbica! shift from
modernity to late moderniry/postmoderníry. James K. A. Smith's book
Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? examines the work of the philosophers
Jacques Derrida, jean-François Lyotard and Michel Foucault, helping
us to understand how to live in this culture without marrying the spirit
of the age. He suggests that these postmodern philosophers "might in
fact push us to recapture some truths about the nature of the church
that have been overshadowed by modemity and especially by Christian
appropriations of modernisrn."?
Derrida and Foucault changed how we understand power, knowledge
and truth. "In 1966 Derrida was invited to presenr a paper ar a Johns
Hopkins Universiry conference and ended up calling rhe entire hisrory
of philosophy in the West into doubr."10 Derrida, standing 011 the
shoulders of Friedrich ietzsche, Sigrnund Freud, Marrin Heidegger
and Fcrdinand de Saussure, authored more than rwenty books und
spawned the deconstruction rnovernent, which is srill reverbera ti ng
throughout our culture.
Deconstrucrionism has crcated a culturc rhat is skcptie/.ll of truth and
cynical toward thosc in power. Derrida suggested that thc cnti re world
is a text that needs to bc interpreted.'! None of us have pure, unrncd-
iared access to reality Of truth. Wc ali scc through a mirror dimly. As
Sm ith notes, "To assert that our interpretation is nor an interpretation
but objectively true often rranslarcs into the worse kinds of imperial
and colonial agendas, even within á pluralistic culture." 12 Yet sirnply
becausc everyrhing is interpreted docsn't mean rherc is IH} trurl». Some
interpretations of reality are bettcr than others, yet, bccause 1here is no
urunterrupted rcality, ai] of us come to the world with our ser of rn.:sup
positions, which shape our interpretation. A~ Christi.llb, it i, OUI' .iim
to see the world and realiry through rhe lcns of Scriprure rather tlian
through the propag:mda and ideologies of thc world.
Postrnodcrnisrn hclpcd rhc church reiterare rhe importancc of
comrnunity. Derrida argued that "we can't interpret a rext, thing, or
cvent without the conventions and rules of a n interprctivc com-
rnunity; indeed language itsclf is inherently cornrnu na.l and inter-

subjective."13 Thus we need to approach our understanding of the

Scripture with the help of rhe emire church, including the margin-
alized, global and historical church.
Michel Foucault, the late philosophy chai r at the prestigious Coliege
in Paris and a visiting professor ar UC Berkeley, famously reversed the
adage "knowledge is power" to "power is knowledge."!4 Through his
case studies of the history of prisons and hospitais, Foucaulr foeused
on the relationship between knowledge and power, In Foucault's study
of institutions he dcmonstrated that institutions use their power,
through positivc and ncgativc disciplines (pracríces and rituais), in
order to make people "normal." For Foucaulr, rhose in pOwer determine
knowledge, which in turn determines whar is considered normal and
abnormal, and who should be included anel exc1uded. Bee:mse Fou-
caule revealed how "rhe powers thar be' determine knowledge and seek
to push for their agenda, rhose who swirn in rhe postmodern eurrent
are more apt to 0perate wirh a hc:rmcnéliti( o./JUJ/JiâOll, cspecial!y in
regard to those in pawcr.15

The ehurch nceds to c::nloouy an approach to leadership rhar can

reach those skeprical of rrurh und cynical of power without embraeing
the idca rhat "treedom" rneans bcing an dllCünomuu:s indiViduai, unan-
swerablc to anyone or any institlltioil.
As prcviously menricned, rhe founder and dirccro- ofYale Center for
Fairh and Culturc, l'vlill)~lav Vl)lt~ Jdincs an inst!(tltion as "the stable
5tfUctllrcs of social intcraui(jll ~ rhur dcvelops when ar lcasr rWQ pcoplc
rcpear t he sarne thing togethcrY' 'fhc"l()gialls lil«, Volf n:cognize ar
lcasr rwo primarv f~ct()r~ rhar shapc rhe lif-l. of nn insrirutiol1-the
f1.lrrnll !lf power d istribution .ind illlcfnal cohesiün ano un iry. Volt'
'~y~, "Wirb regard to t hc Ji~trihlltiulI of powcr, one can dlstingllish
her et'11 symmcrricaI pulY":clltrj..:,LILJ a,ymml:trical-monoccntric mod-
eis; wirh regare! to cohesion, onc cun d i~tilll{tJi~h bcrween coerced and
frcely aft'irmcJ inrcgrariun.'·!7 '-Vhi..:h Clf thesc approaches ro leadcrship
demonstcucs a hcallhicr approach lo power? \Nhich approaeh modc!s
ror thc comrnunity what ir rne<lIlS to submit to onc another under the
headship ofCluisl, in order lo be contorlllcd to his imagc?
Facing Today's Challenges


Science has shifted from a mechanical to an organic approach. Kurt

Fredrickson states, "This new way of viewing and structuring the world
offers a non-mechanistic, more f1uid understanding of structures. This
new understanding of structures permeates culture and philosophy, or-
ganizational theory, natural and social sciences."18
Mark Lau Branson compares and contrasrs the older scienrific par-
adigm with the emerging ncw scientific ·paradigm, which is surnma-
rized in table 5.2.19

Table 5.2. Classical Sciences Versus New Systems Scienccs

Classical Scíences
cw Sysrems Sciences
'ewronian rnechanics--discover the par rs,
QI.tntlllTI thcory-r-ciivcuvcr rh~·r-ounccr-
therr diffcrcnccs, and their mteracrrons
cdncss in the invisible "hole
Accur:lte deseriptians and predictability JS
Chaos thcory-JiscUllflnulry, rundomncss,
wc undcrstand cnough af rhe part, ullpr~dict;lbility
Parrs are ccnnecrcd [hrough scqucnces or ---
~lInlllt:1nC'lty-thc ill\'ISlhlc whnlc tc.uurc-,
disrincr C:.lllSCS J.nJ dis tincr dTens
inrcrdc:pcndcnL:c .md insran ancous mulriple
ef tects

Chm~c rhmugh hicrarchy

Sdf"l)r~~\niztng 'wstcrn~-urdcr .rrrscs uur
o(inrri,,::m: parr'i

Scck order alld cunt inuirv [hrm,gh conrrol

Cornplcxrrv rheory-dI'!"'.:nn'i ;lIld ,d"firnHi
''t.wdcr;H t hc I.·Jgc Jf l h.h r-," \VIIl:fC m-w

---- --- -- -- --- -'--

im.lgcs Jlh.l
h.rcc~ .irc di"'L:m,'l'rrd
- - --- -
Kesrer Br..:win's book Sigm o/EIIIL"gt'flL"!::./I Vi.\ionjõr ChurdJ Th,,/ 1.
Orpl/J iclNdworkL'dl Decen: raliz.L'd/ Botrom-un/Co 111 111/1 I/t/!/ 1-/,. \'!I;!,.
(,-/!wa)'J Fuofi'ing} contencls tilat rhc currcnr Jt:rrrist: ,I thc dl In.h In
rhc \Vc·t stcrns frorn living 10 rhe past i nsrcud of progrCSS1Og- imo thc
current contexto Hc calls tor thc "nccd to bccomc 'wornbs ar rhe d rvinc'
and cornplerelv rehirrh rhe church inro ,1 h()~r rulrun- "!II
tudies of sdf'organizing, emer;;cnt sysrcms, in arcas such a:i com-
puting, biology and cconornics, demonstrate the ncccssirv ff)r organi
zation to move frorn rhc rop-down institutionnl appmach to a botrorn-
up, adaptablc nctwork approach rhat can rneet the chalJcngcs of ou r
tàst-changing culturc. Brcwin mentions six chararteristic!-> of clllcr,l!,Cl1t
systcms wc J iscover in IlCW scicnce:

1. Emergent systems are open systerns.

2. Emergent systems are adaptable systems.
3. Emergem systems are learning systems.
4. Emergent systems have distributed knowledge.
5. Emergent sysrems model servanr leadership.

6. Emergem systems onlyevolve in places betwecn anarchy and rigidity.21

In light of this new environrnenr Brewin proposes the church today

must exist at the edge of chaos, between anarchy and rigidity. For in
cities or communities where there is overregulation life is stifled or
people revolt, and where there is underregulation "the society degen-
erates into lawlessness."22 So while a rigid church would have dieta-
torial, hierarchicalleadership, and the anarchic church would have no
leadership, rhe church at the edge of chaos would be more decentralized
and have polycentric, servant-hearted Ieadershíp.P


The spatiality sbift frorn rural living to urban living has created com-
plexities that demand a tearn of lcaders instead of solo leaders. Ac-
eording to the Population Reference Burcau, as reeently as 1800 only 3
percent of the world 's popularion Iivcd in urban areus. By 1900 alrnosr
14 percent were urbanites. Bur ir is within this past decade rhar the
world reached a syrnbolic poinr, where more than half rhe world's pop-
ulation now live in urban áreas. According to rhe Un ited Nations, by
2025, 61 percenr of the people will livc in urban areas.l4 "The world is
now an urban place. The resourccs and conccrns nf the church ueed to
acknowledge this. This new siruation means rhat, more than ever,
thcological reflcction is needed on cities and rhe furure of urban Iifc."lS
Thc shift frorn rural to urban ruises ali kinds of issues, from social
jusricc wirh in anel outside of rhc city, to rhe issuc of globalizution. Glo-
bulization is an amalgamation of new tccltnulogy; new rransporration
and new wmmunication networks rhar have creared a global viliage
whcrc rime and space havc beco redefined and old boundarics like
narion-state have heen blurred. This new world has given rise to new
Facing Today's Challenges 73

inrernational and transnational entities that are shaping the future with
increasing pervasiveness, based in signi ficanr cities in rhe world. The
accumulative forces of globaliz.ation continue to widen the resource gap
and create new questions in regard to social justice, idenrity and a sense
ofbelonging. If the church is going to Iive her faith well in the city, she
will need a cornmuniry of leaders who learn to specialize in various
ways in order to be a blessing to the neighborhood and world.

Finally, there is a religious shift taking place in a number of cities in
North America, from the Chrisrendorn era to the posr-Christendorn
contexto A srnall movement in Jerusalem eventual1y expanded
throughout judeu, Samaria and the rest of the world. The initial rag-tag
group, many of whom were poor, tended to operare on the margi ns of
society. For the first 250 years they were often misundersrood, ma-
ligned and sornerimes persecuted. Eut as they Iived :.IS a contrast society
in the midst of the Rornan Empire, more und more peoplc were ar-
tracted to their way of life and to their LorU. They didn't OWI1 church
buildings ar rrain leaders through formal instirurions, und yer their in-
fluence expanded into the Roman Empire. 8y the early fourrh century,
the Roman emperor Constantine decided to join their ra nks, which
made way for Theodosius the Creat, rhc lust emperor to rule borh
halves of the Roman Empire, to dedare Christian iry as the onIy legit-
imnte imperial religion. These events cventuully gave bi rth to rhe era
called Chrisrendorn.
In Th<· Ongms 0/ Cbristendom in lhe: W.:.,t, AI<ln Kn:i~b idcnrific,
thrce common charactcristics of Christendorn: common belong-ing-,
cornrnon bclief and cornrnon behuvior. Ali the pcople were a part of
borh civil socicty and the church «(ommoll bdongili~f!;). Infant baptism
was lhe I11GlIh IIfillitiatill)!; children into Chrisliall socierv. Tile der;.;y
were professional ized, wh ich exaggerated rhe di ffercncc berwccn clergy
and lairy, The srare anti the church were in bed together; the church
legitimizcd thc sratc, and sratc autborities provided resources and en-
forcement of religion. Missinn was deernphasized while pastoral carc
and maintenancc uf stru tures becarne central, Rcligious and civil

leaders affírmed orthodox Christianity (common beliej). Religious edu-

carion lnformed the society of its beliefs, and heresy was not tolerated.
Christian behavior was based on custem, Scripture and the Ten Com-
mandments (common beha·vior). The church and civiJ courrs persuaded
people to keep these behaviors.
When we crave] to many of the old cities in Europe, we can see the
cultural artifacts of Christendom. Cathedrals are often located in the
cenrer of the city and are ofren the taltest standing struetures. People
congregated here. To be a part of the church was a privileged posirion.
Craig Van Gelder aegues rhat in the United States the separation be-
tween church and state eaused a funetional Christendom, without a state
church.ê> Funetional Christendom refers to me faet that that the church
operared as the center of society. Bur one doesn't have to be a strong cul-
tural observer to reeognize that the church no longer has rhe rnosr fa-
vored status in Norrh Ameriea. Funcrional Christcndom has given way
to a "spiritual," secular and pluralisr sociery where a growing number
view at the church with suspicion and Some with downright disdain.
As l've already noted, recent studies such as rhe American Religious
Identif'ication Survey in the United States showed a 11 percenr drop
within a generation in tho 'e who self'identify as ChrisriansY Those
who clairn no identification wirh religion or faith has grown frorn 8.2
perccnr in 1990 to 15 perccnr in 2008. Tbe nonrdigious were the only
group to havc grown in cvery state during rhat period. 2~
Gera rd KeIly rcvcals an irnportanr rcasun ti}r lhe; Jecl inc of rhe
church as some p.irts of Norrh AllIcrican are cxpcrie.;ncing a shift to a
post-Christendom contexto ~te 1t"j1nrts, "Of ali the.;charges laid at thc
door of rhe church by many disatfccted young pcoplc ... the rnost fre-
quenr anel damning IS the charge of control/itIK /cadl.'rJhip ... stifling
creati 1ty. stuntmg H1novation and imagination, ti)rein,g unitormiry,
qilencing dissenr.'?"

Sl uart M u rray, rhe British 1\ nabaprisr leader, belicvcs that controlli ng

Icaclership is not only a symptom of bllen bumnniry bur is likcly a hy-
product ofChristendom, wben profession.i] cIcrgy had "enhanced status,
powc.:rand wealth." The cJmrch began moJeling hcrselfati:er rhe Roman
sysrerns, pcrverrinj- the JCSll~ way of leadership. lO

Fsctng Today's Challenges


Leaders wirh a Christendom mindset expecr to be treated as VIPs

within the culrure, a dangerous attitude for those who follow the Lord
and Savior who "rnade himself nothing by taking rhe very nature Df a
servanr" (Phil 2:6-8). To cheek your leadership attitude, consider how
you react when someone treats you as a servant. Ar thar moment leaders
discover whether our attirude is more in line with Christ or if wc have
fallen to a Christendom mindser, expecting to live in a state of privilege.
50 how are we to approach leadership in an incrcasing posr-Chris-
tendom contexr> When Stuarr l'vlurray picrures the church in rhe post-
Christendom context, he sees a harmonious church. "Thc imagc of
harmony evokes rhe Ephesians 4 vision of a rnulti-gifrcd, interactive,
reciprocal, rnultí-voíced communiry,">' He calls for empowering lead-
ership rather than disempowcring clericalism, warning against a Chris-
tendom reading of the Ephesians 4, whieh mighr lead to lcadership
dcpendency. Reading Ephesians 4 with a missional hcrmeneutic,
Ieaders learn to lead from the margins as pne~ls rninistering to fellow
priests, with Chrisr drawing ali of us toward himself at rhc center.
Bloggcr and aurhor Len Hjalrnarson wrircs, "As ministry decentralizes
· .. and as wc learn to move away from positions and roles and rirlcs to
tunctional leadership, we are karning to leud rrorn rhe margins,,'12
• Instead ofleading from ovcr, we lend fmrn ,lrnong.

Instcad ofleading frorn .crtainty, 'se lead bv cxplorut ion, cor pcrurion
and faith,

• Instcad or'lcading Irorn power, \VI: lead i" l'1I1jJlille", Jel'elldi".~ "li

Instead ofleading frorn a plan, we lcud with atrcntion.

• Insread nfleadingas rnanagcrs. we leud ilo niv-tics allJ nocts. ··'pc'lkillt!,

poetry 10 a prose flartened world" anti arnclI!anng a cornmon rururc.
• Instead 01' leading cornpulsrvely, wc lt.:aJ wirh inncr freedol11.
• Instcad oflcaJing frorn rhc ccnrcr, we 1cad frorn rhe m;lrgins.lI

As we consider rhc mrdi« ,h!ji Irorn the print and broadcasr age to rhe
digital age whcrc we live in a more collaborurive, open sourcc cnvi-
ronmenr, shared Íeadcrship rnakes more scnsc than top-down styles.

When considering the philosophica/ shift from modernity to postrno-

derniry, shared leadership engenders greater trust in those who are
cyrucal to rrurh and power. The science shift from classic science to new
systems science is demonstrating quite clear1y that organic, decentralized
structures are to be preferred over mechanistic centralized Structures.
The spafia/ity shift frorn ruralliving to urban living has creared com-
plexiries that demand a team of leaders instead of solo leaders, and the
re/igtous shift frum Christendom to our post-Christendom context
demonstrares the need for apostles, prophers and evangelist in the
local congregation, in addition to pasrors and reachers.
Living conrexrually is nor optional, for "if we take the incarnation
seriously, the Word has to beco me flesh in every new context."J4 Spirit-
shaped leaders create missionaJ culrure, and our approach to leadership
and structure is not neurral. The cultural shifts we are unclergoing have
highlighted the vulnerabilities of a hierarchical leadership srructure,
which I will contend in thc nexr few chaprers should have never char-
acterized the church in the first place.

Hearing the Story

There is no such thing as the New Testament Church order. Even in

New Testament times circumstances were very varied, and it may be

vital for the ecumenical dialogue that we should admit this. . . . This

does not mean, however, that Church order is a matter of indifference,

or is to be dictated simp/y by the existing practical, political, or eco-

notruc conditlons. The New Testament's pronouncements on Churcti

order are to be read as a gospel that is, Church order IS to be regarded

as part of the proclamation in which the Church's witness is expressed,

as it is in its preaching.


I will pour out my Spirit upon a/l people.

Your sons and daughters will oropnesv.
your old men witt dream dreams.

your young men will see visions.

Even on my servants, both men and V/omen.

I wi/l pour out my Spuit in those tieys.

JOEL 2:28-29

I stepped inside a cnureh in the Chicago suburbs and sar down in an-
ricipation of the worship service. As a first-ti rner and one who leves to
observe, my eyes wandered a11around, looking at people and my sur-
roundings, taking in as much as I possibly could,
The firsr thing I noticed was rhc way the roorn was organized. This
chureh met in the round. It looked like ir seared a couplc hundred
peopIe. I've secn a number of ehurehes thar meet in the round, and
typieally when ir is time for the pastor to preach, where do you suspeer
he or she stands when preaching? You guesseu it. The center, This way
the pastor can mukc good eye conracr with each person while sharing
rhe Word of God wirh the congregation.
Bur this church was differenr. When one of the pastors stood to give
the word of thc Lord, he didn't do ir frorn the ccnter but at the edge of
the eircle. Instead of chairs being Iined up toward a stage, where I saw
thc back of people's heads and passivcly took in the message, I was
sittinv in a eircle, Iooking ut rhe faces of people rcady to engage. When
rhe worship began, 1 noriced how rhc band was a part of rhe eirele,
le.lding lIS in worship from the nurgir,!; of rhc ehurch.
Thcn ir carne time for the reading of ScriptllfC. The fouf different
pussages were read from rhc riJUf cor ncrs of thc roorn. The reuders
rcad [rom the cdge of the cin:!c. Ir felr a~ ir lhe word of thc Lord was
'opn:acling rhroughout rhe carth, ~'rom norrh to sourh and from eust
ro wesr. And whcn it wus ri me f~)r,OIlICllllC ro ddiver rhc word, t hcy
spoke ar rhc ver)' C(lr.!;caf rhc circle on rhc eas r sitie. I ar thc rn iddle.
\Nhat was in rhe ccnter of rhe cir.·lc? I t lii n], you rnighr bc able to
gucss: a rahlt:, t hc Table wirh rhc hn'~ld and wim-, rhc Lord'" hndy
und bloo.I.

This d~lln'h Ilndcrswnd th.u thc mcdium is lhe llles~a.~e. \lVhat we

dI) otrcn "pt"aks loudc.;r \\ h.u VI.- ~aj. 111 /1 Th.:ology oftht' HIII/t f:n-
'l'lrOnmenl, T ]. Gorringe argucs thar (hcology ought ro bc conccrncd
,,!Jour ~r;lCC,,Irchilt:cturc, d..:sign, public pllJiLy,ccological sustainabiliry
anti citv planni Ilg, becaus..: li/I ~/ 1z1~1')(pr(:I"I",·[ our thl'%gy, and cven
hllildings "rnukc moral ~tart:menrs."l So whall11c~sage does ollrapprollrh
to /I'udt'nhip prochim?
Heanng the Story

If godly leadership is ultimarely about influencing orhers to pay ar-
tention to and foUow God with their entire lives so that rhey might
offer themselves as a living sacrifice to God for the sake of the world,
then John the Seer gives us a peek at what leadership looks like when
Cod reigns fully.

Whenever the Jiving creatures give glory, honor and rhanks to him who
sits on the throne and who lives forever ano ever, the twenry-four elders
fali down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives
for ever and ever, They lay thcir crowns before rhe throne and say:

You are worthy, our Lord and God,

ro receive glory and honor and power,
for you created ali things,
and hy your will rhcy were creared
and have rhcir heing. (Rev 4:9-11)

Wc are told earlier in the chapter that God is 011 his rhrone, at thc
cenrer, And around rhe rhrone were tour living crearurcs, and bcyond
(hem are the twenty-four elders. Eugenc Peterson says rhar rhc twenty-
four e1ders are a double rwclvc, "thc twclvc I Icbrcw tr ibcs ,.lIlJ thc
twelve Christian apostles, lhe old Israel anel thc new Chu rch."~ r f mis
sional leadership is about joining wirh CoJ und hdping pe0l'le alld
'ommuniries to live up to thcir sacred pt)tcnrial-1ivin~ livcs 1)( J:ldy
worship lu CoJ, hri nging lhe real ity t)f h is kinguom ro bcur ar homc,
at work, in thc ncighborhood J.nJ wit hi u LIII.:ulIlgn:gaLioll-tllcll
Icading in communi y, in the rouncl. wit h Coei ,I! lhe «entcr Il1igllt bL' ,I

good way lo approuch uur 1t:J.Jcr~llip. PUl.:r~(Jllwurns U:. thar failun: tu

wur::.hip C'JJ tU~l.:lh"':lr"':llI11VC!>UUI centcr allJ •••.ull:.igu!> us lO a lill.: 'I(
uul jcrks,
~p:l~III,•. UI lhe mcr •..y oI' everv ..ulver riscrncnt, cvcr v scducriun,
cvcry sircn .... Pcoplc who do not worship are ~wCP[ i nrn a v.isr rl'sl-
lcssncss, epiderme in the worlJ, with no stcady direcrion .md so sus
taining purpose.":'
With God at Lhe conter, lhe leudcrs of lhe church are ut t hc pc-
riphery. Part of our job as lcadcrs is to consistenrly hclp pcoplc I'c--
rncrnbcr that we are undcr-shcphcrds who, like rhcm, are scckinu ['l

foIlow the Shepherd of our souls, who is the Head of the church. Our
approach to leadership should reflect this approach, We should mirror
on earth what is in heaven.


Polycentric leadership seems like a good idea in our context, but don't
we need leaders like Moses and David and Deborah in our day? Don't
they exemplify what we need in godJy leaders? Despire their faulrs,
these leaders are among the great leadcrs in the Hebrew Scripture,
from whorn we can Iearn much. When we talk about leadership in
general, there are various kinds of leadership that Cod uses at various
times to accomplish his purposes, which is why we rnusr be like the
leaders ofIssachar, understanding our times so that we know what course
we should take (1 Chron 12:32).
When God wanted to cali a people out of four hundred years of
slavery, he used a humble Ieader like Moses to help dcliver his people
Irorn the oppressive regime of Pharaoh 50 that God might blcss his
people and that they in turn might be a blessing CO ali nations. It seems
that God uses situationalleadership. In orher words, differing situatiam
require clifTerent approaches to leadership at different times, even when
aiming for an ideal. This is why structure ought to submit to Spirit, and
as we pursue an approaeh to leauersh ip rhar reflecrs heaven on earrh,
we musr approach it dynam.ically instead uf wirh rigid.iry.
Those who srudy thc ropic of Íeadership rypically ask three ques-
tions: What rype of person makcs a good Icnder? Whar does a good
leader do? Wbat kind ofleadership does our currcnr situution demand?
So you huve various kinds ofleaders with varying styles. Disl.:ernment
reqll ires knr)wing what the situation dcmands,
I Inique to thc Old Testament is thc dcpiction ufGoJ forming a people,
a nation, to be a light to the other nations, using various rorm~ r)f lead-
ership within Israel ar difkrent sragcs. Israel, bcing a nation, oot only had
religiolls lcaders but poliricul aurhorities as well, Thcrc were judges and
eventually k.ings who were often critiqued and balanced by the prophers.
Each tribe had eldcrs. And thcre were pricsts as well as those who srudied,
transcribed and taught rhe Torah, the scribes, rhe sages and the rabbis."
Heering the Story

The following are a couple of things worth pointing out relating to

the Old Testament. First, reading through the Hebrew Scripture, we
get the sense that God desires to rule his people direct1y and personally.
At the sarne time, his people desire a tangibJe mediator between them
and God.
As God was working through Moses' leadership, he desired to speak
to Moses in a way that ali could hear Cod's voice. So Moses had the
people consecrate themselvcs, and he instructed them to stand at the
foot of rhe mounrain to meet with God. Then God spoke the Ten
Commandmenrs but "When the people saw the rhunder and lightning
and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled
wirh fear. They stayed at a distance, and said to Mose , ' peak to us
yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to lIS or we will
die'" (Ex 20:18-19). They were more comfortable with Moses medi-
uting God's presence to rhern.
We see rhe idea of the people wanting :l mediator a second time. Thc
elders ofIsrael carne to Samuel to let rum know they wanted a king like
other nations sincc Samuel was growing olrJ and his sons had beco me
corrupt. o arnuel went to the Lord abour the murter. How did God
rcspond? "h is not you they have rejected, but they hnve rejccred me as
their king .... Now lisren to rhern; bur wurn thern solernnly a nd ler
thern know what the king who will reign over rhern wilI clairn as h is
rights" (l arn 8:7, 9). Sarnuel warned (hem rhar rhc king would crente a
powerful centralize government, send their sons to war .md take the bcst
of what they creured for himscl f He warned thcrn rhar as th is happens,
thcy would come running back to GoJ. but GoJ would l1ul auxwer r hern.
In spitc ot rhis warning, the people insisted on a king, and 50 God
allowed ir. Sur« enoug-h, as we reud through thc cripturcs, we dis-
cover that rhcrc wcren'r many good kings. Thc} wcrc ncvcr rncant lu
weur "the rillg." Only a holy Gud can handle thar kinJ of powcr. vVc
aren'r designed to sit on GoL! 's rh rone; we wcre dcsigned to be God's
vice-regenrs,aLting togerher as his stewards, and reflccring this in our
approach to leadcrship.
The third and final developrncnt in regarei to the Hebrew Scriptures
is how thc prophets painrcd a rrajectory for the fuller parricipation of

o . 0·1
~eopeo f G 01
d 00 responsibility
o and Icadership. Isaiah paints the
J.Pidture of the new heavens and new earth. joel speaks of the day when
.. God's Spirit would be poured our in such a way that both rnen and
women, oId and young, servants and maid servanrs will experience new
empowerment from Cod. Intcrestingly enough, joel also talks abour
blood, fire and smoke, reminding us of the same elernents present ar the
foot of the mountain, when Cod wanted to speak to his people directly
and personally at Mt. Sinai.
Cod allowed Israel to have a king, but rhe visions of john rhe Seer,
Isaiah and Joel show us that Cod's ideal may be quier differenr, In the
Hebrew Scriptures we see thar Cod is ar work among his people, so rhat
the elders or leaders are Ieading as a community, as a circle in the round,
with the chiefShepherd at the center, God uses prophet .priesrs, rabbis,
scríbes, elders and even kings to pull people toward God's future.


By the rime we get to rhe Gospels, the chief Shepherd has come; the
one who sirs at the right hand of thc Father has arrived. The King is
now living in f1esh and blood among the people of Cod. What does
rhis human who was Cod and rhis Cod who was hurnan have to teach
us abour leadership?

First, norice thar Jesus didn'r cu]] onc pcrson to be a scnior shepherd
and others to be assistanrs \tVhy? i\1aybe the besr way WI! acr as image
bearers is to lead as unJcr-shcphcrd~ as opposed to senior shepherds.
Calling the Twelve ooviolIsly evokcs a conn!;ction to lhe rwclvc rribes
of Israel and gives us a clue to jesus' m ission. And while thrce disciples
WCH; parr ofJesus inner circlc, hc didri'r pI-.mlute solo leaJership, and
typically warned againsr pcople Jcsiring thc greatt:r role.
S(), how can our leadership bcst mirror wh,n hus been delivered to IlS
trorn heaven> Lcadership in rhc round, in comrnuniry, wirh God ar the
centcr, offers a tangible picrurc of rhe ki nd of Icndcrshlp rhur move
others ro pa}' attcnrion to anJ follow Cod wiih their entire livcs, using
their gifts nnd passions to build rhc body ofChrist and bless the world.
Hur doesn'r rhe ehurch requirc a !ksh anti bíood guarterback to call the
plays and give the instructions so thar rhe team can reach goal linc? This is
Hearmg the Story

a fair and practical questiono lt moves rhe convcrsation from theory to

practice in irnportant ways. Ir may be one of the reasons the disciples con-
tinually argued about who arnong rhern was the greatest. After ali, someone
needs to Iead, right? Sorneone needs to push things forward, right>
Ler's look a little deeper at the disciples' argumenr. John 13 hclps set
the stage. Let me walk you through a summary of how Gayle Erwin
rhinks the Lasr Supper went down, because I find ir cornpelling." Ir is
Passover. Jesus knew thar his time had. come. He is gctring ready to
show the ful! extent of his love. Then we are told thar "jesus kncw that
the Father had put ali thlngs under his power, and that hc had come
from God and was retuming to God" (Jn 13:3).
So Jesus has aLI power, and he knows who hc is and whose he is.
There is something freeing about knowing who wc are in God, for
when we know who we are, there is no need to prove ourselves to others.
Jesus has ali power, but whar is he going to do with it? What would you
do if you hacl ali power?
Before looking at what he does, let's placc the ~tory in irs historieal
contexto The Roman triclinium (Latin for "thrce couchcs") W~lS lhe
rnost cornmon table of the day, primarily found in rhc finer homes,
which is where Jesus and the disciplc met for rhe Last SU]1per. Tt wus a
low table rhat lookcd Iike a squared off horscshoc. The way the seating
was arranged, aceording to archaeologist and theulogian jarnes
F'leming, is rhat the table ar the left was the head table, wirh the hosr,
guesr ofhonor and thc righr-hand rnun {or assistanr).' t\ nd thcn rhe rest
of the gucsts would sit from Iefr to right in dccrcasi ng-ordcr I)f ran k.
jesus asked, whcn you go to a buuquet, which scat snouh] -"\lU take~
The lowesr, right? lfyou sat yoursclf ar a highcr scat und thc host carne
and askcd you to move, rhar would be quite elllb:lrras~iIl;.!;.'-'Viril ihis
historical backdrop, we C:In sec now why rhis une Ilf rhc
cornmon apostolic argumenrs. E:vcry t i me thcy ~:tl down lo cur, lhe
issue of rank arosc. With this in rnind, ler's scc if we l";\T1 figure whcre
some of rhc disciplcs may have becn ~itting;. 'vVc kuow jcsus W<lS

the host, and wc also have a suspicion of who may have becn sin ing- in
thc right-hand rnan's posirion: john said of hirnself thar hc was the
disciple rhat jesus Iovcd, who leancd .lgainst h is breust.

We can aIso place the guest of honor, because rhe custom in rhat day
echoes QUIS. Having a rueal with others carried a significant social
meaning for the people of God. To eat wirh someone was to literally
become a part of them. Thus the Pharisees consistently cririqued Jesus
for eating with the "tax collectors and sinners." In that day, the host and
rhe guest of honor would typicaUy dip from thc same bowl. The host
would often start the banquet by taking the first bit and putting ir into
the mouth of rhe guest of honor, saying, "You do me honor." Wbo
dipped into the bowl withJesus? Judas.
While we know who the rest were at the table, we don't know where
they sar, until we get to thc person at the lowesr sear. For at one point
Jesus said, "One of you will betray me" (Mt 26:21). They all asked, "Is
it I?" Then Peter signaled across the table to john and said, "Ask him
which one he rneans" (]n 13:24-25). Whar is Peter doing in the seat
reserved for the leasr? This is no place for a pope, is it?
Some suggest thar Perer lost rhe argumenr. Maybe Perer argued for a
high seat and lost the argumento Peter says, "Hey guys, I was with him
on the Mounr ofTransfigurarion." And rhey mighr have replied, "Yeah,
and who got it wrong and wanted to build rhree tabernacles?" Peter
comes baek, "But who had thc gn:at revdation thutjesus is the Messiah?"
And they say, "Yeah, to whom did he say, 'Ger behind me Satan'?"
Whar was Perer doing in the last seat? Some people think that as
they were arguing abour who W:lS the grcatesr, Peter f1nally started to
remcmber Jesus' reaching about how the rulers of this world lord it over
peoplcnnd flaunr thcir uuthorirv, but whocve- wants to becorne grear in
the kingdom becomes a scrvunr. and the grearcsr a slavc. o Percr de-
cided to sit in the last sear.
But hcrc is rhlo: thing, CVt;:1I if you choose rhe lowest scat in a mornenr
of humility, il i, Jifficult nor to ger a bit unmmtortable and feel rhe
need to prove to the rest rhar yO\l do no! actually belong there. Peter's
discornforr in the Íowesr eat probably brought tension to the rablc.
Finally, rhe supper is being served and nobody's fect had been
washed. To welcorne a gUl:sr in Jesus' day, the hosr would wash the
gucsts feer, The job wcnr to thc one of lowesr rank in the household,
normally a servanr. I can imagine the guys thinking, Why isn't Peter
Heanng the Story

washing ourfiet? And Peter thinking, I'm not going to wash anyone's fiel.
If I do, they will think tbat I belo71gbere. So things were uncomfortable
because everyone's feet were dirty.
Remember, in this rense situation, Jesus holds all rhe power-+rhe
power that flung the galaxies inro being, the power to raise the dead-
and his disciples get into another argument 01' who i the grearest. 50
Jesus gets up from the rable and straightcned out his gucsts. Is thar
what happened? No, it says he got up and started washing rheir feet.
Oh, 50 this is what you do when you want to show the full extent of your
love. This is what you do when you have aU power but aren't corrupted by
it. This is what you do when you are confidant of who you truIyare.
Whar form of leadership best dernonstrnte what Jesus con istently
tried to teach the disciples? A syrnrnetrical monoccnrric approach to
leadershíp, which rhe apostles argued over, or an asyrnmetrical poly-
centrie approach to leadership, whieh Jesus seerned to encourage?


It's Pentecost. The Holy Spirit falls on the church and the pcople speak
in tongues, and everyone hears the good news in rheir own languagc.
As this is happening Peter recognizes that the prophecy of Jod was
coming to light. The Holy pirit fell upon people regardless of their
SCX, age or ocial status. In the New Tesrarnent we see women as
apostles, teachers, evangelists and prophets. We see the poor ern-
powercd by the Spirir just as much as the rich. Cod's t:lvor ti.:llllpon all
wirhout discriminarion.
Thc church in jcrusalcm was IcJ by J. plurulity llt lcadcr s, ]J.llln,
Pcrer ancl]ohn being among them (Ga12:9). At rhe church in Antioch
we see a variously gifreJ multiet hnic leudersh ip te.un worshipinj-,
f::Jsting and looking to thc Holy Spirit for dircction. i\nJ as lhc} wcrc
in couununiry anti cormnunion, Rarnabus and Saul werc "scnr Oll rhcir
way by the Holy Spi rit n (Acts 11:4).
While the book of Acts is cornrnonly rcfel red tu J.S t he Acrs uf the
Aposrlcs, it actually records thc acrs of thc Holy Spirit. The } loly Spirit
was guiding pcople in rnission, giving direction, morivating, cncour-
aging and cornforting the peoplc throughout the early church.

We learn a loe about early church leadership through the council

described in Acts 15. The question they sought to answer is: Does one
have to become a Jew in order to become a Christian? A community
of leaders took time to debate, share their experiences, examine
cripture and look at how Cod worked through history. When
coming to a conclusion that the Centilcs didn't have to become Jews
to be Chrisrian, we see how they were led by the Spirir (Acts 15:28).
Whether strategic decision making, like sending Paul and Barnabas,
or theological decision making, Iike the gathering of the firsr council,
decision making was done in rhe contexr of a community of gifted
leaders who sought to follow Christ under rhe guidance and direction
of rhc Haly Spirit.
The picrure given til roughout Acrs and thc Epistles is thar the under-
shepherds Iive rogether as a communal exarnplc, priests rninistering to
feIlow priests, not lording ir over orhers but recognizing the need to care
for, encourage and cxhort t hosc entrusred to rhcm by the chiefShepherd,
Jesus Christ. As they follow Christ and sharc the Word by the power of
the Spirir, the people of Cod respond to rhe work of the Holy pirit in
their lives, and more leadcrs (c1ders) are raised up to eguip orhers, As
rhis happens the currcnt lcaders appoint new leuders (elders) in every
church, bascd on thc Spirit's work (churacrer, knüwledge and skill devel-
oprnent) in their Iives, so thar they might exercise their gifts tor rhe
common g(}od. As a resuli, rhc cntirc people of Gud conrribun, (O the
building \tp of rhe budy ofChrisr and expanding thc kingdorn.
We scc i11lhe h()ok uI' Ephcsians t h.u Chri~t ha~ ~iven lhe church-
aposrlcs, prophers, eV:lngcl isrs, pa,tors ;lf1d teadlcrs-to collcctivch
cquip the cut irc body so rhnt ir would bu.Id itsclf up in a Iove. And the
chur; h 's love ~piUeJ imo rhe cnn re world, trom Jerllsalem anti Judea
.ind S..llllara to the uttcrmosr parts o! the ea rth.
ThroughOLlt the Ncw TI.'st;1 mcnr lctters, we are remindcd rh ar Chrisr
is ar rhe ccntcr. He is the quarrerb.rck 11c is 011 rhe lhrone, nor rhc
pa,tors anti tcachcrs. Wc see rhat rhe aposrlcs, prophcts, evangcli~ts,
pastors :1IlJ rcachcrs livc in comrnuninn with God, and in cornmunirv
wit h cach othcr and urulcr I hc guiJancc :1nJ power of the Holy Spirit
they are pulled roward rhc john rhc So.:cr'svision in Revelalion.
Heanng lhe Story

Recognizing God is ar the center, the elders lead in rhe round,

serving ar the periphery to activate rhe entire people ofGod to use rheir
gifts in bringing the blcssing ofChrist to their cities and world.
Sitting in the round, encircling the Table of bread and wine, the
church I visited in the suburbs ofChicago reflected the heavenly realiry
of God at the center.

Deepening Theorogical Roots

Thealogical cammitment must be applled to Me-to the theologian's

own Christian walk and to the life of the church=sin order that faith
can issue forth in aiscipteship.


For lhe word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any doubled-
edged sword, it penetrates even to aivrding soul and spirit, jomt» and
merrow, it tudges the thoughts and ettituaes af the heart.


"In the beginning is communlon." Scripturc and subsequenr creeds

tcstiEy thar bcforc the tou ndation of the world, for ali eternity, God has
cxisred in pert\:l't communiry as I;arher, ·00 and Holy Spint, God is
not rhc solitary Onc. He is ncirher lonely nor alone. From the beginni ng
the Farhcr, Son und J 101y Spirit havc bcen in an lH1encling dance of
muruul cnjoyrnenr anJ leve fi>[ une anothcr, God nbides in rieh com-
rnun icy. As thcologlan Leonardo Botf writes, "Uornruunirv is rhe
deepesr .1 nu rnost foundational rcality thar exisr.'?
In AJicr OI/r Likeness Miroslav Volf writes t hat wc live in a sociery
where ••filith livcd ccclesially is being replaced bya fairh livcd individu-
ulistically.'" A cornrnon saying in our day is, "I like Jesus, but 1 hate rhe
Deepening Theotogicst Roots

church." Why? Volf, along with many others, ays that "people in
modem societies have little sympathy for top-down organizations, in-
c1uding for churches structured top-down."


How should our undersranding of the inner relationship (social aspect)
of the Trinity shape our approach to leadership? As we understand and
reflect on the social Trinity and allow our .understanding of the rela-
tional nature of God to shape our approach to leadership, we wilJ
becorne more interdependent, communal, rclarional, participatory, self-
urrendering and self-giving. In the first section of this chapter 1 will
bring Volf's and Boff's thoughts into the conversation, 5

While the Triniry is the ultimare reality revealed in Scripture, thc

doctrine of the Trinity is the attempt of the church to give a grearer
understanding and explanation of the Fathcr, Son and Spirir. Because
ir is second-ordcr speech, the arricularion n[ rbe docrr i ne nf rhe Trinirv
has continued to evolve through the church's history. Boff makes rhe
case that there are thrce primary dcvelopmcnts of tr initarian thOllght,
euch of which arose to address particular crrors in a given rult ure anti
time." l~irst, in Rornan culture, where polytheism was prcvalenr, rhe
Latia tathers emphasized the oneness of Gad. When rhe C reá fathers
were battling Ariunisrn or modalisrn, they tocused more on thc di-
versity in God. Ultimutely they sertled on unity rhrough divcrsity. Fi-
nally, in our context, where individualisrn rcigns, we ought to focus 011
rhe social Triniry, looking at thc rich, mutually cnco\lfaging- und rnutuul
lependeru rclationship bcrwcen the Fathcr, Son and pinto
The social vicw of rhe Trinity puts ernphasis on this rclational narurc
of Cod. For Boff "The rrmituriun vision produces a vision nf·1 chn rch
rhat i~more .ornmunion than hicrarchy, more scrvicc pO\ver, more
circular than pyrumidul, more loving ernbnu,e then belldillg th . k ncc
before authoriry."? He hclievcs thar onc of thc bcsr ways ri> help
overcorne clericalisrn und authoritarlanisrn in the church is Ihrol1f';h a
radical trinitarian undcrstanding of Ood."
Volf considers thc Trinity to be a loving cornrnunity of pcrsons, cach
fully sharing :1\1 rhe divine attributes. Hc thcrcfore finds it incon-

ceivable to find eterna! hierarchy and subordination within the perfeer

Central to Boffs and Volf's understanding of the relational riature
of the Trinlty is the Eastern Orthodox notion of pericboresis, whieh
has no good translarion into English. It can be roughly understood as
interpenetration, where each divine person permeates and is per-
meated by the others withour confusion. Jesus speaks of this intimare
union when he says, "the Father is in me, and I in the Father" (]n
10:38). This union is dynamic and reciproca]. As Boff says, "Eaeh
Person is for rhe orhers, with the othcrs and in rhe others, The cver-
lasting love that pervades thern and form them unires thern in a
currenr of life 50 infirute and cornplex as to constitute the unity bc-
tween them."1O This rnutual embodiment means thcy each share in
each other's work. The on and Spirir join the Father in crcation; the
Father and Spirir join the Son in redemption; and the Father and Son
join the Spirlt in sunctific:ttion, which doesn'r preclude rherc heing
prirnary actions of cach person. So how does the inner life of the
Trinity speak to our ecc1esiology and approach to leadership?
The cntological (nature ofbei ng) and relational understanding of the
Triniry lead Volf to conclude that rhe ccclesíasucal strucrure rhar rnosr
corresponds to thc social Trin ity does nor divide thc church berween rhe
general and particular priesthood, bur holds to rhe equaliry of thc
priesthood of all bclicvcrs. I-lc believes thar a polyceruríc approach to
otTicers in the church bcsr rctlccts Scripture and rhe social Trinity. For
Vol r, orJinariun is a mattcr of divi ne giftlllg, characrcr and reception by
rhe enrirc congrcg.inon unrler lhe g-1I idance.:ot"lhe 'pirit.11 \Vhilc ordi
nation is not necessarily [O bc considered an appointment to a lifelong
task, he considers gifted Icauership to be more lasting than orher gifls,
t"lJr IC:.ldershlp adds to rhe srahility, cohesion and unity of thc wholc.
For Roff, whcn the church modcls irsel f :lfte r lhe paú'holl!Jij uC lhe
Trinity. rherc will hc an ernphnsis on inrerdcpcndency, mutual cure,
intimare sharing and rnurunl sdf·giving. Boff rcminds us that aI! in lhe
church are born from a rcsponsc of taith, and rhat aJl Christians are to
be srudenrs of Christ, ano the entire church is culled to makc disciplcs.
Learning and tcaching (wirh powcr) are rwo funcrions, not divisions in
Deepening Theological Roots

the church. "They are two adjectives that dcscribe rwo practices of the
whole community. They are nor two nouns that split thc community."12
Boff allows hierarchy to develop within the commun ity when it is good
for the community and all remember thar wc are first brothers and
sisters, For "before hierarchies and differences, Jesus sought to in-
troduce feUowship, participation, cornmuniry.'t'! Leadership, for Boff,
comes afteT community, not bcfore.
Reflection on the social Trinity reminds us of the importance of the
priesthood of all believers, and that the five equippers in Ephesians 4
are to be a community of leaders within the cornrnuniry, as priests
equipping fellow priests. As we seek to imitare God in our approach to
leadership, we ought to rernernber that "Bel ieving in the Trin ity mcans
rhar trurh is on the side of community rarher than cxclusion; consensus
translates rruth better than irnposition; rhe participation of rhc many is
berter than the dictatc of a single onc."14


Growing up in ,l culture where individu.iliry reigns supremo, [ CM1 SCC

how it has uffecred the church's approach to being rhe church, T'herc are
a number of theologians today who properly ernphusize cornrnunitv .1I1U

cornrnunion while retaining a sense nf personhood. Sran lcy Crl·IY1.\ ern-

phasis on the nuture of the church as "the eschutological covcnunt com-
rnuniry" is profound and has practicnl implicarions ti>rrod.iv, cspeciallv in
the way we approach leudership, Michael Burtlc put~ Ir brilliantly when
he says, "Christian lite is not abour an :l).Çgrcg:ltcof individuals in rltr~ult

of thcir expcricnce ot Gnu, hut ;, way \)f heing- 111 which
Christian pilgrims anti disciples display rcl.uionships and bchaviors ukin
ro how Christ displayed relutionships und beha viors."!"
We in thc VVcst tcnd to starr with rhc oncncss (,f Gnu, bur John
Zizioulas und the chureh in rhe Eust begin wirh t hc thrce-l: I-OIIl: G<ld.
Thus God in cornrnun iry is foundarional (or Ensrcrn Orrhodox l'cclesi-
ology. And since rhe church is thc icon of lhe Trinity, true pcrsonhood
is founel in ccrnrnunít '. BCLurning a Christiun is moving from "bio-
logica! individualiry" to "ecclesial personhood."!" Whcn wc hcromc
mernbers of thc church, wc takc 011 Cod's "way ot'bcing," and th is way

ofbeing is in comrnunion with Cod and community with others, And

when we come to rhe Cornmunion Table, we are rerninded that the
work of Christ constituted by rhe Spirit "anticipates the eschatological
gathering of the who/e people of God."17 While the church in the East
emphasizcs the communal nature of the church, "every form of com-
rnunion which denies or suppresscs the person is unadmissable."18
How does this communal approach shape our approach to lead-
ership? I propose that the church ought to be led by a Spirit-gifted
polycentric tearn of apostles, prophers, cvangelísrs, pasrors and reachers
who rnodel and equip their fe/low priests in the cornmunal way of life
patterned after our triune God. Then we can more fully follow Chrisr
into the world for the sake of the world, by the power of the Holy Spirir,
where we scek to join God in rhe rcnewal of ali things.


Thc lasr time I was in Rome 1 was able to see rhe pope. I happened to
be in Sr. Perer's square and discovered thar Pope john Paul II would be
speaking rhere that aftemoon. o my friends and 1 maoaged to get
rickets and sat among the massive audience und lisrened to the pope
speak in Latin. Of coursc, r didn'r undersrand a thing he said. Bur whar
struck me was rhe atmosphere. I couldn'r help but compare rhe picture
thar was in fronr of me wirh the picture ofJc:,us ar rhe Last Supper and
his walk roward the cross. Bcfore my eyes was a rnan dressed in a whíre
rohe wirh a Iireral crown 00 his head. To his left and right were men
dressed in bright rcd, thc curdinals. People kissed lhe pope's ring.
Pore Jnnn Paul Ir. in my cstirnation. did ~nmé .unazing things in his
life, 13m this picture puzzled me. (Ir 18 likely that 1 arn ignoram of thc
symbvlisnt.) As I was taking in rhis scene, the picture oFJeslIs washing
his Ji~Liples' feer carne ro mind, I then srarted to think abour how much
of jesus' minisrry W;l~ involved in sLlbvcrtin~ the status quo in the reli-
gious .InJ politicaJ world of his day, and as a rcsult was stripped of his
di~nity. On his way to the cross, he didn'r wcar a crown bedccked wirh
jewcls bur a crown of thorns. They didri't kiss his ring but spat in his
face. Thc contrasr rernains with me. Sometimes I wonder, 11'haL system
is at tuorl: oere?
Deepening Theotogtcel Roots

Not long after my trip to Reme, I took a trip to San Diego to meet
with some Christian leaders in the city. As I was waiting to rneet thc
senior pastor of a megachurch, rhis young associate pastor was giving
me the rundown on the different churches and pastors in the city. He
mentioned how they often argued about prorninent seating on the
podium during large gatherings. They likewise argued abour who
would speak at what evento
As he was speaking, I rhought, We Protestarus may no! wear foney
dothes and croums; we are a bit more subtfe in our approach topower. Yet we
seem to be under tbe spel! of tbe same system. I've felt rnyself under this
spell. lt seems that only a few, people like .!\IIorher Teresa, have been
able to break this spell.
Why is this the case? Part of the reason is rhar roo many of us be-
Iieve that structures are neutral. The longer I live, the more T realize
that we shape structures and then the structu res reshape u . I'vc known
too many godly people who seerned to have unkr.owin;;ly ar unwit-
tingly become more corrupt because of the system and strucrure Df
ministry. As I look to Scripture, it's obviou' that Jesus wcars rhe ring,
nor uso We are to live by the power of rhe Spirir as a communit y of
believers,seeking to wash feer so thar powt:r doesn't do irs subversive
work in us.
When churches mirror the CSO model in Arncrican business rather
rhan the polycentri model we see in Scriprure, whar can we cxpecr? If
we baprize a particular rnodel wirh Christian bnguagc. will wc
somehow be exempt from its abilirv to sguceze lIS into its mold?
ThroughaLlt Scriptun.: wc are tolJ abour two m.nn stran:gie~ lhJ.t rhc
evil one uses to shape us roward death-oricntcd bchaviors. One is a
personul stran:gy; the other is a corporate srrat:.:gy, which in thc
Scripture is dcs ribcd as "thc world" or "the system oC thi-, world."
Tbis is why John warns LlS nor to love "rhe world," its cravinzs nnd lust
(1 Jn 2:15-16). Jamcs say~, "wherc yOll hnve cnvy .md selfish ambition,
there you wiU find disorder and every evil prucrlce" (jas 3:16).
Scripture spcaks of the world systern or thc kingdoms of til is world.
Whar does this mean? Waltcr Wink explains,

Ali of us deal with the Powers Thar Be. They sraff our hospitais, run
Ciry Hali, sit around tables in corporare boardrooms, collecr our taxes,
and head our families. n'ur the Powers Thar Be are more than just the
people who run rhings. They are rhe systerns themselves, the instiru-
tions and strucrures rhat weave society inro an intricare fabric of power
and re1ationships. Thesc Powcrs surround us on every side. They are
necessary. They are useful. Wc could do nothing wirhour thern. Who
wanrs to do withour rimely mail delivery or weU-maintained roads> But
rhe Powers are also the source of unmitigated evils.'?

Therc is much more to say herc. The point I want to make is that struc-
tures are not neutra] Structures are theological statcments. If our
structures mirror "the way of the world," rhey wiJ I shape us powerfully
and unknowingly. trucrures rnust bc developcd wirh the theological
inrerit to be a sign ofGod's coming kingdom. I'm nor saying rhar we are
unable to learn from organizational dynarnics and orher fields of study.
Bur we must scrurinize lJU!" metbods, re:uizing rhar the rncans are:just
as irnporranr as the ends, tor the rnea ns shape us to a particular end. It
has been said thar Christianity started out in Palesrine as a fellowship,
moved to Greece and bccarne a philosophy, went to Rome and became
an insrirution, spread to ElIropc anJ becarne a govcrnmcnr, anJ finally
crossed the At1::tntic lo Amcric.i whcre ir became an enterprisc. What
will ir takc ti>r us to return to lcl lowsh ip?


Olle nf rhc ways to de:t! wirh unhcn Ithy strucru rcs is by liav] IIg a balance
bet wccn Christ und the Spirir in ou r arrroarh to heil1 the church.
:)'>111<' UlIlllllL1nitil's of Úith are hcavy on thc Logo> or thc vVord, and
lighl on rhc Spirit. O hcrs are hc.rvv U!1 t hc Spirit aud l!gltr on rhe
\Nnrd. Bur wc rnust remernbc:r tllC I ut Íier seut rhe -on (VVord
madc flcsh) und thc Spirir to birth nnd shapc the church. 'Thu« cvery
congr~'gatioll is a comhinatioll of" thc concreto Ilnd spirirual, objective
una subjcctive.
l-kc,ILlSC Christ is thc Worcllllade tle. 11, he is a concrere partem for
ou r lives. Ycr wc rnust hold t!ti~ ill tCllsiOl1 with thc Spi Til, wlio, li ke the
wind, blows whcrc hc pleuscs.
Deepening Theological Roots

When it comes to Christ, some only focus 00 his dearh. While we

need to maintain a foeus on the eross, we are simultaneously called to
imitare Christ's üfe and believe thar through his resurrection we ean
live Spirit-imbibed lives in hope of our esehatologieal communal future.
As a eommunity of faith, we need to hold to thc most basic beliefs
about Christ, which include his identity, mission, priority, grace and
exarnple. In regard to his idenrity, Jesus is Cod, rhe Son, Saviur anel
Lord of the universe, who was boro of a virgin and coexists eternally
with the Farher and Spirit, His rnission was to inaugurare thc kingdom
of God on carrh, and he calls us to follow hirn in the renewal of aJI
things. His priority and creed is that we are to lovc Cod and people,
especially the least of these. His graee is cxtendcd to us in many ways.
Through his incarnation he is Que priesr and can idenrify with our
weaknesses, Through his death he rnakcs it possible for us to bc rccon-
cilcd to our rriune God, and rhrough his rcsurrection anel aseension hc
giv('~ us power thr()ugh the pirit to live godly lives. Throl!;;h h:s return
he gives us hope of a new heaven and a new carrh. And through his
exarnple he demonstrares whar ir rneans ro be mature humun being-s,
and he calls us through rhe power of rhe Spirir lO follow him ;1$ thc
liberaror of rhosc who have been oppressed by lhe sysrel1l, the lover of
those who have heen rcjecred hy society anel lhe dei ivcrer ot' rhose who
havc bccn seduced by consurncrisrn.
Thc Futhcr also sem the , plnt. Thc Scnrwrl'~ spcnk ()f thc pir ir
bci ng thc li (t;, brcaih, wi nd, firc, wurer, cloud, dovc anti jJtlWdd<,.211

When the church JS undcrsrood as charisrnaril in csscncc, ir is scc n as a

chu nsrnunc tcllowship ()f cqual pcrsons, the pricsrhood \)t alll.cllcvcr •.•.
Th is guards against an overinsrirutionaJ izat ion. The work ()f lhe Spi rir
i, nor just linlitcJ to salvatiullllr lo lhe church; thc work ofthc Spirit is
unlimitcd. Thc Sririt's work is osrnic in n.uur c. I IU1I1,lIl~ ML 111,ILlc
wiih un \lpCT1IIC~S and L·apacity co encounrcr Cod. God's Spint ~jves
light lO ull peopll: anti woo-, ,tIl peoplc to Ch risr Yer wh ile r;od is at
work i n ,tIl pe. iplc anel ali of I ifl:, from pul il ics Cu J ife-gi\'in~ projcct., in
crcation, rcdcmprion anJ thc coming consurnrnarion, hc is ais\! at wor];
through spccial revclation, sceking to reveul wirh greatcr ciarit y w 111) hc
is and the tururc hc is hclping to bri ng abour,

The beauty of the church 1S thar it was not only born of the Spirit at
Pentecost, but Chrisr through the Spirit continues to accomplish his
works by giving gifts to each person who confesses Christ, for me sake
of the building up of the body to accomplish his work in the world.
When ir comes to power distribution, ir is ulrimarely the role of the
Spirir, not any human or humanly made srructures. While humans can
try to control things and live wirh a rigid hierarchy, real aurhoríry comes
from above, and those who live by the Spirit seek to live on the edge of
chaos (between rigidiry and anarchy). The Spirit freely gifts rhe entire
priesthood of believers with no regard to genuer, age or race. He has
also given the church through Christ a polycentric leadership com-
munity to lead the church, as opposed to a single leader, so that the
body and the world would be drawn to the Head of the church.-Christ.
Our approach to leadership makes a theological statement to the
church and to rhe world. If we desire to be a church that is a sign and
foretaste of Cod '$ coming kingdom, we will seek to rcflecr our triune
God and our communal narure in all we do. We will recognize thar
strucrure is not neutral; cvery struct ure is a rheological statement. We
will also appreciare borh the ministry of rhe Son and the Spirit as we
live as a commllnity ofleaders to build rhe church and bless the world,

Embracing Emotional Health

In emotionstly healthy churcties, people live enti lead out of brokenness

and vulnerabi/ity. They understand that teedersmp in the kingdom of
God 15 from the bottom up, not a graspmg, controtting, ot lordtng over
others. ft is feading out of failure and pein, questions and struggtes-i-e
serving that tets go. /t is a noticeab/y dlfferent way of Ide irem what 15
commonly modeled tn the world end, unfortunate/y, in many churches.


God Opp05e5 the proud but shows favor to tbe humble.


I could tell that his story was still recent and raw, for .is rhi-. church
pluntcr shured with me rhe ernorionul hurts he had endureci in h 1:; .lttcmpt
to plant a church in a brgc East Coast cir)" l coukl Iccl his 11<':.11"1 brC:lh.iil?:'.

fight beíore me. I lis core tcarn de .idcd thar tht:y nu IU11ger \v.ulted tv
folJow his leadership, 50 they procccded to carry out a spirituul mutinv,
which lcfr my fricnd crnotionully scarred, probably for life. ~ry heurt W;[~

touched by his story. As hc shurcd, r could relate to rhc cmot ionul h irs he
and other leaders havc had to cndurc in rninistry. I havc had tv cndurc
scverc crnotionnl blows in my lilc, somct imes to lhe point ih.u I have
wanted to rhrow in the towcl nnd quit-nor juxt llly m inistrv but my Ide_


A few years ago I was taking a coursc at Fuller Theological Seminary.
The primary purpose of the class was to take time to ref1ect deeply 00 our
entire life from many diIferent anglcs so thar we might finish well. Bobby
Clinton and his tearn, after studying over a thousand biblical, historical
and contemporary leader's lives, discovered that 70 percenr of those who
begin rheir spiritual journev well end poorly. They also unearthed fivc
practices that were common among the 30 percent of the leaders who
finíshed well. They engaged in experiences that renewed rhern; they
practiced spírítual disciplines; they had a learning posrure; rhey had ten
to fifteen significam mentors in life; and they had a broad perspectív-.
To gain perspective we crearcd a unique time line, breaking our Iives
inro differenr segmcnts or phases and then looking at cach of these
phases from d ifferent angles. Part of the exercise included assessing the
phy ical, emotionaI, financial and vocational parrs of our Iives. We
looked at rhe hig-hs and lows in rhese arca, our hurr and rlifficulties as
well as ou r progress and vicrories. As 1 engaged in this exercise I Iecog-
nized that thc firsr five years of my chureh piam at Virgínia Tech and
my church plants in Lo Angeles, wcre some of my tOllghest.
During Illy fi rst fjve ycars in Los Angelcs r was Iortunare to planr the
chureh with u eo-Ieadcr, cqual in authoritv and eomplementary in gifting.
We nccdcd encouragelllent from each orher hc ause we both took many
difficulr hits. in \.:xamining how 1was Joillg physically during these years,
I reulized J gane through quite ,I bit. r wns iuvolvcd in a significant car
uccidcnr. r lud llly computcr ~tolcn whilc nu::cting needs in Atriea, and
al1orhercomf1utcr ruillnl hy ,I !ltH.d il1ll1)':lparrmt:I1t.l had un J.nonymous
rhre.ttening lcrrcr sem to me a/ter an LOI" AnE;e1es Times arriclc was pub-
lished abour our church. This wus a grearcr crnotionai hir than I thought
ir would be. Til ,lllthtion, sonl('Olle <rn:lshed my drivcr's sidc (ar w indow
mel srole <;OIllCirnportanr itcrns. On tor of ali th.u, r hatl a hour wirh
hingles anti round our rhat J wus grinding my teerh due to srrcss.
FinanL"ially, I can sce thar God providcd in many rich wuys. But
during the last parr nt" rhese ycars i srill lived under trcmendous fi-
nanciai <rrcss. This was duc in purt to pbnting anorher vhurch during
th is phuse und cho()sing lo rcdirccr ~(1IllCof l1ly t-unding to new leaders.
Embracing Emotional Health

A surfing analogy applies well to those first five years. We make

some progress as we paddle our way into the occan, but then a wave hits
uso We COntinue to paddle and make more progress, bur thcn another
wave hits us and knocks us back. We get farther out, but then a huge
wave comes that pulls us under into whar surfers call the "washing ma-
chine." But we sornehow make ir out and come up for air, rhough not
without causalities. Some of my reammates becarnc exhausted Juring
this trying time, othcrs were hun, and some lost hope.
ome got "called" to another city after the firsr wave. A fcw more
rnoved to another city after the second wave, and some soughr to finei
anorher church in the city. This is always diffieult. ratistically, you
wi \llose half or more of your church rearn duri ng rhe firsr ycar or rwo
of your church planto But losing people, no rnatter rhe numher, is dif-
ficulr to take emotionalJy.

In a11the arcas rhat I exarnined in my lifc, I've taken rhe hardesr hits in
rhe emocional area, I've knox n what it fecls likc to be stabhcd in thc back.
I have ar times felr the repercussions otspeaking our Ior peace and worki 11 !o("

tor rhe poor. 1 don'i have the time or the ernorionul cllergy 10 sharc rhe
degree anel durarion of rhe hurt und pain r cxpcricnccd during rhc tirst
ftve years in LA. Bur I can iJentify with rhc aposrle Paul as ir rclnres ro
some of his emotionul hirs hc incurrcd in his ministrv (2 Cnr 11)
I laving a co-lcader from rhe beginning of rhe church riam nllowcd us
ro splir the pain and multiply rhe joy. As llistened to rhe pain sharcd bv rhe
East Coast church plantcr, 1 couldn't hclp but think thut i f hc had startcd
that church with a shared polyccntric lcadership approuch, th.u church may
still bc alive and brillging more 01 COl.)", kingdOJII re> tll,,1 )1:lIll'·llbr ,1l.~

Polycentríc lcadership can bc good for onc's cmori, mul hcalrh,


Genuinc sharcd lcadership hns lhe potencial to h<.;lp us cxpcrrcncc
healing and pursuc wholcness in OU I" livcs as lcndcrs, whercas a scriior- or
lcaJ-pastOf appruuch to leadership tends to isolare thc lcader, lr docsnt
muttcr wherher thc person is at lhe tor (likc a CEO) or lhe borrorn of"
the PJ rarnid (scrvnnt lcudcrship), by nuturc oi aurhority, lide :llld
funcrion the pcrson i" isolated anel separatcd fmm the rcsr ()f t he hody.

Because no one has equal authority, there are no pecr relationships

within this approach to leadership, And when we have no peer relation-
ships, it can be difficult to open up our hearts and deal with our erno-
tional pain, Dan Aliender and Tremper Longman remind us how irn-
portant It is for us to listen to our emotions and work through thern well:

Ignoring our ernotions is turning our back on reality; listening to our

emotions ushers us into rcality. And reality is where we mecr God. If we
want to know God, we must ponder and struggle with our feelings to
gain an undersranding of me passions rhar rule uso ...
Ernorions are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives
the heart a voice. To undersrand our deepest passions and convictions,
we rnust learn to listen to the cry of the soul.

However, we ofrcn turn a deaf ear-through ernotional denial, dis-

tortion, or disengagernenr. We strain our anything disturbing in order
to gain tcnuous conrrol of our inner world .... In negIecting our intensc
emotions, we are false to ourselves and [e,,1.: a wonderful opporruniry to
know GaJ. We forger rhar changc comes thruugh brutal honesty and
vulnerabiliry before God.'

1 would add, transformation and chanp;e takes place whcn we are bru-
tally honcst and vulnerable with une another. In face, according to
James, some healing only comes abour rhrough rnutual confession
(jus 5:16).
111lhe polycentric model, pcople with equal aurhoriry and revolving
lcadership lead as a communiry and conrinually pursue wholcness to-
gcrhcr, Thus tht:y serve us un example for the cntire community of
fairh. Bccausc more is (,<[lIg-ht rhan taught. maru rjrv modded bya tcarn
of lcaders shapcs the couununitv in profound ways. Mosr of our bro-
kcnncss comes [rum Jy:,[ullc(Íonal cxpericnces in our farnilv OI' com-
muniry, aud JJJO~t healing a nd wholencss will come in the conrext of
Spirit-transforming cornmuniries wirh Christ :.1S the Head. Leadcrs
necd cornmu n irv to pursue wholeness. VVhen wc lead as an interde-
pendem team of equippers, each of l1S rnodels various strengrhs to
othcrs and honcstly livc with our wcakncsses. ln this way, we preach
Chrisi and not oursclves.
Sure, community has its difficulcies. Henri Nouwen explains:
Embrscmg Emotional Health

Nothing is sweet or easy about communiry. Commurüry is a fellowship

of people who do not hide their joys and sorrows bur rnake rhern visible
to each other in a gesture ofhope. In community we say: "Life is ful! of
gains and losses, joys and SOIroWS,ups and downs-but we do not have
to live ir alone. We want to drink OUf cup together and thus celebrare
the trurh that the wounds of our individuallives, which seern intolerable
when lived alone, become sourccs ofhcaling when we live thern as a part
of a fellowship of mutual care'?

Jesus gathen::d a cornmuniry of disciples (his future leaders) around

him; doesn't it make sense for us to lead as a pare of a cornmuniry, from
within a communiry?


Ir was Lord Acton who coined the phrase, "power tends [O corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts absolutely." Life often bears rhis out-unless
we learn to use power to serve in rhe w~y ofjP"\I~. W,. have all scen rhe
corrupting nature of power 00 good peoplc, which i' why this adage is
oft repeated. Ir has become a modem proverb in OUI time.
But another proverb from ou r ti me is jusr as vital to undcrstand. Ir
comes from the peo of Rosabeth Moss Kanter at llarvard Business
Schoo1. "Powerlessncss corrupts. Absolute powerlessness corrupts ub-
solurcly,"! When people fccl likc a cog in thc wheel of sornconc else's
vision instead of a person rnade in the image of God and called to live
in cornrnuniry, ir leads to a scnse of powerlessncss.
l'm extrernely grateful that after my conversion expcricnce 111 collcge,
the firsr group I connected with h,id adoptcd a pcrspcctivc o(
the church. From the ourset they helped me realize rhur God has called
me inro the priesthood, with its corresponding privilejres and responsi-
bilities. They nurrurcd me in such a way as to rcmind me ofend'::; work
in me and rhrough me. The whole c1crgy versus Llily dicl!('t\IIllY wus
not in rheir rcpertoire. for wc are ali priests,
I was encouragcd to follow Christ in my evcryday life, and a~ I did, 1
srarred to lcarn the diffcrcnt ways that God had gifted me. Thcy ncvcr
held me back; they simplywalked with me, seeking to Em into tlaml.: the
powcr of rhe Spirit ar work within me. 1 was leading a Biblc study afta

.a month and a house church within a year, Within four years of running
hard with the Lord by engaging in missional práxis (practice in dynamic
relation with thought), they felt I was ready to lead the church.
When llook ar any Chrisr follower, I see a priesr with a calling. The
role of the equippers, especially those gifted as apostles, is to help people
discover and live out their calling in a way rhar builds rhe community
and blesses the world. When gifted eguippers see everyons as a priesr,
they understand that their role is nor to empower others but to recogníze
how the Holy pirir has empowered rhese people, ano help them release
thar power within the congregation and the world. For 'powerlessness
corrupts, and absolure powcrlessness corrupts absolutely."


Lead pasrors find themselves constantly leading. They are the ultimare
point person. Thc buck stops with thern. Alway . Ali the time. Con-
sranrly. Wirhout rcpricve. Wirh th is killd of pre sure, is ir any wonder
why so many have fàUen?
Lead pasrors tend ro forget their fundamental identiry as a follower.
In essence, to be a Christian is to be afo11owerofJesus. Yer when all we
do is lead, we sometimc$ forgcr how ro fi)llow. We say thar ali good
Ieaders know how to follow, bur wlicn wc put people in positions where
rhey rareIy if ever tollow anyonc, rhcy lose rhcir follower instincr.
LeaJ pasrors consta nrlv lcad, Thcn we wondcr why they have
problcm-, wirll pridc and túl inJispensibIe to rhc mission. But we are
:111 dispcnsahk. God docsll·r need lIS. He jusr ch()o~c~ to Use us, and
on I~.'tempora ri Iy ar rhar. BU( whcn wc lcnd wirh i Il <I cornrnun ir)' of re-
yolnng lcaders, we t:ngage in rhe prucrice orboth tollowing anti Icading,
wliich t:lLilirJle~ gwwtll in horh hurnillty and confidencc. Gt:ese travei
kll1g Ji~lallecs with revnlving lcadcrship; so roo ('an church lcadcrs, I
trusr wc are srnurtcr rhun g-r.e~('.
A n crnorional heaIrhy appronch to Icadership is polycentric. Within
511ch a ·ommunity wc learn to lead IIl1d tollow, to share our brokenness and
vict()ric~, <lntlto hdp each orher mature in Chrisr tor his honor and glory.

Relinquishing the Need to Contrai

With the oiseppesrsnce ot God the Ego moves forward to become

the sole divinity.


Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor:
If eiiher of thetn tett« down,

one can help tbe other up.

But pity anyone who fal/s

and has no one to help them up.

Atso, if two l/e down together. they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm eione?
Though one may be overpowered.
iwo can defend themselves.

A cord of Ihree strands 15 not quickly broken.


l've been encouraged that a number ofcontcmporary churches are l:X-

ploring thc polycentric approach to leadcrship. From church srarts likc

Ncw Denver Church to rnid-sized churches like Lilc 0/1 thc Vine in t he
Chicago suburbs, to larger churchcs like Rivcrvicw Church in Ensr

L ansJog, Míchigan
1 , to movements of churches like the base grass-roots
comrnunities in Latin America, the Spirit is at work seeking to restore
missionalleadership to the church.
Contemporary churches that approach leadership in a polycentric
way tend to see Jesus and rhe Spirir as the center of their community,
not a single human leader. As Noel Heikkinen, a co-pastor ar Rivcrview
Church, says, "Jesus is our Senior Pastor." Life on the Vine is the
church, referenced in chaprer six, that meets in the round wirh the table
at the center and the prcacher preaching from rhe circle. Consequently,
they nor only meet in the round, bur they lead in the round as they are
guidcd by the Spirir, wirh Jesus at the center.
Maybe the most amaúng example comes from the base ecclesial
com munities (comunidades eclesiales de base), which have their origins in
Latin America but have spread throughout the world. According to
Leonardo Boff, these communities of fifteen to twenty families started
in the carly 1970s and by 1985 gn:w to 70,000 in Latin America. These
base or grass-roots cornrnunities are prirnarily cornposed oflower-class,
people who live at the base of society, as opposed to the pinnacle of
power in the social pyrarnid.' In Ecclesiogenesis: Tbe Base Communities
Reinuent lhe Church, Soff describes these churches: They challenge the
tradirional structures of the hierarchical church by prioritizing com-
munity over structurcs, They are declericalizing the church and re-
storing ir to the whole peoplc of God. And rhey are focusing on a new
way nfbc:ing rhe church, emphasizing thc studyofScriptun: ano orrho-
praxis (right living) as thcy scck to bc a slgn and instrurnent of liber-
arion. Ali of this is happcning in rhc hicrarchicul Roman Carholic
Chun..h (rhough not condoned by thc hierarchy), which ought to be a
kick in the butt ro Prorestanrs who clairn to hold to the priesthood of
.111believers, Thc ecclesiogenesis com muniries nf faith now number a
m ill J[)n. T'hcse pnnr, uncducarcd disciplcs who have bccn with Jesus
havc much to reach rhose ot us in rhe Wcsr.


Wha; is rhe mystery behind the Apaches' ability to fend off the pow-
crful Spanish army for two hundred ycars? Whar power lies behind the
Relmcutstung the Need to Control 105

largest information resource of our time-Wíkipedia) How has Alco-

holics Anonymou reached untold millions with only a shared ideology
and no leader? What is behind the success of Craigslist and kype?
What have neurologists recently discovered about rhe function of the
brain that might inform our thinking about organizational structure?
These are some of the questions that Ori Brafman and Rod Beck-
trorn address in rheir tàscinating book Tbe Starfish and lhe Spider: Tbe
Unstoppable Power oiLeaderless Organizations. In this book they claim
that organizations fali inro two basic categnries: traditional top-xlown
organizations (spiders) and decentralized organizations thar rely 011

peer relationships (starfish).

Throughout the book Brafman and Beckstrom cncourage us to take
a look at the power of decentralization, Thcy discuss how fragilc and
inefficient centralized organizations can be, and how decentralized or-
ganizations-which seem disorganized-are often more adaptablc und
durable. They provide many exarnples to suppor t their clairn Df rhe
power of decentralizarion like the Apaches, Alcoholics Anonyrnous, AI
Qgida, Man Festival, the brain .1OU the opcn sourcc rcvolution
(Napster, Skvpe, Craigslist, Wi kipedia, thc blogosphcrc und rhc I n-
rernet). The rnetaphor is this: though a sturfish und a spidcr appear to
be structured similarly, when we cut off rhe hcad of a spidcr, ir dics. But
when we cut a srarfish in balf, we get two starfish. The rcason is be-
cause each of the major organs of starfish are replicated throughout
cach armo AnJ ror thc sturfish to move, "OHe olthc arms IllUS[ conviucc
the other urrns rhur ir's a gooJ idea to ULl so. The HI11 .rarts moving,
<IIIU thc.:n-in ;I process thar no onc fully undt:rst:lllds-the othcr .IU11,

cooperate and move as wcll.'" Brafman anti Becksrrorn not 0111y glve
many cxamples oi how deccnrralized, le.iderless rnovemeurs huvc t nkeu
placc in rhe past anel are taking place t"day, rhey ·11<1' <how us how ir
works. The sturfish organ ization does huvc a wcaknc.,s. "Thc mnrncnt
you inrroducc property rights into the equation, cveryrh ing chunjrcs,
the starfish organiz.uiou turns into a spidcr.?' Thc uuthors mcntion
some of thc strengths of centralization. Anel thev dose thc book by
introducing the hybrid organization und how to find rhe swcct spot
bctwcen central izution und dcccnrralizarion.


After one of my talks ar Exponential, an annual church pIanting conference
in Orlando, sorneone took me aside to explain that although they liked the
idea of shared leadership, rhey thought it would only work with small Com-
munities. As I was thinkíng about this, I was getting ready to meet with
some new friends at the conterence frorn Swirzerland. . D. Strupler
treated me to a sreak dinner along with his team. They were telling me
abour the missional adventures of hcIping to start thirty-six churches in
Europe. After hearing abour rheir ventures, they asked me about my rnin-
istry. As I was sharing abour polycentric leadership in the church, they
mentioned how their COuntry i led by scven presidents. This has been the
case ince 1848. The scven members of the Federal Council lead the ex-
ecurive branch equully, with the presidentialleadership revolving annually.
And while one member rakes the role of the first among equals (primus
inter pares) for a year, and anorher takcs the role of the viee presidem, me
first among equals h;1, no more powcr rhan the other sitring presidenr .
The first arnong equals is 'imply the ceremonial head for one year. This
ancestral hornc of democracy descrvcs more atrenrion and study,
When 1 asked each of thesc Swiss citizens ir they rhought thar
haviL1g seven presidcnrs wns a good idca, each of rhem told me rhar
whilc there are strengths and weaknesses to rhis approach, rheywould
not wanr ir any orhcr way. Thev proudly said thar in their 720 years of
cxísrenceas a country, thcy haJ neva becn to war.
After hearing abour th is, I wcnt ('I" i11<.:
lO C()I1JuCla lirrlc Te.earch of
my OWl1.I w.uued lo scc huw IVC// t his polycentric approach to lead-
er<;hir workcd in rc.i] lik. Onc "f" lhe l'la.:es r checkr;:J out was rhe
iVIcJ"u:rQyali()' ()f Living urvey, wlrich ranks cicies according to ten
different crrrcriu, includlll,!1,' rhe poliricnl .md social environrnent,
rnedrcul and health cnnsidcr:ninn. !,uh/ie services and rransporr, con-
surncr goods, ecoT!omic c;1\'ironrncnr, s.::h,)ol: and education, recre-
nrion, housing, socioculrur:ll cnvi ronrnent and natural environrncnr. s r
disCIlvereu rbur thrce Df rhc citics in Switzerland made ir into rhe top
rcn cirics in the wor/d to livc: /.urich (2), Gencva (3) and Bem (9). Does
polycenr-I- Icader~hir work even whcn seeking to g-overn a largc group
ofj1copk7- Tllo,c who livc in Swilzerland unswer wírh a rcsoundingyes!
Reltnquishmg tne Need to Control



We have seen how polycentric leadership is in rhc contem-

porary church. We've seen how recent research demonstrates the power
behind dccentralized organizations. And we've seen how rhis approach
to leadership works in politics. Now ler's take a look ar how it is at work
in the arts, busi nesses and nonprofírs.

What does music have to do with leadership? A loto The jazz ensernble
reveals how to thrive in a chaotic and turbulenr environrnenr, where ro-
tating leadership and irnprovi ation are the norm. But what ahout an

orchcstra? Doesnr an orchestra require a different kind of leadership>

Those who are a part of the Orpheus Charnber Orchestrn don't think 50.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has no conductor. This orchcstru

bravely asked themsdves, "Rather than rclying on a chari~m.ltic vi-
sionary leader who both calls the shors and engages rnernbcr's mori-
vation, rnighr it be possible ror all mcrnbers to shure rcsponsibil ity br
leadership, and for their diíferences and disagrecmenrs to bc sourccs ()f
creativiry ruther than ~OllH.:thing rhat should be suppressed in the in-
rercsr of uniformity and social hurrnonv>?"
This orchesrrn was Ut()unded in 1972 bv ccllisi Julian FitCr .un] ;1

srnall group of other musiciuns" who bCC311SC ot" rhe shccr enjo.vmt.:nt of
charnber music where "power, responsihilitv,leadership, .ind motivarum
resr entin:ly in the hands of rhe peoplc doing thc work," thcv durcd to
drcarn to hc a orchesrra thnr "was dcsigncd to rei)' on the sk il ls, ahil
itics, and pussionate cornrn itrncnr or· irs rnernbcrs rurhcr t11J.n ()Il thc
monolichi, leudcrship uI"a curu iucmr,"
"For ulmost 40 years: Orpheus has asroundcd ionn l ;llIdit.:IILt;:s
und crirics alikc with irs superior arrisrry, cncrjry, und disrincti\'c ap
pro.ich tu IHUsiL-I1i.lkillg.'·~ OI1C uC the rc.isons tI" ...)' h.ivc lJCt.:11 'IJ 'llL
ccssful is thar cach of rhc performances are inruscd wirh passion bccausc
euch person in thc orchesrra plays a ~igniflcant role. They huvc de-
veioped ..formal srrucrures to cnsure rhar musiciuns huvc real powcr
throughüut thc organization and participate in ali importam deLisl(JII~.""
Orc!Jcsrras are typically in rhe hunds ofthe conductor, who tcuds
ro rcsisr rccciving inpur frorn the mus icia ns themsclves, a nd !->11I1Il:-

times mie with an iron baton. But not Orpheus.

Widely regarded as one of the world's great orchestras, and winner
of four Grammy Awards, they "consistently rehearse, perform, and
record without a conductor."!" They are a self-governíng organization
in which each person is a leader in a revolving way. During the 1999-
2000 eason, "Orpheus produeed a five-concert subscriptíon series at
Carnegie Hall; perforrned more than sixry concerrs in cities throughout
North América, Europe and Asia; parricipared in national television
and radio broadcasrs experienced by more than 8 million people; re-
eorded or released five new CDs, and taught more than twenty-five
hundred publie school srudents in New York City," The Orpheus
process was founded upon eight principies, which they have taught to
businesses like ], P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, the Ritz-Carlton
Hotel and many others, who have been able to discover new ways of
doi ng business.U The principles are:
1. Pur powcr in the hands of people doing rhe work.
2. Encourage individual responsibility.
3. Crcate cbrity of roles.
4. Share and rotute leadership,

5. Fosrcr horizontal tearnwork.

n. Lcarn to listcn, lcarn to talk,

7. Seek consensus (and build creative strucrures rhut favor consensus),

8. Dedicare passionarely to your mission.' )

1II f.<'IIt!enlJip EIIJt'mb/e, Harvey 'eiiter and Pcter Economy walk us

rhrough each of these principies in vcrv practical ways. showing how the
orchcstra and various businesses live out thesc cighr principlcs. Each
chuptcr ourlines .pccifically how to apply these principles to any organi-
zation or business, Tht.:y aba cxplain the potentiul problcms nnd pirfalls
to avoid whcn seeking to cngage in gcnuinc polyceutric leadership,
Not only does polyceruric leadership work in art and business, but
one of rhe most powerful cxarnples is how ir works in one of rhe rnost
well-known recovery organizarions in the world.
RelJnqU/shing tne Need to Control 109

Philip Yancey describes this organization:

1 once visited a "church" that manages, with no denorninational head-

quarters or sraff, to attract rnillions of devored rnernbers each week.
Ir goes by rhc narne of Alcoholics Anonymous. I went ar the invitation
of a friend .... "Come along," he said, "and I think you'Il carch a glimpse
of what the early church must have been like."
At twelve o'clock on a Monday night ] entered a rarnshackle housc .
. . . Acrid clouds of cigarette smoke hung like tear gas in the air,
stinging mr eyes. Ir did not take long, however, to understand what my
friend had meant with his cornparison to the early church.
A wcll-know politician anel several prominent millionaires were mixing
freely with uncmployed dropouts and kids with needle marks 011 their
arrns. Introductions wenr like this: "Hi, 1'm Tom, and 1'm an alcoholic and
a drug addict." lnstantly everyooe shouted out warrnly, "l li Tom!"
The "sharing time" worked like the textbook dcscriprion of ,I small
group, rnarked by compassionate listening, warm responses, and many
hugs. Each person artended gave a personal progress report of his or her
battle with addicrion. We laughed a lor, and we cried a lor, Mostly, rhe
mernbers secrncd to cnjoy bcmg around peoplc who could scc righr
through thcir fucadcs. Therc was no rcason not to be honesr; C','CfY.lI1<.:

was in the sarne boato

AA owns 11<) property, has no headquarrers, no media center, no ,tatI"
of wcll-puid COllSU It:.II1 15 und investrnenr cou Il sei nrs who jct across thc
counrry, The uri)!;inal fllunders of AA built in s,.LIcl!;uarusrhat would kill
ott anyrhing rhar might leud to burcaucracy, hclicvinjr rhcir progr,Ull
could work unly ir ir stayed :H rhc rnosr basic, inriruutc levei; ()1Il: aleo
holic dcvotinu his or IH:r life lo help :lllllrht:r."ll

In 2006 thcre were a reporrcd 1,867,212 AA rncrnbers in 106,202 AA

groups worlJwiJe.11 This is un exarnplc of the powcr of a starfish orga
nization. S(), does rhc church rou serve operate more likc a spidcr "[ J.
srnrfish? VVhat might rhe congregation yOLl serve bccomc ir yOL! wcrc to
awaken the equippcrs to live as cultural archirecrs who uwaken rhe enrire
corurnuniry to join God in thc renewal of ali rhings? Ler', take :1 ,lllser
\ook ar thc ftve kinds of lcaders needed to crente a rn issional culi urc.

The Five Cu/ture Creators


Jesus the Archetypical Culture Creator

Quite simply, a missiona/ church neeâs missionst teedership, and it

IS gomg to take more than the traditional oestor-teecner made ot
lesdersnip to pull this oti.


When the Chief Shepherd appears, you wil! recetve the crown of glorv
thet will never fade away.

1 PETER 5:4

Years ago I was trying to fix a drawer and g-or down to one lasr scrcw I
had to gct lcose. The more I worked COlooscn thc scrcw, rhc rightcr ir
seerned to get. 1 had worked as a curpentcr's hclpcr for si x mont hs, but
our cumpany majorcd in rt:>.lonng tlre-d.llna/5cd hllildl11g~, which ap-
parenrly rneans I got better ar dernolishing things rather than fixin,1!;
rhcm, A fricnd was visiring, and it wasn'r [no long bcforc hc rt;alil.c,J J
nccded some hclp. Very quickly he :.;.tid, "Oh, this hus a Icf{-halldcd
threud; it's a reverso scrcw, If yOIl want to looscn it, yOIl nccd in t;O 111

rhe opposite dircction." I'm rhinking, "Ir took me ren vcars to tI nd our
how screws work, und now rhey changc thc rulcs on me?'
Too often wc approuch leadership and life transformation in praz-
matic ways. We uucriticully adopt the larcsr business practiccs in thc
church, workillg hard to tighten the screw, only to find that thc tií-',hrcr

the scrcwgets, the less we become likeJesus.John Howard Yoder painrs

an inspiring picrure of community:

The political novelty thar God brings inro rhe world is a community of
rhose who serve instead of ruling, who suffer instead of inflicting suf-
fering, whose feHowship cresses lines insread of reinforcing [hem. This
new Chrisrian community in which rhe walls are broken down not by
human idcaLsm or democratic Iegalism bur by the work of Chrisr is not
oniy a vehícle of rhe gospcl or onIy a fruir of the gospel; ir is rhe good
news. Ir is not mercly thc agcnr nf mission or thc constituency of a
mission agency. This is the mis,iol1.1

If wc are going to realize whar Yoder cxtols, we need a reverse screw

approach to leadership that releases the polyceotric leadership model
the aposrle Paul wrore about. We nccd to unleash the gifts Chrisr has
given the church: the apostlcs, prophets, cvangelists, pasrors and
teachers. As these leaders learn to live as a community within the com-
mu nit y, rhey can borh rnodel and equip the entirc h()dy to live apos/olie,
prophdir, e~J{l1Igelistic and paslorallives, and in turn can teacb others to
do !ikewise. This reverso approach to lcudership was cmbodied by Jesus
the archetypical aposrlc, prophct, cvangel isr, pastor and teacher.


Thc ccnrrallllclIle or}t:~us' lit~ wus rhe lei ngdom ofGod. Mark SLIOllTIeJ
up Jesus' mission, ~ayiJ1g, ·' went imo Galílec, proclaiming the
gnod ncws ofCod. 'Thc lime h;[~come,' he suid. 'Thc kingdom ofGod
h.15 l"OIl1C ncur, I<.epellt .IHd hclicve the good news!'" (Mk 1:14-15).
Thnllrghollt his ';])!)rI Il1I1,i,rr), jcsus would invire pcople into the
kinguom orCod. [k lold rhem it's likc n rnusrard sced, or likc a person
who sold everything ro ger rhr ~·ieldwir], lhe rreasurc. BUl whar is rhe
kingdllll1 nt (;nrl? vVh;l( i~ i ali :l[,out? To IInJerstand [his, wc must
und':rst:lIld ]C:Sll:i' contcxr herrei".
ReL'entIy, rherc Wen: severa I pcoplc rllaking cla irns ahour Jesus' or-
igi ns. Onc pcrson said, "Trn goi ng '·0 gilic yOll three good reasons why
f hclwveJesus was Iralian. IIc iovcd o talk wirh his hands, hc had wine
wirh every rncal, anti he llSCUolivc oi! quite a bit," SOI11<:ooefrom Cali-
Jesus the Archetypical Cutture Creator

Iornia saíd, "I'rn going to give you three reasons why 1 believe Jesus was
Califomian. He never cur his hair, he walked around barefoor alI rhe
time, and he started his own religion." Then a blaek person declared,
"I'm going to give you three reasons why I believe Jesus was black. He
called everyone brother, he liked gospel, and he couldn'r get a fair triaJ."
After rhar a wornan gave the most eompelling evidence of alI: three
proofs thatJesus was a woman. "He had to feed a erowd at a mornents
notice when there was no food, he kcpr trying to get a message across
to a buneh of rnen who jusr didn'r gec ir, and even when hc was dead he
had to get up beeause there was more work for hirn to do.'?
Each of us approacbes the Scripture and Jesus with a certa in per-
spective thar colors and shapes rhe way we see him. This is why we
must take the pains to look at jesus from aJewish perspective. Afrcr a11,
Jesus was a Jew and was fully involved in jewish culture.
As a firsr-century Jew, Jesus knew Scripture and the words of the
I Íebrew prophers that went beíore him. The central hopes of rhe prophers
pointed to a time when Cod would inrervene and bring restorarion to Israel
and to ali of creation, Thc word rhar besr captures rhis idca of complete:;
restoration i~çh(llom, a con,crt we rouched on hrictly earl icr in rhc hook.
For rhc prophers, shalorn epitomizcd rhe day whcn ali things are
rnade right again. All rhings corruptcd and pollurcd will bc remadc.
Throllgh imagery and story, their words painr a picturc of how thing-s
are supposcd to be. Peoplc will no longer be regardcd as pruperry or
tools i n rhe liands of lhe powerful, bur as mude in lhe very illlag-~'o!"
God. Kingdorn building wil l ccasc, and alI will gbdly bc a pan ,)1 t hc
ki ng-Joll I ofGoJ, letting GoJ be Gou su rhar peace would prcv.ul in
rhe \VorIO.Cnd's good bur cursed crcution will bc trecd. l'hc prophcrs
~rokc ofa rime whcn pcnplc wi ll g-enlli ncly lovc (',wh orhcr.
ThcnJesus said sornething rhat is urrcrly .tln:lZin~. Whcn his t()l!mver<;
J.skcd him how to play, hc said wc should pmy thar thcsc things w'Hdd
come ubout, r lc raughr us to pray, "[May] your kingdoI11 come, your will
be done, on earrh as ir is in hcavcn" (l\rr fi:lO). Hc was tcllillg his r<lllnWlTs
to pray for the coming sbalom, rhar thc world would bc mude righr again,
rhat pcucc and bcaurv would prevail over violence and corruprion. Ir wc
scck lo sce th is praycr reulizcd as much as wc C1n expcct 011 this side of rhe

new heavens and new earth, we not only need to recover the five equippers
but, from the life and ministry of'[esus, we need to understand how he was
the archerypical apostle, prophet, cvangelist, pastor and teacher,

After Jesus had risen from the dead, we would expect to find the dis-
ciples cdebrating. Instead of eelebrating, john tells us rhat on that
Sunday evening the disciples were so gripped with fear thar they bolted
the doer. They locked themselves in, keeping the world out. Then, sud-
den1y, Jesus appeared in their rnidsr. The bolted doors weren't enough
to keep him out. He stood there faeing his closesr friend . Although
they had pledged their allegianee to him, they had deserted him and
were now hidiog behind elosed doors, living in fear and shame. So how
didJesus repond? Did he accuse them ar seorn them? No, he gave thern
four grace-f.J1ed words: "Peace be with you."
In our moments of fear and sharnc, Jesus kisscs us with these words:
"Peace be with you." After Jesus' words brought new 1ifeinto the disicples,
he sent rhern out to breathe new 1ife inro the world. After showing them
his pierced hands and side, he said, "as rhe Father has sent me, I arn
sending you." then he brcarhed 00 thern and said, "rcccive the Holy Spirir"
Un 20:21-22). Upon reflccring on this rext, Weslcy Allen wisely says. "We
cunnot kcep thc Spirit to ourselves, \;Ve are g.fred with ir for the sake of
others. Cod grvcs rhe church the spiritual gifr of rcsurrection lifc 50 that
rhe church will bring it to bear on rhe world." Jesus was sem by the Farhcr
to hlcss the world, and we are scnr by Jesus tu du thc sume. Aposrlcs un-
derstand rhar they are sent peoplc, and in turn rhev send peoplc.


Tn Propbcts: Words oi Fira, ~lcgJn i\ld(cllIl<l savs, "Thc propher interrupts,

intervencs, und jolts us into uncerrainírv or douhr ;md rhen turns and
points dircctly at us and says, 'Whar is wrong with rhe world is wrong
wirh you!' 'U Jesus is the archerypical prophet. His anguish over rhe lives
hc observed in Jcrusalcm lcd hirn to confronr the fraud and hypocrisy that
he found in thc religious ano politicalinstitutions of his day, HI:: subverred
rhe status quo and challenged the inrerpretations and practiccs of the
Jesus lhe Archetyplcal Cuiture Creatar l17

scribes and Pharisees, especially in regard to the oppressive religious

system of privilege and power that had developed. Through symbolic acts
and subversive parables he challenged the puriry code, which deterrnined
who the insiders and outsiders were, and their interpretation ofScriprures.
The poor and marginalized people in Galilee, along with those who
heard him frorn other towns and villages, received Jesus' message gladly.
For when they heard the good news, it not only meant forgiveness; it
rneant new econornic, oeial and political realities. But it was much more
difficult for the rich and tho e in power to reeeive rhese words. Jesus the
prophet revealed God's heart and exposed the heart of those he touched.

The stories of Mark demonstrare how Jesus equipped the disciples to
embrace and share his good news, which was personal, social and cosrnic
in nature. Jesus invited the disciples to dismantle the dominant social
order rhat legitimized oppre sive social institutions (Mk l:l-4:341.
Then, at the start of this next secrion (Mk 4:35-8:9), Jesus began to
construct a new social order, helping his disciples understand that a new
king and kingdom requires signi ficnnt chnnge and transition. As we can
ali attest by our own life experiences, changes in our ulrirnately loyaltics
do not come easv.

Thar duy when evening carne. he said to his disciplcs, "Ler us l!;" over IQ
tbc otbar sitie." Leuving the crnwd bchiud , i hey iook him along. [usr as hc
wns, in the bour. Thcre werc also othcr bouts with him.l\ turious squall
carne up. and the waves broke OV<:r thc boato so thar it was ncarly
swarnpcd. Jesus was III rhc srcrn, slccpmg on <l cushion. Thc d1S<:iplcs
wokc hirn and said to him, "Teachcr, don'r you (are if wc drown?"
He got up. rebuked thc wind und saiu to the wavcs, "Qjuet! Hc still!"
l'hcn rhc wind dicd dnwn and ir was cornpletelv calm.
J ft" ~aid ro hi, di~C1pl{'s, "Why .Ir" yOl! ~(1 .1t"r,lid? Do )")11 ~lill h:IVC

no úlith?"
Thcy were terri fied and asked each orhcr, "Who is rhis? Evcn rhc
wind anel thc wavcs obcy him!" (Mk 4:35--H, crnphasis addcd)

Crossing ovcr to tbe otber sidc means that they were going from thc safe
land of thc privileged jews and to the shores where thc "outsidcrs," thc

Gentile , resided. Getting from the old world to the new world is very
difficulr. Metaphorically, it is like getting imo a lirtle boat and trav-
eling Erom Los Angele to Tokyo, and right in the midd1e getting
caught in a storm. The storm is so furious that wave afrer wave breaks
over the boar, to the point that it is about to go under. And al1 the
while, rhe One who can do something abour the problem seems un-
aware of the suffering and anxiety experienced.
This story is a direcr echo of a story of the 01d Tesrament, one with
a journey by boat, a violcnt srorm at sca, a rnain charatter asleep through
the srorrn, frightened sailors, rniraculouj, stilling of the waters, a re-
sponse of marvcl by the sailors, and a jewish evangelisr with a message
for Gentiles. The story ofjonah resounds through this passage. And the
next secrion of Mark deals wirh trossing barriers in the reconstruction
of a new social order, jusr as inJonah. Today it would be Iike God cal1ing
you to go to Afghanistan to share the good news with those who may
have been involved in bOlllbjJ1~ the WorIJ Trade Cenrer, Howcver rhis
is exactly what evangelists do, and rhey cal! others to cross barriers rhat
the broader culrurc sets up. jusr as the story ofJonah was wrirten to help
Israel remcmber why she was chosen, jesu the evangelist carne to lead
Israel to her rrue Lalling: to bc a blessiIl~ to ull nutions.


When jesus lookcd upon thc pcoplc, hc had cornpassion on thcm bc-
Cause he saw thar they were "hurnssed und helplcss, likc shccp without
,\ ~hcpherJ" (Mr 9:36). vVhcll Jl:SlIScarne ro spcuk to Israel, many of the
Il::lders who wcrc supposcd to bc shcpherding C()d'~ pcople wcre np-
pressi n~ them insreud. vVe see rhi~ illustrarcd in rhe story of the wornan
l·:lughr in :tdlllrery Jesll~ wns tC;ll'hing ar the tem pie and a crowd
garhercd. As he raught. the Phansees anti tcachers 1)( the law separared
:1 wornnn our of thc crowd anel nrrdc her suncl in front of cveryone,
This wornan had crosscd rhe llnc toa many times. They said ro Jesus,
"TcJcher, this wornan was L";JlI~hrin rhc acr pf adulterv. J n thc Law
Moses cornrnandcd us to sronc such worncn. I ow what do you say?"
(jn XA-5). I nstead nf bcin~ good shcpherds and saving rhe IOSl sheep,
I lu, rei igjou~ lcndcr-: sought to separare the pcople frorn Jesus by using
Jesus the ArchetYPlcal Culture Creator

this question as a rrap. They didn'r bring her to Jesus to be redeemed:

they brought her to be killed. To convict sorneone of adultery, the law
required more than just circumstantial evidence. It required at least two
witnesses. 50 whatwas the good 5hepherd going to do? A fte r 311, it was
many men against one woman. They thought they had Jesus trapped
berween disregarding the law and condemning her to death.
But Jesus gracefully chose a rhird way. Jesus stooped down, as if he
was hinting to them to be a little more .humblc, to admir their bro-
kenness. Then he quietly wrote on the ground while thcy demanded an
answer. Finally, he saíd, "Ler any one of you who is without sin be the
first to throw a stone at her" (v. 7). Then he stooped back down and
contínued to write on the ground.
Afrer hearing what Jesus said, and probably looking ar whur Jesus
wrote, one by one, starting with the oldest, they dmpped thcir stoncs
and left, until it was just Jesus and the wornan, jesus asked her if there
were any witnesses lefr ro condernn hcr. She said, "No." Jesus suid,
"Neither do L Co and sin no more" (]n 8:11 NLT). Humun sin is
stubborn, but rhe pastoral hearr of Cod is more stuhborn. Jesus gave
her merey instead ofjustice. and aftcr breaking into her world wirh lave
anel forgivene ,Jesus Iefr her with tive lasr words: "Co .md si n no
more." These words of challengc are filled with just as rnuch rnercv as
Jesus had giveo her moments beforc. For Jesus, rhc good Shepherd,
dcsired her holiness and wholcness.


The jcws are known as "Pcople Df rhc Rollk." Thrn'lgh rlu- . cnr u ru-,
jews have vigorously srudied rhe Scripru res and lÍchateJ us 1l1e,1I111lg
with one anorher, As Jesus' mlnlstry as a rabbi grew 111l!1fluencc allloflr;
the people, he clashed wirh rhc tcachcr~ oI his dav ;IIHi their i n rcrpre-
tarion of Scripture.
Edwjn Broadhead, who explores the literary srructures ohhe Cospel
of Mark, points out rhur the conflicr betwccn jcsus and lhe rcli~i()\Is
leadcrs dominares Mark 11:1-13:37, culminaring in a denrh plor ag:tinst
jesus.? Ched Myers labels th is section "Jesus' Showdown wi til the
Powers in JerusaJcll1."I.

At the grand finale of this showdown we discover Jesus' own herrne-

neutica11ens. In the debate over the greatest commandment, Jesus re-
veals his approach to reading and interpreting Scripture:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. I oncing
that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of al1 lhe
cornmandments, which is the most important?"
"The most importam one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, a Israel,
the Lord our Cod, rhe Lord is one. Love rhe Lord your Cod with ali
your heart and wirh ali your soul and wirh ali your mind and with a11
your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no commandrnenr greater than these." (Mk 12:28-31)

Jesus knew the orthodox answer was the Sbema, "Hear, O Israel: The
LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your Cod with all
your heart and with all your soul and with ali your strength" (Deut
6:4-5). But Jesus does something liberating and life-giving here. He
attaches an exc-erpr frorn the Levirical code ofju tice (Lev 19:9-18):
"Love your neighbor as yoursclf' (Lev 19:18), making it clear yOl!
cannot love Cod and exploit your neighbor ar the sarne time. When we
read Scripture, we must ask ifit increascs our love for our neighbor. As
Augustine wrires in his treatise On Christiarl Doctrine, "So anyone who
thinks rhat he has understood rhe divine scriprures or any pare ofthem,
but cannot by his undcrstanding build up rhis double lave of Cod and
neighbor, has not yer succeeded in understanding thern,"?


Thc telos (end or goal) for Jesus thc archctjpical apostle, prophet, evan-
gelist, pastor and reacher, was the shalom of Cod on earth, to rhe glory
of his Farher, A nd rhe telos of ench equipper is shaped by this vision of
shalorn. When rhc apostlc Paul was contcmplating in Ephesians how
thc church v,uulJ ~TOW to rhe Iull sraturc of Christ, he tells us that
Christ has given thcsc equippers to thc church ~n that the church might
hccornc likc Christ, fulJy mature.
Too many pcoplc live less than human lives bccause we have forgotten
what it mcans to be humano We lack joy and meaning bccause we have
Jesus the Archetyp1cal Cutture Creator 121

forgorten our calling. Popular ethicist Macl ntyre" rerninds us

thar in the pursuit of the Enlightenment project, our culture has "aban-
doned most convictions about the telos (the 'good,' the creared purpose) of
human life and human activities. This abandonment of telos drains our
actions of any real meaning and significance.?" When we as people forget
our tetos, OUI sense of calling, our lives lack meaning and rnotivation. Eut
when we are awakened to our tetos, OU! aim in Iife, we have a new sense
ofjoy, a fresh motivation, a new sense of direction and focus.
In Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus he tells us that we are God's
rnasterpicce. Our telos is to become fully mature in Chrisr, becoming like
Christ, for the good of the world and to rhe glory of God. Because
Christ is the perfect human, rhe one person who completely fills out the
image of God, thc more we become like him, thc more mature wc
become, imitating his characrer and rninistry, God rnade us in his own
image, and it is his inrent that we become mature human beings. This is
the hean of whv Christ lias given the church aposrles. prophets. cvange-
lists, pastors and reachers, 50 rhat they might equip rhc church to bc
God's rnasterpiece, his living Ierter to thc world, for rhe sake oCworld.
Each cquipper helps the congregation move roward God\ f"{OI in
particular ways. Table 10.1 reveals the focal conccrn of euch cquippcr
and the telos the equippers are moving rhe congregarion row.ird. These
gifrs were incarnatcd by Jesus, and are evident in 'cripturc as a wholc.

Table 10.1. Equippcrs, focal Conccrns and Te/os [Desrinariouv)

Eqllipp....... Focal Concern TI/OS (Destination·) Murks

Apostle Ln:lI1t! ,1\.11 'l\lf l'rf·,lrinLt·\ di ...ciplc ...hll' 'I.: r ho s ,uHI r.l'lltl~' fll..'llpll."
(drearn awskener) ,""I!in!!, to p;lrrlnp:llr 111;lch·;lIlt"l!lj.{ C~,\d'", k1n~do!l1

Propher Pllr!'-UIII~ ;o\i"s L ;dllnl!; lhe cim n•..:11It) {.od ... IH;W "()fl.d or dc r
(heart revenler) 'c 11.110m and c t1Ildint~ wir h tlu- pnnr :Ind 11~prl·~'d·.1

Evangclist I nGHn~ttlrH~ thc I'rm.::1ailllil1~ rhc u:ol1d I1CWS h, hl'il1~ wirnc c-,~·-,
(story teller) ~nnd new ...• and hcillg, rcdurupuvc a~ctlt ..

Pastor SL"d..il1g whulcnc s-, Cultivaling lifc-.~lVill~ ~plri[ualil\l wuhiu

(soul he .•.lcr) ;lIId h,,)inl,:.••..• t.llfurnunily ,Ind çntoodyiill!. 1~(II,u..iliat n.u

Tcacher I nh.lhirin~ lhe lmmcrsiru; our-sclvr in Scripuirc .w.t \h,,~lIil\~

(Iighr givcr) sacrcd rcxt f~ithrlllly in Cort'o; srory

As we examine the following portraits of each equipper, please be

a Berean. Whar is a Berean? Luke tells us rhat the Bereans "were of
more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received
the message with great cagerness and cxamined rhe Scriptures every
day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11). I've developcd my
understanding of rhe cquippers by nor only thinking dceply about
the portraits the Scripturcs paint, but aIs o through my experience in
the crucible of ministry for rhe last rwenry years. 50 as I describe
each of the eguippcrs, cxarn ine the Scriptures to discern if the picture
rhat I paint of the various equippcrs is in line wirh what you under-
stand of 5cripture and of life.

Dream Awakeners

Cal/ing is wnere your deep hunger meets the wottd's deep needs.


Therefore, ho/y brothers and sisters, who share in the tiesvenly caJ/lI7g,

fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our epostte anel

high pnest.


After sharing with me the amazing story of his dad, I tutu llv u nrlcr
stood why jarnes, my fricnd trorn lndia, warucd me to rncet ,\by.
Bcfore Aby wus born, his dud wus a broken rnun, stru;;g-linL; wirh
ulcohol und abusing his wife. They werc unuhlc ') have (h!lur~~n. which
W1S ditficult for both of thcm, Thcn onc da)' thcy IOll:1J out ~hc WJ';

pn.:gnant. Thc docror rold hcr husbund not to do .•n}"t!l;ng- th.i: iilÍp;hr
upset his wite, othcrwisc shc mighr lose thc baby.
f\ n cvangclist was corning to town .ind Aby's morhcr re.dl)" w.inrcd hcr
husband to go, hoping rhat hc might rncct Christ and discovcr rhc rrans-
forming pOWCf of thc Spirit. Shc mude a passionatc pica, anti bccause hc
didn't want to upscr hcr, hc rclunctanrly wcnt to this rcvival mccti nj .
Nothing big happcncd, so shc asked him to come buck wirh hcr lhe

fo11owing night. It was at thar meeting that this man encounrered Chrisr,
found forgiveness and experienced transformation in his life. Soon he
received a call from Cod to start a church among the Untouchables, even
though he was Brahmin, thc highest caste in India. The church he
planted flourished, and so they started another church. In time, a church-
planring movement was birthed, and rhirty-five years later there are now
STh: rhou and churches in northern India and surrounding countries.
Cod rouched sorneone, transformed his life and then sent him to
start comrnunities of faith that birthcd other communties of fairh, cu 1-
tivating the growth of the kingdom of Cod here on earth. This man
was a "sent one," or what the New Testarnent ca115an apost%s.

I didn't beco me a Christ follower until the summer of my senior year in
college. 1 didn'r grow up in a Christian houschold, and I was pretty
unfarniliur with rhe Scriptures. I didn't even know the story of David
and Goliarh. But 1 did understand that Cod sent me to be a blessing to
people in this world, so [ told God rhar I would try to share my fairh
with everyone on my hall before the end of rhe year.
The Residem Assistam (RA) down the hall from me was Tom
Hawkes, who grew up neur Seanle. WC becarne really gooel friends,
helping cach othcr with hall programs, cating together, talking a lor
and enjoying each others company. 1 cven invitcd him to some events
ar the srnall church [ had startcd to attend.
Ouc day, Tom no longe r wanted to talk with me. !-lo;: ncver rnade
time to hang our .ind made ir clcar hc 11" !.ll1ger wunted til be my friend.
I was deeply hurt anel would oftcn be 111 teurs over the Ioss of our
friendship and hIS coldncss toward Goct. One day 1 was talking with
his roornrnare abour Gnd whcn Tom carne inro rhe roorn, 1 continued
my convcrsation, but Tom f';ot 50 an)!;fy rhnt he literally pickcd me up
and rhrew me our into thc hallway.
I wcnt back to my roorn and talkcd to God. "Father. I don't un
dcrsrand this. Why doesn't Tom wanr to be roy fricnd anymore?
Plcasc 0pen up his eycs like y0U did mine. Plcasc! If you do this
Cod, I promise t liat 1 will do whutever you want me to do. just
Aposties. Dream Awakeners 125

answer me rhis one prayer, and I'Ll never doubt you again."
Tom left for New York the next sernesrer, but I continued to pray for
him. I would send him letters, and one day I actually got one in returno
I was 50 happy to hear from him again, and even more excited to find
out in the letter that he was thinking a lot about some of the spirirual
conversations that we had together.
I didn't hear from Tom again for a long time, until one day he showed
up on mydoorstep and said, "JR, I believe inJesus-nowwhat do I do?"
I was shocked. 1 didn't know what to tell him, so I saíd, "Read the Bible
and see what God wants you to do." And that is exactly what Tom did.
He went home, read night and day, and finished the Bible in a week.
A number of years later Tom felt callcd to go to Ukraine and Russia
to share the good news, and T 5ti11 rernember that ,1WeSOIl1e day when
our community of fairh sent him. Tom understood his "sentness" and
helped establish cornrnunities of fairh in Ukraine. Tle understood what
Jesus was talking abour when he suid, "I\~ rh- F:Hhl"r h·.l~<enr fi", 1 ·UY1
sending you" (Jn 20:21).
You see, we only really havc two options: flec frorn the worlJ bchind
locked doors, or cngage rhe world with faith, hope and lovc in thc Fow..:r
of the Holy Spirir. Ir we decide to livc as a blcssing to thc worlJ, like
Jesus did, then we shouldn't bc surprised if wc cncountcr suffering as wc
proclairn God's p<.:ace.For no disciplc is grcarcr than his icncher, and if
Jesus suffered for rhe sake of the world, we will suffer as wdl. Some
mighr wanr a safe Gt>J, a GoJ made-ro-ordcr, but this kind úf God
ncvcr inspires awe, worship or sacrifice, N. T. \>Vright PU[S u this way:

The zod I want is a goJ who wil] give me [ want. Hc IH more
Iikelv it-will bc a projection of mv desires. As rhe u:rosscrlevei. this will
lcad me to 011": of thc TT1ur..: obvious p.I1!,.lIl l.!;\J,b <11 >:",I,Ic~,c,. wll<) ,)Ilel

ihcir dcvotccs moucy, oi scx , or powcr (.h j\l.lIX, FII.:ud .u«l ;\icI/'Lhe
poiutcd our), AI! idols srurtcd out lirl: a~ thc ~od sorncbodv wuntcd ....
[fiurl nobody Ialls duwu on thcir E1CC bcforc thc goJ rhcy wanrcd,
Nobody trcmblcs ar lhe word of a hornc-madc .~od. J"Ohlldy t;IlC~ our
with tire in rhcir belly ro hcal rhe sick, to clorhc hc nakcd, to rcacn rhc
ignoranr, to tced lhe hungry, bccausc of rhc god rhey wantcd. They are
more likcly to stay at hornc with rhcir fcct up.'


T'vc nicknamcd aposrles "dream awakeners," because rhe hearr of an

apostle is to awaken people and communities to join Cod in the re-
newal of all things. Aposrles are sem by Cod to help create a disciplesbip
etbos and to ca// people to participare in the advancement ofGod's kingdom.
Apostles seek to help people understand and live our their calling as
sent people in the world for the sake of the world. They make disciples,
who in turn make other disciples, who multiply ministries that blcss
the world.

The aposrolíc gifting carries with ir an ability to create culture;

therefore, apostles devdop a keen awareness of rhe creation and rnain-
tenance of the cultural web of a congregation. Apostles help us re-
member that rhe mission of the church is grounded in the rnission of
Cod and is to bc proclaimed visualJy anel verbally.
Peter and Paul, two gifrcd upostles, understood what the missional
chu r h is all ahollt. They rcrngn i7Cd rhe distinetion· berween the
nature of the church (whar rhe church is), the ministry of the church
(whar the church does), and thc structur,: of the church (how the chu rch
organ izes ro acc()mrl i .h thc wDrk).2 Perer and Paul knew rhar as the
people of Cod grow to undcrsrand they are sem people, they are more
likely to livc our their vocation in a way thar joins Cod in the renewal
of ali things.

Table 11.1. t\pn~t1es

Tetos (DcsrinatioDs) Marks
i\postlc I.t •••• i n~{ "l1r t 1111
(drtam .twakener) ("fI:,~lrin!.! l dl~l,."ipl(.'shIJ'crho" anti l~lJJin~ reorJc
tt} f),lrtil.:q>,ilC m .lJV.1I1Ling C"d\ klll~dwl1


Thc rirst Ido.; of .lr()~tlc~ i~ til lI,·,I/1' LI dúâpl':jhip <'Lho.\ in rhe l"clllgre-
gution so tiJar God's pcople Jive OHr thcir missjonal narure as followcrs
oI' Christ. Thcy look ar Jisciplcship holistically, hcgil1!1ing with thos
who have yet to sdf-idcntifyas Christians and ali across lhe continuum
tn rhose who ;HC scrving thc cornmunity from rh..: ovcrflow of their
wulk wirh Cod. They scck to rnake disciples trom thc harvesr for thc
Apostles: Dream Awakeners

harvesr, recognizing that some of the most passionate disciples will

come from those who have yet to beco me Christ followers: the people
of peace thar Cod connects us with as we live our mission day to day.
In Joumey to Jesus, Robert Webber explores Tbe Aposto/ic Tradition of
Hippolytus, which was penned around A.D. 215, as the church was con-
necting with a world uofamiliar with the Cod of Abraham, Isaac and
jacob. From rhis documeot we learn the church developed a holisric
approach to diseipleship at every stagc of d!,=velopment. They identified
four specific phases of development, frorn the seeéer to rhe heaTer to the
kneelerto rhefoithful. Discipleship began wirh those who had no faith-
the seeker-and continued toward those who were usíng their gifrs und
talents to continue the mission-the foithful. When it Comes to making
disciples of]esus, I have adapted rhis premodern paradigrn to our current
contexto Table 11.2 displays the basic discipleship continuum 1 use.
Table 11.2. Discipleship Continuum

Phase Desc.ríprion

Those who are advers,lnal towurd rhc c.hurch or- rhe l ~hn ...•
(i;1I1 t.nrh

Those who are skcpncul o] chc •...
hurch or rhe L'hn,rufl f.JlliI

Those who are consciuusly or unt;on~duusJy npcn to (~\.d anti WiJIJlIg'
rn cfl1{;tgt" in mC:1nin!{ful disnl" •.•.ums "lfftith

ThoCiC who sdf-iJemifv:ls Chrtstian, rhe 1I1tJomt~IJf ui •.:ml\'I,,'Pllnn
Kneeler --------------------
YOlll1g ChrisrLtns \\Ihl) :Ir(.' ~r()Will~ in t lu-ir 1I11dL.·r~r.llldlll!.! 111'[lu:II
ncw idenriry in Chrh.[

Acríve mernhers ufrhl.·l"OngH'_~,ltiull who It(Hh~r';l.lJld .1TId 1I~l" t lun r
git"r"ó .tll.! r.ih-nr-, ti) blc ..•~ )(l1cl-;

Those who are Icarnin!{ r~, wo rsl 11 I' (;",1 wirh t hcrr wh ••,," I",·; <t"rV,"IIr
lc ..h!..:r;), \.UII.: lI1c..:ll1bcb~ ,,1'"11 k'ldlllj4
\11 .ltiIH:..::1r" •. ,1.1101I.',
III, •••••I .. .1

church nr In rhclr VOCUIOIh In rhc worh ]

In making disciples, apostles rake an oricnr, illi'O/wl./wl <'fllII!, appro;]ch

to training. Thcy rccognizc thar m:lkin~ discipks is .1 processo nor a
program, anJ it takcs placc within rhc conrcxr ()f ellg;lgiIlg in Got!',
mission. Discipleship rakcs placc when wc are "with pcoplc," like JeslIs
was with the Twelve, and it becomcs and powcrful in thc in-

formal daily rhythms of life. It's abour being vulnerable and being open
about our brokenness, as Paul was with the Corinthians. Discipleship
means inviting people to beco me whole again, which is partly about over-
coming destructive habits, but also about building life-giving habits.
We approach discipleship by learning to cali out what the Holy
Spirit has put in people. Ir involves ministering together, praying to-
gether and studying Scripture together. Disciples encourage, comfort
and challenge one another, Discipleship takes place communally-in
smaller groups as well as one-on-one.
Apostles help disciples of Christ to reflect and refocus on their life by them meaningful questions and helping them to pay attention to
what God is doing in and through them. They walk beside those they
are working with, giving [hem pracrical assignrnenrs (with deadlines)
for further growth, based on what Coci is doing. They recognize that
training involves resourcing people theologicallyand practically so they
can cmboJy rhe gouJ news contextually in every area of their lives.
Dream awakeners understand thar discipleship is ultimately about
helping people follow Jesus in the concrere realities of life. They rec-
ognize the nccd to be with people in hard ti rnes, praying with thern and
helping thcrn foUow Jesus through the valley of rhe shadow of death,
Apostles realize that training takes place more in the Iiving room and
the streets than in thc classroorn and sancruary. They help people live
for the sake of others.
Apostles hclp people discover and livc out thcir calling and create a
discipleship cthos in rhc congrcgation,


.A.po~Llcs<liso fali pt'OpiP to porricipare in l1dvancmg God's langdom as they
inultiply disciples, groups, minisrrics and churches. Apostles are cata-
lysts who ger thing~ startcd. Thcy seck forwurd moverncnt in rnission
with the hig picrure in mind, and they are constantly thinking about
how ro forge into new missional sp:.u:eswhere others have not yet ven-
rured. They have thc hearr of C. T. irudd, who is attributed as saying
rhat "some want to live with in the sound of the church and chapcl bclls,
but I wam to run a rescue rnission within a yard of hell." Apostles are
Apostles. Dream Awakeners

the people who live ar hell's doorstep, among people on the spiritual
frontier. They explore ways to network wirh other churches and move-
ments to see the transformation of their towns, cities and countries.
They have a deep desire to see God's kingdom become more rangible
in the world through the church, and they do whatever it takes to see
this come about,
As the apostolíc gift grows in a person, he or she helps to create the
cultural web for the community so the comrnuniry will thrive and mul-
tiply at ali levels. Apostles hclp to create an atmosphere where good
things run wild in a synergetic way. They seek to instíll faith in people
and help [hem clairn God's prornises and ding to the vine 50 they mighr
bear much fruit.


As the Wesr Coast director for the Ecclesia Nerwork, a relarional nctwork
oi"missional churches and leaders, 1 regularlv connect wirh pconlc who are
gifted apostles on both the East and West Coasts. One of rhe many people
that come to my mind is Chris Backert. Chris has multiplc roles, local and
translocal, which is common for apostolically gifted pcople. , ome of his
roles include being rhe cofounder of Irnago Dei, a church in Richrnond,
Virgmi:l, und the cofounder, director and organizutiona] urchhecr of thc
Ecclcsia l ctwork, Ch ris has helped sturt and grow a number of churches,
in part bccause he is a visionary who is guuJ .u getting others iuvolved. Hc
exccls ar hclping pcoplc find wherc rheir passions rncct lhe worlcl's nccds.
Hc is a humblc, spirir-sensirive leader who 15 ahle to hokl In mind thc big
picture anel srratcgicallj nerwork wirhin .uul Cluridt: I)f [magl> .md rhc
Ecclesia Nerwork In order ro hn ng the neeoed resou rces (O move euch ot
rhese grollr~ torward In their rrussion.
Chris hus un othcrs-ccntered ;lprrnach ro Iite :ln<l dr-rnonsrrarcs p("r-
sisrcncc, f()L\uw-th rough , loyalty and bithi"ulncss. wh ich cngcn ler.'; ,1
great sense of trust in rhc cornmunitics he is a parr of. Chris is a n
arnazing nerworkcr who works pare-time wirh rhe Baprist General As-
sociurion ofVirginia anel participares in advancing thc kingdol11 of God
through crenring rnulriple allinnces with churches alld dcnominarions
in his work with I;'resh Expressiol1s US aurl tk I\ris~io Alliuncc,

Chris is the consummate achiever. Yet, like many who are apostoli-
cally gifted, he is growing in strengthening the relatioml end of the
relational/task-oriented continuum by making time to livc in com-
rnunity in the informal spaces of life. He i also learning the difficulr
task of how to balance local and translocal ministry through dis-
cernment and wisdorn from borh the local and translocalleaders of the
various ministries he serves. In addition to being a gifted apostle, Chris
i also a gifted evangelist and teacher. (In my experience in working
with and assessing churche , many people are gifted in primary and
secondary ways.)

Discerning If VOU Are an Apostle

• Are you helping to cultivate a discipleship ethos in the congre-

gation you serve?

• Do you demonstrate a passion to rnultioly dísciples?

• Do you help people discover and live oul their God-given calling?
• Do you have a history of calling people to particrpats in ad-
vancing God's kingdom by starting new rrunistries and churches?
• Do you seek to brrng the good news of Jesus Christ into places
and people groups that have no tangible witness?
• Are you able to equrp others to do the same?

Heart Revealers

We tieer the story of the wind at Pentecost,

Ho/y wind that dismantles what was,
Ho/y wind that evokes wbst is to be,

Ho/y wind thet overrides barríers and causes communicat/on,

Ho/y wind that sígna/s your rufe even among uso


"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in

word and deed before God and ali the oeople ."

LUKE 24: 19

As I was exploring which cily in California Cod was pn.:paring lor a

ncw church, lmcl Pa~rur EJ. f ic is whar is cillit'd a turnaround pastor.
TIe finJ~ Jyi n~ churche anti eirher l';IVt;:~ thc m a Ou ria! or hélp:, brlflg
thcrn back to lírc. sornerirnes lIsing shock trt'atl11enr
This rurnarounJ pastor told me abolir a dying churrh in Hollywol)d. At
one rime ihis church was well known and atrendcd bya Iew t:11l101.!<; pcoplc.
But just <I few years ago ir only had rhirty mcrnhcrs, ali nf thern gray-hai red
Anglo- axons in a long-since diversified neighborhood, "White flight"
mcanr mostofthc remaining rncrnbers comrnutcd in fremi lhe Vallt.:y.

This church was dying. They were self-absorbed and no longe r cared
for rhe people in rhe area. They focused their energy more on their
beautiful1y hand-crafted choir lofr, not on the mission ofGod. Church
mernbers were frequently arguing about who had polished the choir
lofr last week and what color it should be painted next year.
With the church $280,000 in debt, increasing $3,000 each monrh,
the sale of the buiIding loomed on the horizon, My friend, Pastor Ed,
was brought in as a last-ditch effort in order to try to tum this church
around, After a fewweeks ofinrerviewing, the church board deeided to
aeeepr him as rheir pastor, but despi te looking like the eongregation
with his pale skin and gray hair, Pastor Ed brought a very different
undersranding to the congregation.
The moming of Pastor Ed 's first serrnon started like any other at
this church, with fine clothes and singing worship songs. The eongre-
gation sat, eager to listen to the message frorn their new1y acquired
pastor. But thcn things changcd. Pastor Eu pulled out a s1cdge hammer
from behind rhe podium, and as he preached hc dismantled the choir
lofr, slowly eliminaring what they idolized. But he didn't srop there. He
invited them to join in rhe change that was raking place, saying, "If
anyone wishes to sray a member of this church, come up here, grab rhe
s1edge hammer and give it a swing."
The church shrunk frorn thirty mernbers to teu thur Sunday, but
sornethmg ncw was born as well. For new ljt~ comes to those who are
willing co ernbrace the realiry of dearh.
Tod;IY f lopc lntcrnarional Churcl, is sull beillg led by Pastor Ed :1Ou
conrinurex tu thrive in irs neighborbood of Eust Hollvwood. The church
is flllcd with people from many differeur backgrounds thar represem rhe
ueighlxuhood, and what was once .l Jying church, carne W life ihrough
rhe propheric acrions of a daring leuder,


r call prophets beart reuealers because thcy reveal the heart ofGod and the
hearts of those in rhe congregation. Prophers cal! the cburch lo God's neto
social arda and help the congregation to stand with ih" poor and oppre.ued.
In thc Old Tesrarncnt, prophcts wcre "God-intoxicated advocates of social
Proohets. Hearl Revea/ers

jusrice .... Their authority and their social passion came from rhe imrne-
diacy of their experience ofGod and not from institutional authorization."!
Prophets have the ability to perceive reality when others are lost in a world
ofillusion. When prophets come on the scene, reality invades illusion and
hearts are laid bare before the living God. Prophets have a way of ripping
open our hearts, shattering our illusions and bringing us face to face with
our Maker (1 Cor 14:24-25).
Prophets anguish over those who suffer under unjust and oppressive
regimes, whether religious or civil. Thcy speak truth to the powers rhat
be, and find ereative and subversive ways to liberatc the oppressed and
include the rnarginalized. They criricize and disrnantlc the dorninant,
oppressive culture, and then envision and energize us with a new view
of realíry,
Through their example and the fire in thei r hearts, they have a conta-
gious way of helping people eommune with the Holy Spirit and grow in
personal holiness. As hearr revcalers thev cncouraze people to move frorn
a politics of exploitation and oppression to one oljustice and cornpassion.
They help the community see how Jesus subvertcd the world's systcm
and suffered for ir, and 50, just like thcir leader, thev are willing to suffer,
Table 12.1. Prophers

Equipper Focal Concern Tetos (Dc.tillations) Marks

Propher P'lrSuing Ccd's C.tltin):!; rhc church lu G~J•.r!'o nc w .•»ci.rl urdt,c

(hearr revealer) ,holo01 anti ~t:'l1din~ wirh lhe punr .\Ild oppresscd


The prophet nlllJ the cburcb lo God's neui social arria. Through his litc,
death and resurrecrion Jesus inaugurnrcd a new world, a new kingdom.
T'he disciples wcre told to wait ror the Holy ~ririt. I\~ rhev werr pr:lying
in the Upper Roorn, rhc r loly Spirit carne upon thern Some rholl~hr
they had too much wine, bur Petcr reminded thern what time ir W.lS-

both in terrns of chronologirul time, nine in the mornintr, and /wiro.\

time, a differcnr sort of time thar rnarks Goel 's appoinrcd hour, For th i~
was what Jod had prophesied abour, whcn Gnu would pour out his
Spirit on all pcoplc, regardlcss of gcnder, :lge or U':O 11()1lI ic slanJing.

Whar we see at Pentecost is the reversal of the Tower of Babel. While

Cod caused confusion by multiplying languages at the Tower ofBabe1,
at Pcntecost Cod enabled rhose from many nations to hear the good
news of the kingdom of Cod in their own rongue.
From Pentecost onward we sec thc disciplcs living in Spirit-trans-
formed communitics. Living as a sign, foreraste and instrurnenr of
God' coming kingdom, they fleshed out what ir meant to love Cod
and one another in real ways. They devored themse1ves to the apostles
teaching, tel1owship, praycr and thc breaking of bread. In Jesus and
Community, Gerhard Lohfínk tells us thatJesus garhered the people of
Cod together so thar as a divinc counter-society we might be a light to
all people. He traces this idea from Jesus through the early church,
making rhe case that rhe good news is not pietisric statements designed
for personal contemplation. Rather Jesus' intention is to create new so-
cieries that, through their life and practices, demonstrare the arrival of
rhe new world of CoJ in Chri~t. ll.:rc, rhe Spirit of Cod "dismanrles
national and social barriers, group intercst, custes systerns and dorni-
nation of one sex over the othcr, "2 The prophets call the pcople of God
to be the new social order l.iving out rhe policies of Jesus. Shane Clai-
borne helps U~ to scc that when wc live in rhe ncw cornrnunity in the
power of the Spirir, our social ordcr changes:

Whcn thc Biblc rclls rhc swr)' of rhe eurlv church in the book uf Aas, ir
does not say rhar rhey wcrc of onc hcarr und rn mo because rhey sold ev-
eryth,ng. Rather, rhey hcld ali in cnrnmun prcciscly becuuse tlll:y Wt.:CI.: uf
onc he.rrt anti une mino, :b rich .md j1'h1r t(HJI1d thcmsclvus bom ,Igalll

IIHll.l t:ll1lily in \Vhich ""IW h:l<I vvt r : .i nd (lfhn~ werc dcspcrarclv in

nced. Rcdistnbunon was nor svsrcmutica llv regirncnrcd bur rluwed nar-
uru lly our nf:IIClVC IC)TGoJ and Ilclglti.Jol.l am not a LUI1lI1lUlli,t, nor <1111

I a c.iprtalist. A~ 'vVili O'Bi iun ... ,ays. "When wc truly Ji'LU\lCr lovc,
capital isrn wil nor bc possible anti ivLtrxisl1l wi 11not be neccssarj.":'

Penplc werc ElscinateJ with this ncw comrnun itv, which is why it SJys
Cod added to their nurnbcr da ilv.The: wcrc flcsh ing out jcsus' leaching
in rheir Iivcs. Even though Jesus hud ascended to lhe righr hand of the
Falha, his body was srill 011 cart h I hrough th is Spirit-filled com muniry
of pcople, continning to carry out liis purpose in thc world, Thc pcople
Prophets: Heart Revea/ers

of God had becorne his hands and feer, doing whar Jesus had done
while he was On earth. They prayed for peopIe's healing, fed the hungry
and shared the good news by deed and word, which sOll1etimes got
them into rrouble wirh the religious and politicalleaders.
Prophets equip the people ofGod to live into God's new social order
by helping all the gifrs of the Spirit come alive in the congregation. For
through rhe Spirit rhe community of faith is a sign pointing to God's
reality, which is just around the comer, and a foretaste of the kingdorn,
helping people experience the furure in the prescnr.
In cuItivating Spirit-rransforming communities, prophers help Com-
munities of fairh to be attentíve to the work of rhe Spirit in their midst,
neIping people reeognize that the Holy Spirír rugs on those who are
apart from Christ, assures us when we are doubtful, cornforrs us when
we are down and guides us whcn we are eonfused. The pirit can cven
warn us of unknown dangers. Paul say , "in every ciry the HoJy Spirit
warns me rhar pri on ;mJ hardship~ are f:lCing me" (Acrs 20:23).
My friend Scorr Davis told me abour how the Holy Spiril wnrncd his
rnorher of danger. After (dling asleep one cven ing, she hud a Ilighrmare.
In her dream shc had gorrcn into this terrible car uccidcnr She wns rhe
first car at the stoplight anJ when ir turned grcen, shc did whar we ali
do, she hir rhe gas. Thc only problcm was rhat another car dcciJcJ to
face through a red light. hc wokc IIp as rhar car wa-, nashing i nto hers.
Thar was her drcam.

The nexr day as shc was driving, she tound hcrsclf first ut thc :;ru(l
lighl, anti slll: remcll10crcd hcr drcam, 'vVhen thc Ilghl t u rned grt'erl,dlc
wai red f(lr a rnorncnr, anti su re enough ;1 ra n rl,l.' I ('( I Iiglll Tlle r I, ti}
Spiru warns us of lInknown dungers, ifwc are SCllsitlve to hirn. Prophets
help us ro be filbl wirh lhe .·plfit :Ind thlls scnsinvc to thc Spirir. lhcv
hclp us recoznizc thc Srint's work In our live-, ,n wc dOI1't lI1i~s "llr "11

his bcnefirs. The Holy Spiritw:J.'i givcn as a ~()rer:lsleolwhut is lo Cllllle.

The Spirir allows us to participare in (;od's new :l,s(; now,
Living in God's ncw social order nor onlv ret1uircs ht.:ing scnsir ive to
the Holy pirir but yielding to the . pirit'c; inclusive nudgc by hcing :1
cornmuniry rhar wclcornes the ourcasrs and hclps tht;lll to kcl .u home.
\!Ve are ali brokcn anti we nced cach othcr lo IWl'OlllewllOk. Onc Iligh[

a lady in our congregation gave me a cal! because she had just been in a
huge fight with her sono She and her son had been coming to Kairos
Hollywood for dose to a year. If you rnet her son, you would not forget
him. His face was badly deforrned by elephantitis, and he had a hunched
back. She told me that her son was building relationships with people
who were not a good influence because he was havi ng a hard time
making friends at any church, including Kairos. She said he felt wel-
corned by a number of people at Kairos, but he hadn't made uny good
friends, When T heard this, it broke rny hcart and accented our need for
more prophers and pastors in our midst who would help crcate a culrure
where ali were truly included,


Along with calling the church to God's new social order, prophets help
us stand with lhe poor and oppressed. Prophers help the congregarion re-
rnernber that we cannor say we are walking wirh God on the one hand
while sitting in the seat of oppressors on the other. Heart revealers
remind GuJ'~ people thal Je~u:s carne tu bring the good news to the
poor, not just the poor in spirir. They help people recognizc that the
good news is not just for another time und place, bur for the here and
now, for the kingdom of God is ar hand, They encourage the congre-
gatioll to pray thut God's kingdoru woulJ be more fully realizcd on
car l h ,II1J rc 111í nd them l hut <leiíon must llLLol1lpany prayt:r. They ler
people know thar rhc gooJ ncws Jesuti carne to bríng was not just for-
givcness of sins but libcrarlon frorn sin: not just pcrsonal sin but social
sins-e-injusr ices. discrirninarion and domination. They cncourage
people to be involvcd wirh social justicc, rcmmding them that when we
(are for thc prisoncr, thc unclothcd and thc hungry, wc Gire for Jesus.
For what WL: Jo or don't do fur thc poúr .nul opprcsscd will be decisivc
on judzrnent dav, Prophers proclairn to thc congrcgarion that if our
g-ospel isn't gooJ news for the poor, theu ir is not the sarne )!;ood news
that Jesus proclairncd.
In m)' neíghborhooJ of East llollywoud, we havc a number of people
who would bc considered poor, some who are citizens and orhcrs who
arcu'r, Jose is one of many who have made rheir way to Los Angeles in
Proptiets. Heart Reveeiers

hopes of opportunity. He wanted to make money in arder to support

his extended family in his home country.
Jose now waits at a local Home Depor in hopes that someone will
drive by and offer him a job for a day, but he will also settle for a half
day's work. Sornetimes when I drive up to the Home Depor, Jose and
h is friends run up to the car looking for work. Often I don'r need them,
leaving Jose and his friends waiting all day in despcration.
Some days Jose waits and waits until the sun sets. Then he returns
home, only to rerurn the next day. Repeating rhis activity daily adds to
a deep sense of rejection that penetrares his soul. In a counrry where
people talk about their rights, he tries to imagine that he toa is worthy
of rights. Low wages begin to take their tal! on his psyche. And doing
the kind of work that no one wants makes him reei undesirablc, Yet
Jose continues to wake up and make his way to Home Depot hoping
that things mighr be different for him and his future.
At thc hearr of poverty is a "wcb of lics that results in the poor i nrer-
nalizing view of themselvcs as being without value, and without a con-
tribution to make, belicving that they are truly god-forsakcn."~ Heart
revealers help cornmunities recognize thar "no transforrnution can be
sustai nable unless this distorred disempowering sense of «lentity is rc-
place by the truth" and thut the poor are "vaiuable enough to Cod to
warrant thc dcarh of the Son in order to [estore that relationship
(Jigniry) and to glvc gifts that contribute tu lhe well-bei ng of thern-
selves and rhei r com rnunity (vocation)."
Prophcrs cquip rhe comrnuníty to see tha; transrorrnarion h.ippens
through hcaling the rnnrrcd idcntit y of rhe pot)r and hclping theru dis-
cover their calling in lifc. Ar rhe sarne rime they challenge rhe nonpoor
ro rel i nqu ish our ·~od cornplexes" and crnploy our gitts t(,r t hc S:l kc nf
hurnan beings rather rhan llsing ou r gift" as a <ource "r power anel
conrrol. T'he propher call a/I, rich and poor 011 ikc, to stcp into our ncw
identities anel roles in the midst of the i n-breaking kingdorn of God.
Propher« help the congregation to stand with thc pom .md 0p
presscd, both in their local community and uround the glnhe. In
October 2004 I was in the middle of preparing for :1 scrics o n lhe
scvcn dcadly sim when I realiz ed rhat I had ncvcr heurd a ra lk on

gluttony. During my prepararion for this talk, Cod created a situ-

ation in which I met Bishop Kaaleng, who helps to oversee around
seventy churches in Kenya.
Twenty of us were sitting in my apartment listening ro the bishop
rell stories about life in the Turkana region of Kenya. Ar some point in
the evening he shared how SOme of the people in his tribe were only
able to eat one meal every three days because of the famine (which has
been ongoing since my firsr visir in March 2005). Ayoung man asked,
"15 rhere any way we can help out?" Whcn hc asked rhat, the first
thought that raced through my rnind was, Don't ask.Lha! questiono I al-
ready have enough on my p/ate. Soon, I sensed a rebuke from the Holy
Spi rir abour my lack of Iove, especially as I began to study the sin of
gluttony more thoroughly. In a shorr time it became cxtremely difficult
for me to live with the reality thar thousands of people in rhe Two-
Thirds World are dying daily ofhunger and preventable diseases, while
onc of the biggest problerns in lhe Wesr is obcsity.

I srarted asking myself some questions, Whar do the Scripturcs say

abour this? How is ir that I could havc been a Christian for over ten
years (ar rhat poinr in my life) and never demonstrated a eompassion for
the poor and oppresscd, othcr than supporting a kid through Com-
passion Inrernational? Had I adopted a reductionistic vcrsion of thc
good news? Did I have a malnourished undcrstandi ng of salvation?
The shorr of rhc long srory is rhar afrer my firsr visit T sturred whar [
cal I a Kenya fast (cating Iike rnost llf rhe Kenyan pasrors 1 rnet ear, one
meul a Jay anJ mcar once a monrh) until God moved me to join him in
walking wirh rhe poor, In abour n year rhe Solis Foundarion was bom.
Thruugh the FounJatiOll we give miLl"ograllb to help start srnall busi-
in tlll; Turkan<l rcgion oI' [(cJlya.

Tlle mure ou r [airh COlJllIlunitie:. in Lo:. AI1~e1e:. h.ive :.ouglH tu

walk with the poor, lhe more we rcalizcd how the issue of poverty
"dcfics easy solutions anti responscs," .ind how cornplex Jcvdopmc.:nt
cn n be.' But wc continue with joy ro walk wirh the poor locally and
glL1bally, tilr when we walk with rhern we discover our own povc.:rty,
thc poverty of community. In walking with the poor, rhey bccorne our
farnily and we bccomc ficho
Proohets. Heart Revealers


I metMaria Drews, a gifted prophctess, as I was a part of a mid-sized

community at Kairos Hollywood. Mar ia's Iífestyle often causes me to
100k more closely at my hearr and lifesryle a well as God's heart. Be-
cause our group eats together every week, I noticed she (and some
others) had ditTerent eating habits than I do. I tend to be a carnivore,
except when I'm fasting. Bur Maria doesn't ear rneat. In time I carne to
realize why she beca me a vegetariano She decided to give up rncat for
two primary reasons. Firsr, her understanding of how our global food
operations work caused her to becorne a vegetariano She carne to re-
alize that ir rakes a lor more grain to produce a pound of meat than a
pound of grain. And, living in a world wherc people are starving, she
wanred to give up the privilege of eating rneat to stand in solidJ.rity
with those who don'r have enough to eat, In addition, she fdt that the
currenr agrieultural system in the United States does a lot 01' damage
to the environmenr.

Also unlike the typical Ange1cno (people who live in LA), Maria
chooses nor to drive a caro While Maria will get riJes frorn peoplc ur
times, she has mostly embraced the public transporration svstern Ui n
all irs glory.~ She also rides her bike to many places, which is really
weird for pcople in Los Angdes, because it is such .1 car-fril:ndly ciry
and nor roo nice for cyclists. She dOI.:$ this bccause she leves rhe natural
environmcnt. Shc believes that Americans rcnd ro use more rhun OUf

fair share of rhc worlJ's rcsourccs, So f()f hcr, giving u(l a «ar hdp~ her
to live in a more suslainable rdaounship wuh rhc envifonmcnf. She
values (;nd's creatinll, and while shc lInJt'r~t;tlld~ thar we C111 USe il as
a resource, she also sees rhe need rn cure tor crcut ion and bc a g-ood
stcward ofwh:u God has given lIS. Maria engages in ;[ grecn liksr}'l •.
in many orher way".

o nor only does Maria's lifcsryle anti words encClur.lgc ou r L<lllgrl:-

gation to wnsíder how we live in light ()rour glohal contexl, hcr lifc-
style provokcs qucstions frorn those who UOIl't know Christ .111.1 givc
her opportunitie' to share how her liJCstylc is an outtrrowrh ofhcr hilh.
Her litCstylc has givcn hcr respecr alllOllg J\il!{c1iIlO';.md 1t.IS all,)\wd
hcr to proclaim rhe good news with hei words as wcll,

Maria embodies a prophet in other ways as well. Serving as a neigh-

borhood council representativo, she has been able to take part in mean-
ingfully meeting the needs of the neighborhood and be an example for
the congregation.
While Maria embodies the ministry of a prophet, not everyone in the
congregation necessariJy sees what I see, which sometimes is the fate of
a prophet in the local church. Jesus was not accepted in bis hometown
(Mk 6:4). Sometimes this is the case for the local prophet as well.

Discerning If VOU Are a Prophet

• Do you have a passion to see people walk with God?

• Are you sensitive to the Holy Spint?
• Do vou seek to help your community in live in the power of the
Sprrit and operate in the gifts of lhe Spuit?
• Do vou spontaneously receive a word trom the Lord for the sake
of your community?
• Does your heart break for the poor and oppressed?
• Do Vou seek to help people be mvolved with justice issues either
locally ar globally?
• Do vou seek to call people to live III God's new social arder?
• Do vou cultivate an environment that includes the outcasts?
• Do vou tind yourself equippmg others to do the same?

Story Tellers

Jesus's teaching cansistently attracted the irrehgtous whtte affending

the Bible-believing, religiaus people oi his day.


I must proclsim tne good news oi the kmgdotn of God to the ottier
towns a/50, because thet 15why I was sento

LUKE 4:43

What does it mean for the body of Christ to "move into" our I1cighbor-
hoods today, 1 live in Los An)!;eh:s. The Los An~d\!;; Metro Arca is
horne to 17.5 million residcnts; the county of Los 1\ngelcs has closc to
10 million people, while thc city propcr has dose to I rrullion rcsi-
denrs.' The city of Los Anzeles is dividcd into seven arcas, and Hol-
lvwood i~ locaicd in whut i" known ;l~ lhe CCIHral c\rea. I !ollVW()Oc!IS
divided imo roughly three secnons. There IS West Ilollywood UlS own

citv), Ilollywood, anti East Hollywood, One o] thc churchcs ['VI.:hcip

to piam is in East Hollywood, wcrc I reside.
With a population of over 52,000, East Hollywood is a 1.8 squart:-
mile area, which is bordered by the farnous Hollywnocl Boulcvnrd til

the north, Hoover Strcet to thc East, rhe 101 Frecway to thc south, and

Western Avenue to the West. QUI neighborhood is diverse in ethnicity,

culture and worldviews. East Hollywood is home to Little Armenia
and Thaí Town as well as a diverse group of immigrants-including
Salvadorans, Mexicans, Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese,Japanese, Russian,
Indonesians, Eastern Europeans as well as Midd1e Easterners.2
Each of the various people groups bri ng rheir culture and faith to our
neighborhood. For instance, in East Hollywood you'll find a Thai Bud-
dhi t monastery, a Self-Realization FeHowship (combining Judaism,
Christianitv, lslam, Buddhism and Hinduism), a Jewish templc, a Jap-
anese Tcnrikyo church (a panentheist worldvicw, Some say it is a scct of
hinto), as well as a huge Scientology training center mar happens to be
across the srreer from the Founraín Room where we meet. You can find
Mormon services in English and Spanish, a Spanish Jehovah Witness
ccnrer, and ar our border the ls1amic Cenrer for ourhern Calí forn ia.
While various fairh rradirions are represenred in oue neighborbood,
you can also find church» from each of rhe thn:e major branches of
Christianiry-Orthodox, Carholic and Protestam. East IIollywood is
a very spirirual placc, though according to thc percept s[uuit:~ we had
done, 49 percenr havc no tairh involvcmcnt, as opposed to thc 35 percenr
national aVt:rage.;

Ir is also a very nrrisric place. 13eing in HollywooJ, many people are

involved in thc entt.:rtainrncnt indu~try. Thcre are wrircrs, a .rors,
singers, ser Jcsig-ncrs, rádio produccrs, rnusicianx, costume Je:-.igl1er~
and dircctors. Ir is horne to Barris iull ParI;:, which has rotating urr ex-
h ihitions, as well as the Hollyhock hOllsl'-the firsr Lo~ A ngclcs projccr
dcsig-neJ by J.rank LInyJ Wril!;hr.
KIS HollywooJ is horm; to Lc s Anb'e1cs Cit)' Collcge (thc onginal
UCLl\ c:tmpus) .md dose hy is thc Univcrsity uI' SOl!llH:rn C.1/il~)[nia.
Ir is also horne to Kaiser Permanente Medicai Ccnter, ChilJren's Ilu::,-
pital Los Angcks, anJ HollywooJ Presbvtcri:tn iVTedicalCcnrcr.
QUI' neighborhood is .1 tral1sitional place. 'I'he COS[ ofliving is high,
but thc median t:llT1iJyincornc is low 524,206, whilc the esrimated
mcdian house vuluc is $720,000 fc)r thc HoUywood arca." Thc vasi
rnajoriry 01' pcoplc .i rc rCIlll:r~-88 pcrLent, wuh only 8 perecnt living
in home, rhcv own.? Ir is not uncornrnon to finei a couple of farnilícs
Evangehsts: Story Telters

living in one house or findjng more people living in a one-bedroom

apartment than 1S legal. A nurnber of undocumeoted immigrants live in
the area. So do some homeless people.
Easr Hol1ywood is a young ncighborhood where 46 percent of the
population is twenty-nine or younger, and only 10 pcrcenr of the
population 1S sixty-five ar older, Ir is also a diverso neighborhood
with 55 percenr Latino, 22 percent wh ire, 15 pcrcenr Asian, 5 percenr
mixed, 3 pcrcent black. ~
So this little neighborhood of 52,000, tucked into rhc huge me-
tropolis of Los Angeles, is diverse, spirirual, artistic, blue collar and
transient. Ir is a place of legal and illegal immigrants, a pluce well
known yer unknown. I share this brief sketch of my neighborhood to
reflect 00 the concrete realities we currcntly livc in, hnw ou r neighbor-
hoods are becoming increasingly more cornplex, pluraiisric and global.
What does it mean to incarnate the good news into our neighborho()ds?
Thís is a tocai concern of the evangehsr.


I've given evangelisrs the nickname of story tcliers, because thcv help
the congrcgarioo sharc GOd'5 story in such a vvay tlut when 111 •• ::.<.: .rpurt
rrom Chrisr hear thc good news and uccepr ir, thei r li~c 'tuly is rrans-
Iormcd for the glory of God and rhc good of rhe world. Evangelisrs
equip rhc church ro prodaim ih,' go,/",/ by 1>c'l7Jg WIII1<'J'S,'J", and thcv hclp
lhe ~'()ngrc::gal ion to foe redt!mfti~,(, I~~t'nti, ru rn I ng their "sccul., r" jnhs
into sacrcd vocarions. Srory lellers rt:1l1iIlLllht:ír cnJllrl1l1"iric~ rlwr Cod
has chosen rhcrn to bc hea rer-, oi" rhe ,t!;()()t! ncws. Thur C"d chosc ro
blcss U", 110t that we might .rcr a~ <.:.'(cILl~ivt: b<.:ne(ici.lfit:s bur r luu W<.:

might blcss llte narions. EV~'llgdisb t:llcOlli'agt: jlcllplc to t"rIlSSrn rlte

orlrcr :,idc, to <.:Il~al!;e fJl:ople on thcir OWIl iurt, 'll1d mvitc ,1t!l<.:rs In
parncíparc in God's kingdorn.
Tablc 13.1. Evallgdisls

E'Iuipl'cr Focal Cunccrn

Teto, (DcStJn3tiolls) ;\J.rrk;
Evangcli •• J nCHnaf I"g rllt,
Pnw1.llrnil1g rh,· ~.",d !ln\ hy h{,,~~:.:,w irne •.••
(Slury tcller) g,ch,d IU.:W~
"n.! Im li,\( rnlt-.lll'live .I,~CIIIS ~


One te/os of the evangelist is to equip the church to proclaim lhe gospe! by
being witnesses. jusr before Pentecost Jesus told his disciples that the
Holy Spirit would come upon them and give them power to be bis wit-
nesses in the jerusalem and beyond. He said, "you wiU be my wit-
nesses" (Acts 1:8). Notice he says you will be my witnesses. is be-
cause bemg always proceeds doing and saying. Being witnesses is living
out whom Cod has ma de us in Christ, As recipients ofGod's grace, we
have been given a new identity in Christ; we are children of Cod, part
ofthe family ofGod, saints, priests and ambassadors. God has made us
new in Christ, and as we are becoming who God has made us together,
we begin to live under the reign ofGod and proclaim the good news by
being, doing and saying. This is what it means to be his witnesses,?
After studying the ew Testarnent partem of evangelism, Graham
Tomlin makes the case in Tbe Prouocatiue Cburcb that evangelism
works bcst in thc context whcre it's an answer to a questiono In orher
words, when we live out our calling as the people of God, under rhe
reign ofGod-when we beco me rhe church where the poor find riches,
rhe lonely find community, the sick find healing, and the broken find
wholencss-then our words about the person and work of Christ
become meaningful. Thus the evangelist seeks to equip the church to
be a sign, forerasre and mstrument of God's coming kingdom. People
wanr a sense of pllrpose, rhey wanr somerhing to hope in, they want to
love berrer, live fuller, experience ~4'rgivenes~ and grow in wisdom, for
tllt:5l~Me sot uc »fthe essentiuls tu hurnun Flourishiug, SU:15 the church
is equipped to live under rhe reign ()f Chrisr, we have sornethinz ro
otfer our neighbors ,1IlJ the world.
Oue uf the questious rhe cvallgdi::.t asks thc congregation is, Wba:
does it meart to be the rnurcn tba: liues under tb« reign ofCod? Just before
Pctcr talks abour givi ng "an answcr to cveryone who usks you to givc
the rcason ti)! rhe hope that you havc" (1 Per 3:15), he calls rhe com-
munny to "be Iike-minded, be syrnpathetic, love one another, be com-
passionate aud hurnble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insulr.
On lhe contrary, repay evil with blcssing, bccause to rhis yOl! were
cullcd so rhat yOl! may inherit a blessing .... In your hcarrs revere
Evengetrsts- Story Tellers 145

Christ as Lord" (1 Per 3:8-9, 15). Revering Christ as Lord is living

under the reign of Christ, the rule of God. As the church does this, we
become a light to the world, a sign of the kingdom, pointing others
toward God, his Son and his future.
The second question the story teller asks rhe congregation is, IfGod's
reign were to bepeifectly realized in tbis neighborhood, what would be dif-
firent? This then becornes rhe mission of how the congregation can
practically serve the neighborhood. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer rerninds us,
"The church is 0111ythe church when ir exists for other ."R When our
church was starting in East Hollywood, I joined the East Hollywood
Neighborhood Council in order to Iisten to the problems and issues
that our neighborhood was facing. But there are many ways evangelista
can find the heartbeat of the community outside of the church, As rhe
church becomes aware ofthe needs ofthe neighborhood, rhe evangelisr
seeks to understand how rhe passions and gifrs of the comrnunities
mighr besr meer these needs.
One of the needs of our neighborhood was to have more grccn spacc
and trees. 'o our community tearned up with the East Hollywood Ncigh-
borhood Council, Tree People and others to plant more trccs in East Hol-
lywood, After planting the rrees our church hosted a lunch ror everyone.
In this time we got to know our neighbors better as we soughr to bertcr the
neighborhood with rhem. vVe hope our lunch blessed rhem. ln doing- this
wc were able to piam some seeds of a di ffere 11 r kind al\)IJ~ the way.
The thirJ question the cvangelist usks the mn!-Çn:gatiol1is, Wbu! are
tb« killdj of uloi: in our 1I<'~ghborhood
tbat ne,'d to he unmuskedi' In our
neighhorhond ,0111t:pcople <eek idcntity ~1'1Jworth rhrollgh rhc idols of
their bodics. cars, houscs and rarne. Peoplc makc great sucrifices ror
these things. Others live vicariously through tilm anti ot hcr fimns ()f

enrertainmcnt. And <orne are addicred to tr,oc! anti dr ink.

As we identify some of the idols in thc neighhorhood. rhc cv.ingclist
nsks, What rbvtbms ?l/iji! and what communitv haj>pcnil/gs mil!,ht challcl/gc
tbese idots and =r= the killgdom?We invite vurious pcoplc to hc :1 part ()f

our cornrnunities that practicc a diflcrcnt way ofliving, communitics that

engagc in lite rhythms which enable us to finei our idcntity anti worth in
Goel (sec chupo 16). Wc also host a scrics of talks 01\ r Iollywood anti thc

ancient texto We bring Scripture and thc most recent filrns imo conver-
ation with each other. We wam people to move past film as escapist
enrertainment and see how ir has the abiliry to disturb and enlighten us
in relation to ourseIves and with others, creation and God.
As a way to help people grow in generosity, engage in social justice and
appreciate other art forms, my friend Daichi and I started whar we call
Artist at rhe Fountaio. Every other monrh we invite various artists to
perform or share their art with uso For emry into the event, we ask
cveryone to givc tcn doHars to a local or global justicc projecr we are in-
volved in. Thus we blcnd appreciating good art with raising awareness
and resources for local and global needs.
The evaogelist asks one other important question: How do we cal!
others to receioe and enter into tht! kingdom oJGod 50 lhat they mightjoin us
in representing God': reign in our lleighborhood? The evangelist needs to
help rhe community to share their faith, to share God's story in a way
rhat meaningful connects wirh people. james Choung does a great job at
helping us share God's story in a meaningful way through his book True
Story: /I Christianity WOTth Belúving In. He teaches us how to share a
summary of the good news in a way thar gives a proper focus on trans-
[oflnarion and decision, cornmunity and the individual, mission lifc and
the afrerlire." jarncs also does a grear job at helping us share how the
good ncws affccts us at thrcc leveis: systcrnic, rclational and pcrsonal.!"
Hcre is an overview of Choung's upprouch to sharing the gospel.
(For greater deprh, please read the book.) Firsr, we ache jôr a aetter
noorid, r Ic sturrs whcrc pcople are living. Thcn, we rernind people thar
wc wcrc dc'Jign,dfor goorl. God dcsig-ned us to bc in rclntionship wirh
hirn, each oiher and ali oi creation. Bur whcn we rook charg-e, evcry-
thing becurne abour II~; whur wa~ dcsigllcd rilr [!;()()(i was tlrllrlllgt'd I~y
t!vzl, zlobally, relarinnally anel pcrsonallv, Bur Cod loves us too rnuch to
ler thinW rcrnain a mcss. Thrnllgh Jl'~II~, he rrstorer! (/11f;1" lhe hdl,'T,
sysremarically, relationally and personally, And now he has IW' UI 10-
g,'lha lo h'·lll ou r rclationship wirh God, wi h cach other and ;111of
creation.!' The evangclisr nccds to hclp pcople share the good ncws in
'I rneaningful way that not only connecrs wirh people in today's world
hut naturally lcads pcoplc to livc as d isciples ofChrist.
Evangelísts, Story Tellers
The orher te/os of the evangelist is helping the eommunity be redemptive
agents. Along with proclaiming the good news by being a wirness, the
evangeüst helps the congregation be salt and light in rheir vocation, 50

that the good news might spread to every sphere of rhe eity. Th is
begins by helping people connecr Sunday with Monday. For when
people ernbrace their "secular" calling in the world as a disciple of Jesus,
ir becornes a sacred ealling.

When I meer an acror in HollywooJ, my first thought i not, 1

uionder if tht:y wOllld join our drama team? The evangelist seeks to help
people live out rheir calling in the world jõr the JtlRe of the world, Cvan-
gelists help people understand that they are (in the words of Andy
Crouch) culture makers. We crearc culturc as we creare goods or arti-
facts, which are in turn shared in publico When sorneone creares a filrn
(an artifacr) and ir is shared publicly, he or she creates Culturc. lf
someone creares a building, a book, a painting.;1 film.;1 gourrner flwal,
a song, a bridge, software, an app or a legal document and then shares
ir publicly, the person is crcating culturc.
Evangclists help people underst:tnd ~h:tt heing hurn.m means we are
cu!ture makers, creating artifacts inside and ourside of thc church und
sharing rhern with others. "Culture is whar human heings rnuke ot thc
world."12 Culturc is crearcd in rhe sharing of ar! itacrs und idcus.
Crouch explains that t hcre are spheres of cu ltun, .unl scalcs ()f
culrure. Di rLercf1t pheres of socicry have li i frereJ1l cu lru rcs. Thc k:gal
world is quite diffcrcnr trorn chc art world. Thc cu ltu re of W;lll Srrect
is distinct from a hospirul's culture. Each sphcre of socicu , thcn, 11;1:' Its
own ubculture. 'Chere are also sedes ot culture: rrorn srnall indc-
pendent cottec shops to polirics in \Nashingtnn, /) C.; frllrn srn.t ll indc-
pendenr filme to rhc I:trge Hollywood blockhllstcr. In orhcr words,
every cultural good wc crente Jus ,I leve! ofintlu<.!ncc, J.lrgc or].

When evangclists hclp pcople understanJ rhci r calling as cu lturc

makers, people rediscover the value of thei r voc.uion, ,111<1 t hu-, .1 'iig--
nificanr porrion of their time can be rcdeemcd for rhe gooJ of C()d's
kingdom. Story tcllers scck to cultivate Jisciplcship l"OlllJl1unities in
which rnembcrs cncourage one anothcr in practicul ways so rhar car h

migbt fully live bis or her vocation for the sake of others. Martin Luther
King Jr. put ir this way: "If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper,
sweep streers like Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed
music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the
hosts of heaven will have to say, 'Hcre lies the street sweeper who did
his job well."'13 The aposrle Paul was in agreement: "Whatever your
task, work heartedly, as serving rhe Lord and not men" (Col 3:23 RSV).
Evangelisrs help the congregation to beco me redernptive agents,
seeking to join God in the renewal of ull things, while remembering
the "now" and "not yet" nature ofGod's k.ingdom.

While his primary gift is apostolic in narure, Aaron Graham's sec-
ondary gift is that of an evangelist. Having these two gifts is fairly
common for fruitful church planters. As the founJing pastor of rhe
newly established Districr Church in the heart of Wash.ington, D.C.,
he is doing much to see the church he serves become Christ for rhe sake
of neighborhood and rhe world, and it has resulred in dozens of people
coming to Chrisr or retuming to Christ, and hundrcds ftnding com-
munity and living as rcdcrnprivc agcnts in thc hcart of the Disrricr.
Aaron and his community demonstrare what ir mcans to be a church
for the city. The ciry is onc of contradicrions. Ir is one of the most edu-
cated cities in the country, yet hus rhe lowest performing public schools.
D.C. is one of the wealthiest merropoliran areas, yet it has the highest
pl.:rú:ntagc of people living in extreme pllVt:rty. Misrrust bctwccn Af-
rican Americuns and the whitc cornmunitv runs dccp. Onc of thc w:rys
the church is seeking to serve the city is through thc Columbia Hcighrs
Youih Center, wherc they are uevoting encrgy ro hridging the educa-
rional <!;aptu at-risk ncighborhoou kids, Thcv help with fesnvals 111 the
('Ify an" f\arnn wrntc an nrr icle for the HftHhington Posr on rhe Advent
Conspiracy (sce, seeking tu help people
spend less, give more and love alI. AS:1 newly started congregation they
raiscd over 5100,000 for the plight of rhose living in the Horn of Afriea.
As they bless their ncighborhood through service und incarnate rhe
good news, people join with thcm and cornrnit thcir lives to Christ,
Evangelists: Story Tellers 149

It is encouraging to see how Aaron is helping people be redemptive

agents. He recently had a three-part series at a weekly gathering in
which he handed the pulpit over to six people of the congregation to
sharc how God is using some of their biggest questions and darkesr
moments to deepen rheir faith and bless the world. One person who
shared in this series was Lindsay, a filmrnaker whose work has been
featured on CNN many times, who tells the stories of childrcn uf-
fering violence and abuse. She ralked about the documentary she is
ftnishing up about two child soldiers shc followed in the Conga aver
the last few years. Five other people shared some amazing ways that
God i using thern in their vocations, which helps the entire congre-
garion realize how their vocations can be sacred callings lived for the
glory of God and the good of the world.

_ Discerning If Vou Are an Evangelist _ _

• Do you have a hearl for those far from God?

• Do you feel frustrated that the congregauon IS too mward onented?
• Are you mcarnating lhe good news in your neighbornooo ar
within a people group?
• Are you heíping your community represent God's reign as a sign,
foretaste and mstrument of lhe kingdom?
• Do you find yourself helping others in lhe congregatioo vlew
their vocatron in redernptive ways?
• Do vou rind vourself equrpprng others to do lhe Sdlne!

Soul Healers

My job is not to solve people's problems or meke them happy, but to

help them see the grace operating in iheu lives.


I am the good shepherd The good shepherd lays down ins fife for
the sheep.

JOHN 10 11

In his book Jesus in lhe Margins, Rick McKinlcy sharcs storics of

pcople who have cxpcrícnced dccp cmotionul wounds. The book
rclls rhe storv of Tiffany, a nine ycnr-old who wus rnolcsred by a
turmlv rncmbcr. Tiffan\' stuvcd silcnr, t'cartn.!!; rhe brndy rncrnber
.md rcscnring her parenrs for allowinl!; it ro happen , Thc abuse con-
tlllllcc!lllltil shc W,IS t wclvc.whcu shc final!v luld her mot her what
wus l1;lppcn i ng-.

'-,hc Ilhe lllothcrJ cricd so loud an.l f~lI' so lung. I n:alileJ rhcn rhe ~ravil}'
of whar happcned ....

L've ncvcr bccn uhlc tu scrub the sick tcelin~ Dflm}' soul thut was put
rhcrc thmugh thc .ihusc. So I jus!;;n hrough life fccling rhar i f anyollc
cvcr kncw who 1 was 'HI t hc inside, thev would si mply rcjccr m ,.1
Pastors: Soul Healers

Tiffany was left with deep emotional wounds. She was left wirh
hatred toward men. Her disrrusr wenr beyond sexual relationships; she
was scared to give herself to them emotionally. She also held anger
toward God, questioning his love and willingness to allow rhis to
happen longing for someone to love her despire her pasto Bur Tiffany
eventually found healing.

I am ahvays arnazcd ar how God ha~ mel me in the deepesr parrs of

me .... T realize thar God lias loved me t he whole time. The abuse
taughr me t hat 1 was worrhless, bur Christ has raughr me thar 1 arn
precíous to hirn.

The grcuresr rhing is thar in his lave I could rcally tc)rgive t he

person who hurt me and move on . .!\I[oving on is a daily thing f()r me.
l can'r say thur ir's cur-and-drieJ or thar lhe pain i. gonc f(lrevcr, bur it
is Jifferenr now.2

The abuse Tiffàny suffered is too comrnon, but her journcy rowurd
healing if notcnmmnn CJ1()\Igh. We li\te l!1 a brr\kcn world, :.['.','odJ in w hicl:
other people have disfigured our souls and we have in turn distigurcJ
others', Wc are brokcn peoplc in nceJ o'-healing. With rhe hclp ofCod we
can move toward wholencss, bur it doesn't h;lppen alltomatic;llly.


PastoTs, OT soul healcrs, hclp us work throu!4"h pasr hurrs anti pursue
wholeness, nor just individllally bur in the conrcxr ofcommunity. \Vhile
rnost of our brokcnness comes frorn our Jysfunclilln~tl expcnellccs in
hmily or cOlllll1unity, most of OUf hcaling anti Who(l'ncss cunlc.:s in t hc
conrexr o( ncw (ol1ununit). Soul healc.:r~ hclp lhe couuuunuv 111 1/1/

tiuare a liJi:-glving sf>intlla/i!y anel L'lnbody r.:cOllciliiltiolJ.

Pa,tor, h.ivc a deep sense oC lhe hrokcIJIlC~' wit h in u , .md o u r
communitic.:s, .i nd rhcy scck to bring hc.:,dillg .1l1J ~~lllIlcilC~~ lu
pcople a nd lc.:I<l(i(Jnshi~h_ Thej. n.:cogJlizc rhc diftcrencc bcrwccn
counterfeit ÇOJ11ll1l1niry-whcre pco(llc wcnr rnu sk s und tr y to hidc
themsclvn Irorn Cod allJ othcr-, C[e.ttillg isolatioll anJ .rurhcnric
COllllllunity_ Soul hCJJcrs crcarc a cnsc of LlrTlily, whcre pcoplc c.m
lca r n to live vulflcrably.

The pastor helps the communiry have a realistic picture of com-

munity and undersrand that the communiry-buiIding process is filled
with both pain and joy. If peopIe come into community expecting
utopia, they willlikdy leave hurt, disappoinred and possibly never give
comrnunity another atrernpt, Paul's letters are filled wirh the messiness
of cornrnuniry. Community is messy because ir is a collection of irn-
perfect people seeking to be transformed by God together.ê Anyone
can love the ideal church. The challenge is to love the real church. Soul
healers help the congregation do this.

Table 14.1. Pastors

Equipper Focal Concern TdDS [Destlnations] Marks

Pastor Seeking wholeness Cultivating life-giving spirirualíry within

(soul healer) und holiness comrnuniry und ernbodying rcconciliation


The fi r t telas of a pastor is cultivllting a lifé-giving spirituality within
commumty. Soul hcalcrs scck to crcatc an environment that facilitates
healing, growth and transforrnation. They seek to create rhythms of
lite ror rhe cornrnunity which cnahles people ro be spiritually renewed,
cmotionally rechargeti and physically rcfreshcd. A life-giving spiritu-
aliry IS about thc forrnation of thc cntire pcrson-heart, soul, strength
and rnind, our "body, crnotions, scxuality, consciousncss, the uncon-
scious, longings und dcsircs, thoughts, scnscs and i magination, and
rnuch more."' ~()t11 healers understand rhar spiritual Iorrnation takes
place when people simultuneously grow in self-uwareness and God-
awurcness, sclf-knowledge und knowledge ofCod. o thcy find ways to
help rhe cornmunity to engagc in practiccs thar incrcasc pcoplc's
uwarcncss, und help pcople to be fully prescnt with God and cach othcr.
Bccausc soul healers care abour the whole pcrson, they seek CO insure
rhur thc comrnuniry is pursuing an inward, oucward and upward
journcy in a lifc-giving way. Thcy undcrstand thar genuine service and
mission now frorn our communion with Cod. For "only a dccply rootcd
cornrnunion can cnable the growth of our chaructcr in Christ und con-
scquently cmpowt.:r our scrvice for hlm.""
Psstors. Soul Heeters

Seul healers help us to recognize that intimacy with Christ (the

upward journey) and becoming like Christ (the inward journey) come
prior to service to and for Christ (the outward journey). They remind us
that if we hope to Iive rnissional lives thar are fruitful and sustainable,
then we must stay connected ro the vine. For "spirirual formation is the
lifelong journey of experiencing the presence of Christ such that we
beco me increasingly formed in his character and are thus enabled to
live our lives for his service on behalf Df others."?
A lite-giving spirituality is something that can only huppen within
cornmunity. As Henri Nouwen has said, "Apart from a vital relationship
with a caring com munity a vital relationship with Christ is not possiblc.'?
If you cut your rongue off from the resr of rhe body, it dies, We need the
body of Chrisr to becorne whole and holy, Thus pastors cultivare an en-
vironment where people can develop spiritual friends, spiritual guides,
spiritual mentors and spiritual directors." We need each other.

\Ve need sornconc whu encourages us when we are rernpred to glve Ir ali
up. to tàrget ir ali, to just walk :.Iway in despair. 'vVr:. need sornenne who
discourages us when we move too rashly in unclear direcrions or hurry
proudly to a ncbulous goa!. We necd sornconc wh» c.ui 'llgt;t!,l I,) ti,

when to read and when co be silent, which words to rcflccr upon and
what to do whcn silcncc crentes rnuch fear óllld lirrlc pcncc."

Soul healers hclp us to live in rcaliry, reminding lI5 rhar rhc "routc
toward progressive holincss and union with God is puved with strll~gk
and suffenng, as an importam prelude to glory."1I1 K nnwing Christ in-
volves sharing in his sufTering as wcll as expcr icnciruj his resurrcc uon
powcr, Soul hc.ilcr: hclp the romrnuniry to realize t hat :l "[rui)' jlow-
crful and frujüiillT1ini~lry j, unlockcd thml!p;h the e xercise "f pnwcr
lessness anel wcakness ··11 And finnlly, rhut the pat\1 o ·,..holcncss in-
cludcs brokcnncss and woundedness.' ' Soul hculcrs help us hccorne
"wounded hcalcrs,' rccogni-zing that "hurnun brokcrmcss is not a I~lral
conduion of which wc hnve beco me sad victirns, but lhe bitrer t r u it oI
the hurnun choice to say 'No' to love."!! The pastor ihus pray' t hur rhc
congregation might experientially know the hcights, rhc dcrths, t hc

widrh anti rhc breadrh of Christ's lovc (Eph 3:18).


Sou I healers also cultiva te a life-giving spiriruality by helping people

play together. Social scientisrs have discovered the serious need for play,
not just for children but also for adults. We need to rediscover rhe joy of
just having fun wirh each other, In Beyond Loue and Work: WhyAdu/ts
Need to P/ay, Lenore Terr notes rhar while what we do for recreation,
like working out at rhe gym ar going ro the beach, is beneficia] and
relaxing, they do not cncourage rhe sarne spirit of release and abandon
thar piay can provide.!"
Stuarr Brown, in P/ay: How ft Sbapes tbe Brain, Opens lhe lmaginiltion
and Invigorates lhe Sou/, not only shares the bcnefits of play bur describes
play as a biological drive that is as essential W our health as sleep and
nutrition. While he is reluctanr to define play, because ir is like ex-
pIaining a joke-analyzi ng ir kind of takes the joy away-he does share
some properties of play, He tclls us that play is simply done for its own
sakc in that it ha no apparem purpose. Play is fun and makes a person
feel good. When we engage in play we lese track of time and have a
diminished consciousness of self Play has improvisational potential in
rhat there aren't rigid rules, 50 rhere is room for sponraneity, And play is
plcasurable in that we desire to keep on playingY
There are li kely some people in rhe congregarion you Serve thut feel
as i f they have no one to plav wirh, ,lI1J th is simplc faer is beating thern
up ernotionally Loneliness can lead down a dark purh. Sou I healers
undersrand this , so rhcy scek to bring :'0J11t: heaJing and wholeness to
the cornrnun ity hy si mply creati ng ti me for pcoplc to plav together.
Cornrnunirles rhar pray and p/lIy [ogelht:r, sray togt:ther.

The .econd tclos ot pastors is helping rhc congregatmn cmbodv reconcitiatian,
Pasrors help thc comrnuniry undersrand thar while conflirr is natural. un-
rcsolvcd conflicr is sinful. Division i!. one of thc central irnpedirnents to
represcnting God's reign to lhe 1V0dJ. While everyonc cxpericnccs con-
flict, rhosc who livc in Christ are g-iven both the power and instructions on
how to resolve conflict. Ifwe wanr to bc thosc who bring the good ncws of
forgivcncss and reconciliurion to all pcople, wc must lcarn rhe are of tor-
giveness anel begin prauicing it wirhin our OWIl congreg.uíons.
Pastors: Soul Healers

Jesus taught freguently abour our need to forgive one another and
embody reconciliation. One of those times when he was with his dis-
ciples he said, "If your brother or sister sins againsr you, rcbu kc thern;
and if they repenr, forgive thern. Even if rhey sin against you seven
times in a day and seven times Come back to you saying 'I repent,' you
must forgive thern" (Lk 17:3-4). As you might imagine, rhis was a Ior
for the disciples to take, so their response was, "Increase our 6ith!" (Lk
17:5). Ever feellike that after someone has wronged you? Jesus rcplied,
"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this rnul-
berry tree, 'be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and ir wi II obey you"
(Lk 17:6). Jesus makes it clear thar with rhe mallest amou/H of Iaith wc
can forgive, if we wanr to forgive. issue isn't wherher we have the
capacity to forgive but whether wc havc the desirc to torgive. Forgiven
people forgive people.
Paul consistently called people to torgive one anorher, saying, "Be
kind and compassionate to one another. torgiving each orhcr, jusr "" in
Christ God forgave you" (Eph 4:32). Anorher rime he said, "Bear with
each other and forgive one another if any ofyou has a gricvance against
someone. Forgive as the Lord torg3ve vou" (Col "u 1), Thc lopic (l/'

Iorgiveness is one of the most consistem rhcrnes In Scnpturc, which is

why soul healers help the congrcgarion ro emhodv forzivcness. For-
giveness is something we need to pracricc, anel ir "corai ls un lcurn i n~ ali
those things thai divide and Jcstroy com munion anti lcarning- to scc
anel livc as torgivcn and torgiving people."!"
Wc are called to represenr the real iry ol CoJ's ki ngdom to rll IS world
by living as Iwoplc rcconcilcd CO GnJ, tu cach orher :IIlJ tu .rll OI' crc
ation. 'vVe are callcd to embody Ih/! mtrtistr v o!' reconciliarion so the
message entrusted to us is taithtully delivcrcd In rhr worlr] Pa~tC\r" hclp
the congregnnon to cio th is.
We Iivc in a world wherc 111ilny pcoplc opt f()f hutc .\IlJ rnCllgc i u-
stcad oflove anel torg-ivencss. lfwc want ro tC)llow Jesus. wc 1II1Ist Iol
his calling- and learn to be a pcople who Iou. ·7,''' OIOlli,,\ III/,I.lfI gr,od to
tbose bate tts, bles.r/bose who persecut» IH, and r=r jbr lha ..,. 7.vho 111 is: rc.ü tts
(Lk 6:27-28). We necd to iearn thc arr of n:conciliatioll und f;JrgivCT1C~"
Most of rhe time when wc are wrongcd, wc silllply wanr to wrong

others as weU. Forgiveness doesn't come naturally. It's like the srory
thar I heard. A guy saw a Porsche for sale in a newspaper for 550. He
couldn't believe it, but it was true. He wenr to see the car and dis-
covered that it was a relatively new car in mint condition. He said to the
wornan at the house, "Is this the Porsche being advertised in the paper
for only S50?" She said it was, Amazed, he asked why she was selling it
so cheap, She said, "Not too long ago my husband divorced me and ran
away with a younger woman. He told me, 'Vou can have the house and
everythmg, but just sell the Porsche and send me the check for what
you were able to ger from it.'"!7 Revenge is one of the common ways we
respond when people hurt us, but have you noticed that when we seek
revenge, ir usually hurrs us more?
Unfortunately, I've seen how badly some people can hurt thernselves.
Some who have gone a little further, who I saw while I worked at St.
Alban's psychiatric hospital. I huppened to be working in the closed
unit one particular day, and they called "male alert," which rneant all of
rhe available males were to go to one place in the hospital because
someone was endangering his or her own life and possibly the Iives of
others. I know rhat this individual was on the way to my unir.
He finally got rhere, and rhey hirn down in rhe lounge area. He
sat a couple of sears away from me; 1 tricd to engage him in conver-
sation, but he W:.lSIÚ toa congcnial ar rhe time. AlI of the sudden he
started swinging his arrns around. 1 ducked ';0 that 1 wouldn't get hit.
IIc was having halluclnations, sceing big spidcrs on thc wall.
EVl:lllUJ.l1y,lor his and ot hcrs' protection, the staff had to tie lhe
man r,) his hcd. I W;lS app"illtcd to 'ipcl1d thc ncx t five hou rs with hirn
as he was scrcaming "Cct those spiders awav" at the top ot his lungs.
He pointcd to some sorcs 00 his body and said, "Thar's where they bit
me" lasr night!" I[e sounded ~n bclicvable rhar I srarred to look around

for these big spiders. After hours of screurn in~ at the top of h is lu ngs,
he final1y derided to talk.
I found out that this guy drovc himself to this srate because of the
birtcrness and angcr thar hc had toward a couple of people. I kncw ir
was bitterness and anger thut drove him to drink and do drugs for a
number of rcasons, onc of which was bccause he would say a person's
Pestors. Sou/ Hea/ers

name and shout, "You watch, I'm going to kill hirn!" You see, anger
and resentrnent hurts uso His former wife and friend sounded like they
were doing just fine; he was the one in the hospital. Is there a better
way rhan revenge?
I heard this true story from Richard Froth, a seminary president.
When he was in Romania he sat down with some rnernbers of a church
who rold him about a young Proresrant who went up to Moldova to
begin a chureh. The people-the city fathers, the elders, the ruling
people-didn't want him in town. They said ir you come to this town
:md build anything, a ehureh ar anyrhing, we will tear it down.
The young man felr God calling hirn to begin a work, and he wenr
to Moldova and started by buílding a house for hís farnily. He builr
the house, and he and his family moved in. The next morning, early
in the morning they heard a knock. They went tu thc gan:, opened ir
up and there stood eight men. They said, "We are hcre to tear down
your house." The voung pastor sreppcd back and said. "Do whar ynll
necd to do."
They men proceeded to climb on the roof and they starred tearing
the roof off one piece at a time. They workcd ali morning. Aholll
11:30 rhe pastor said to his wife, "Honey, we necd ro tix some luneh."
The wife agrced, "You probably should fix ir for, oh, twclve people.'
She said, "Whai?" He said, "Yes, twclve people." "Whur tor?" shc
askcd. "Well, ter the people up 011 thc roof." S hc suid, "Wharr
They'rc our cncrnics. They h ate U~. They'rc rcari IlK dOWTl ou r housc."
Lle said, "But Jesus suid wc are to love our cncrnics and to do good to
t hose wh., h.ue ux, They havc been workill); h.ird. I'1l1 su rc t hcir
hUl1gry." So she made them lunch, and thc pastor invired thcrn into
the housc. lhe weary men carne down IroIT1 rhc root, cnrcrcd t hc

house anel srarrcd ro enr, They said, "\Nhy are )'OU doinf!; th is?" He
said, "Because we are Iollowcrs ofJe:~lIs. JC~lIS s,lid ti) lovc ylJUI C11-

ernies; you're our enernics, at leust you fcel likc .vou are. Wc don't
know why you're doing this, but you th in k yOll'rc doi ng <orne: h i ng
rhat is good anel right. We dori't u ndersrand that , bur \VC lovc you
<1nywayand we forgive you for doing th is." A frcr lunch thcy t ha n ked
the womun for the food, clirnbed backon rhc roofand sturtcd putrrng

the roofback on, one piece ar a time. And when rhe young pastor and
his wife opened a church in rhat village, those eighr men were the
fir t eight convens.
The kingdom ofGad is a differenr kind of place.Ir is different than
the kingdom of this world and is made up of people who know how to
love others, If wc are going to learn to love onc anothcr Like thi ,Ioving
ou r encmies, we must practice forgiveness.

As a gifted pastor at Kairos Hol!ywood in Los Angeles, Audrey
Blumber, a bivocarional minister, finds time to help the congregation
embody reconciliation and engage in lifc-giving spi ritual ity. Every
congregation has conflicr, but not every congregarion seeks to resolve
conflicr in healthy ways. As a conflict mediator Audrey is well aware
that Jesus calls u to resolve conflíct. he nor only facilitares conflicr
rcsolut ion but lielps traiu others to do the sarnc. When she anel the
orher equippers are having a difficult time coming to unity in resolving
iSSlICS,she will ask probing or challcnging questions that help people ro
shure thcir heart with utrnost honcsty. As a tcarn builder she encourages
lhe rcum of equippcrs lo regularJy confe~s .1Ily wrong and seek [0[-

giveness. J n this way the cquippers lcad the congregation byexample.

In addirion ro bcing a rnedinror, J\udrey and her husband, Eric,
provido prcrnariml und marriagc eounsding to!" thosc who are cngagcd,
dose to .!!;C ring cngag-c i or married. 'he regularly takcs praycr walks
tllrl1Ug-h rhc strccts oI' E.15t I Iollywood, praying for hcaling, rcsroration,
reconciliation, hopc and frrcdorn for hcr neighhl)rs.
r\nJ muybe alie of rhe mosr i mportaru acts of servire rhar she cn-
g-agcs in is ~1)1I11jsrenjng-Shc mn kex hcrsclrnvuilable to listcn to anyone
who wanrs ro talk. There are no mies. Penplc can jusr share their he.irr
wirh hcr, a~k (]'ICS ion« anti pray wirh hcr, Auelrcy has found thur lis-
tening is onc of the mos! irnporrant acrs olIove she does. 'hc rccog-
n izcs t hat is dccp in pcople's heart and soul necds to be hcard by
a c:lring hurnan hei ng anel rhar many ri rnes ir is in rhe contexr of Iis-
[(;ning rhar pcoplc finally hcar thcir own voices and God's voicc.
Pestors, Soul Healers

Discerning If VOU Are a Pastor

• Do you have a heart for those hurting in the congregation?

• Do you find yourself seeking ways for your cornrnuruty to be
more like a family?

• Do you feel that the other leaders are too outward onented and are
not paying enough aUention to the inter.nal needs of the church?
• Do you ftnd yourself walking with people through their pam,
helping them to pursue wholeness and hohness in the context
of community?

• Are you a peacemaker in the congregation. seekrng to help the

congregation embody torgrveness and reconcihatron?
• Do you find yourself equipprng others to do these same things?

light Givers

The Blble is there to enable God's people to be equipped to do God's God's wortd, not to gtve tbem en excuse to sit back smugly,
knowmg they possess ali God's truth.


When Jesus had tinished saymg these thmgs, tne crowds were amazed
at his teachmg, because he taught as one who had authority, and not
as iheir teachers of tbe law.

MATTHEW 7:28-29

On a recent trip to the Sundance Film Festival, I had the opportunitv

to see a number of amaZl!1g filrns, including H:gh.'T Cround. As I
watchcd this film I idcnrificd with the rnain .huracrcr, Corinm;.
Though I carne to fairh lutcr in lifc, 1 shnrcd some olthc samc strugglcs
she expcricnced in my first expcrienccs with Chrisriun cornrnunity.
lu thc fi lrn Corinue );rew up going to church anti raised her hanJ to
"gcr savcd" ar a yOLlIlg- a~c, but her Iaith SOOI1 Iadcd into the back-
ground, After gctting prcgnant and thcn marricd just our of high
schoo], Cor inne anti hcr husbund, Erhan, had .l d rauratic conversion tu
Chris: and bccamc involved with a fundamcnralisr group. The filrn
Teecners. Ught Givers

goes beyond the typical one-dimensional porrrait of unlovable Chris-

tians, showing a genuine faith withín this fundamentalist church. This
Christian community was lovable, sincere, intelligenr and caring. But
the rnovie is not without its haunting rnomenrs; while rhe group loved
God and immersed themselves in the Scriptures, they shur out t hco-

logical dialogue, including the role of women in ministry.

Sornetimes, when Corinne would speak during the 0ren sll3.ring
time, she would be interrupted for rransgressing thc line between
"sharing a testimony" and "preaching." Aftcr rwenty years in til is CUIH-
rnunity, ir bccame too sutfocating for Corinne. Despire hcr clcep
yearning for God, she decided to leuvc. Corinne had suffered en,)ugh
from the effecrs of the leader's particular approach to intcrpreting
Scripture. The film ends wirh her sranding in thc dcorway 01" ihc
church,looking out and then looking in, LI nsure of which way Lo go.
During the question-and-answcr session, Vera Farmiga, the .u-
rector of the filrn as well as thc actrcss who pluved COrIIlIlC. W;lS
asked if Corinne was riúding herself of rhe fairh or nor. Vcrn an-
swered, I'.ihe is not ridding herself of the fairh, shL' is ridding bt'lw!/
from (In impouerished faitb"
As I huve pondered rhar response, 1 havc cerne to rcahze [iow un-
portam it is for the cummunity of f.lirh to havc g-ifrcd rcuchcrs. 'vV h iIL'
ali of the equippers cornrnun icate privarely und publ icly, rcuchcrs hclp
the community intcrprct thc text with a hcrrncncuuc of Íovc.


Gifrcd reachcrs, whom I call/if-.hl gl·,!Cn, shnl light UII thc tcxt .ind 11<'[[1

us understand ir 111 a lite-giving and Ilbcratll1)!; wuy.' lcachcrs hei]' lhe

congreganon to acnvcly mhubit thc sacred tcxt by ilJlltlcnillg our .••.h·,·ç ;11
Srnpture and rhvi!//ingjàithjiJ!{y in (,")(/''' =: 1"" \dH"r, IIndL'''nnd th,,·
importance of the Word ofGod in tral\S~()J"jllinglivcs. Thry hclp (;,1,1':;

peoplc remcmber that the Bible is a voicc to bc hcard, not jus r ,\ hook 111

read, !\ good tcacher does not upproach Scripturc wir]. .1 w<l"dl";' litlT
alism but as the voice of God, pulling us into transjorrnutivc dialoi2;uc
wirh him. Tcachers hclp rhe cornrnunitv rhat intcrprct ing
Scripture is boih an urr and a sciencc. 1'hcy scck ti) hclp lhe con.l~,rci2;atlllll

develop a hermeneutical approach that allows us to be "a community

capable of heuring the srory of Cod we find in the scriprure and living in
a rnanner that is fairhful to that story,"?

Table. 15.1. Teachcrs

Equippcr Foml Concern Tetos (Dcstinntions) Marks

Teacher Inhabiring rhe Irnmersing ourselves in Scriprure and dwelling

(Iigh; gl\'cr) sacrcd rexr t:lÍthfully in Cod's srory


The first teias of tcachers is LO hdp thc congregation bc immersed in
Scripture. There are of course many ways to do this. The j avigators teach
five prirnary ways oflearning Scripture, using rhe fingers on a hand.:' The
pinky finger is for hearing, the ring tlnger for reading, the middle finger
for studying, rhe foretlnger for memorizing, and thc thurnb, the strongest
Jigit, represcnrs meJirating. 'vVe would do wcll (O imrnerse ourselves in
these ways. Orher mcrhods include lectio divina, singing Scripture and
using the lectionury.! AIl OI rhese are grear ways to immerse ourselves in
criprure, and the more we do rhesc cornmunally thc better, Here are a
tew lesser known bur rewardinj; W,tys to imrnerse ourselves in Scripture.
The fifsl monrh altcr I becume a Christ íollower, I was a residem as-
sistam ui a wUege dorrn, pruying thut Goel would givc me an opportunity
to shurc my Iairh wirh lhe guys 011 my hall some time during thc school
year. This dcsirc lcd to a fascinatin~ year. I would ofrcn find conversarions
with lhe rcsrdcnts lllfl1ltlg tow.ud qucstions about rhc Biblc and Cod.
Whcn ,Iilswcrillg ~"Jltl'lH Il·'Sl]1lé~1
ion-, .1h,)ltt thc Bihlc. rhc dorm roorn
would spontancously fill up wirh orlur residcnrs c.lger tor unswers to spir-
irual questions, Ar nrncs l ikc tlus [ rcalizcd rhe power of srudytng rhe
Scriprure with tho-.c wh» l·nnsldcret! rh. mselvcs oursidc o] the kingdorn of
Cod. !:3cClu:;e r w:1I11eJ to hl.: .iblc to hclp thern undersrand God's story
better, I was morivarcd to undcrsrand, know anti memorize the cripture.
StuJyin~ with thosc who didn't belicvc opcncd my eye'õ to the irnporrancc
of bcing irnmcrscd in Scripture cornmunallv. Thcy asked quesrions of rhe
tcxt thar I nevcr rhouuhr o( helping me sce rhe tcxt from different
.\nglcs and gaining frcsh itlsigltls I would have never dcvelopcd on my OWIl.
Teachers: Light Givers

In addition to srudying Scripture wirh students, SOme of whorn

beca me Christ followcrs, I also studied with those at the psychiatric
hospital wherc I worked, most of whom were depressed and suicida!.
Seeing the power of Scripture to bring healing to their lives, dernon-
strated that God's Word is indeed living and active.
Reading Scripture with the oppressed can show us the powcr of rhe
Word to liberate rhe imagination. Reading wirh the poor demonstrates
the power of the Word to give hope. Bob Ekblad explores this idea in
Reading tbe Bibie wÍ/h lhe Damned. His richest reading of Scripture has
come with "oursiders." The chaprer titles ofEkblad's book are revealillg:
"Encounrering God in Exodus and ar Today's Margins," ~Rt:ading Paul
with Undocumented Immigrants" and "Reading the Cospels wirh Tax
Collectors and Sinners."" I would contend thar if more pcoplc rcad the
Bible with "the darnned" more of us would bc rerninded of rhe power
of God's Word to transforrn lives, even our own. Whethcr through
spiritual disciplines or reading Scripture wrtli the margin:di7,cd. rhr-
teacher finds creative ways to immerse thc community in Scripturc so
thcy can Iive faithfulJy in Gocl's story.


Besides hdping rhe cougrcgarion irnrnerse rhcmsclves in cripturc, a
second telas of teachers is hclpillg pcople to dwellJililhJirl{v il/ (;0,/1.\/ory.
'lo sray truc to the GoJ of the srury, wc not on lv ncc.l tu inrcrprcr
Scnpturc with a lcns oflove but we !lave to rccluirn S~riJlllllc .rs n.rr-
rative, K T. \Vright likens Scripturc to a tivc-acr play, Hc says:

~Urr"Sl' rncre e xists ;1 Sh.\kt:~pcan: pia" whuse t itth .icr hud bccn
losr. The firsr four '11;[5 provido. ler u s supposc, such 'I wculrh "f
lharacrtriz:uioo, sue h .1 cr<.:scendo of ex .itc mc nt wrt lu n t hc "I.,r,
hat it is gcncLllly ;lgrccd r rhc pl.\;> "u;.;ll[ ",1><.: ,t.I)!,<':'1. :'-:,:"u
rhclcss, ir IS f<.:lt inJ.Jlpr"pri.lI<.: ,!Llll.dly III ""I IH: ;1 rii"fil :I, ( "IIU: :In"
for all: ir wou ld frcc'l..c rhc play into OIlC ti'rm. and corn m ir Sh.lkc
spcure as ir werc to bein~ prospccrivclv rcspllllsih[c ttJr wor]; 11 li in
fucr his OWIl. Bcrrcr, it mlghr be felr, to giv<.: lhe kcy parIs [o hi~hly
rra incd, scnsirivc and expcr icnced )ILIkt.:speanall :IC[l)rS, who wou ld
immersc thernselvc« in rhe firsr four .icrs, and in lhe I.lnglldt;e .uul

culrure of Shakespeare and his rime, and who uiouid tben be told to
work ou! afi/th actfor tbemseiues. b

Wrighr proposes that in fifth acr, the aetors would improvise, using
both innovation and eonsistency: innovating as they move the story
forward, all the while being consistent to the subplots and themes rhat
the author has already developed. The aetors are not ealled to merely
imitare an earlier aet. Rather, the authority of the first four aets inform
rhe way they live out the fifth aet, bringing the various threads of the
story together in a way that is faithful to the author.
Ir's as if we've been given rhe first four acts (Creation, Fali, Israel,
Jesus) and the las! piece of the fifth act (New Creation) in the Serip-
tures. ow, as people who live in this real-life drama, we are ealled to
know these aets 50 well that we ean improvise our lives in ways that are
faithful to the God of the story.
But we are not left to do this on our own. In Theologyfor lhe Community
oJGod, Sranlcy Crcnz rcminds us of the key role of the Holy Spirit. He
says rhat it is "ultimately not rhe book itself we are affirming" but the
Spirit who speaks (Q us through rhe sacred rext." He cxplains that the
Biblc, "rhc Book," poinrs ro Cod as rhe One who has authoriry, and how
mspiranon and illurninnrion are best ernphasized as one acr of rhe Holy
Spirit. So as wc cngage rhc inrerrelared sources of criprure, herirage and
culrure, wc srrive to hear whnt thc pirit has ro say to us .is we are on
mission in the world. Wirhout the duality of inspiration and illumination
01' thc Spirit in thc early church, wc wouldn'r havc lhe Ncw Testarnent,
Ir wc are going to intcrpret Scripture in a lite-giving and libcrating
way, we IIlUSl rcc:ogn ive rhe r:Lirh fu IIH;,,~of I nc Spiric [rulll crcation
until ncw crearion. As wc listcn to rhe Spirit by immersing oursclves in
thc story of Scripturc- the cvcnts of rhc past (c.g., the libcration of thc
Israclitcs from Egypr anJ the life, deuth and rcsu rrcction ufJe~u~) and
thc evenrs in rhe future (rhc ncw hcavcns and new earth)-we cun
rairhfully ioin Cod in his rnission of rencwing ali things.
lt IS truc that wc somctirnes rnakc the Biblc Sity what tuc wanr ir to
say. Any of us can misunderstand Scriptu re aud use it irnproperly, and
many have, We oftcn find Jesus rescuing the Rible from the hands of
Teectiers- Ught Givers

the religious leaders-the scribes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees-

who sometímes used it to oppress others, Jesus used the Scriptures to
subvert the religiou Ieaders' interpretation of cripture in order to lib-
erate rhe people and set thern free to reach their divine potential. Jesus
used a hermeneutic oflove to inaugurate a kingdom built by love,
For teachers within the missional church, equipping the community
in the art and science of reading the text is an especially difficulr job.
Missional reachers need to develop a rnissional hermencutic, an eye for
reading the text so that the people ofGod wiU be equipped to do God's
work in God's world. Unfortunately, since mis iology and ecclesiology
have been estranged, the practice of a missional herrneneutic is still in
an embryonic state, In rhis young field, George Hunsbergcr has idcn-
rified four new approaches to rnissional herrneneutics.
Tbe missional direction ofthe =r»
"The.framework for biblical inter-
pretarion is the story ir tells of the mission of God and rhe forrnarion of
a cornrnunirv sent ro participare in ir.'?' ('hr;~ Wright and others are
developing this approach. The idea is that the missio Dei (the mission of
God) provides thc key for interprcting arul understanding the Scrip-
tures. Wright propmes a sh ift frorn "rhe bíblica! basis for mission" to
"rhe missional bases of thc Bible." We used to si mply look ar Scriprure
for the verses and stories rhar call us to mission. But now we a lso un-
derstand rhar cripture is "a product of rrussion in action.""
Tbe missional purpose oflhe writings. "Thc aim of inrcrpretation is
to fulfill the equipping purpose of the writings."lU Darrcll Gudcr and
others are developing this approach. Gllder wunts congrcgations TO rcc-
o~nize rhur GoL! blesses us so thut we rruzhr bc ,l bk:ssing to ot hcr«. SI'
rhe question we rake to the text is not so much Whal can I gcr OU! 01-"
this? but r.ithcr .•How doe~ (;od'~ Word c.ill , shupe, lralls!<mn, and
send me ... and us?"!' Gudcr seeks the continuul convcrsion ,)f thc
church, undcrstanding that al l who Jo 11()1 livc fully uncler tlle reign o(
God, all of 115, nccd continucd convcrsion. r [e also speak~ of n10víng
from a "thcology of mission" to a "rnis: íOI1 ti thculogy."ll
The missional location oI lhe readers. "Thc approLlch rcquircd J()r ~l

Úithflll reading ofthe Bible is from rhe missional locarion of thc Christian
communiry."!' Michael Barram recognizcs lhe many insidious ways our

culture shapes uso Our cultural fixations are with "borrem lines, quick
fixe, and technological innovarion," which can lead to our bihlical inter-
pretation becoming "formula.ic, emphasizing method and technique over
open-ended curiosity and intro~pection." This runs the risk "that OU!

efforrs will mirror our interests and proclivities rather than God'S."14
Barram suggesrs we prorecr ourselves from this procliviry by cxamining
our own perspectives and presuppositions through criticai questioning.1S
Does our reading emphasize the triumph of Christ's resurrection to the
exclusion of thc kenotic, cruciforrn character of his ministry? Does our
readmg of the text reflecr a tendency to eparate evangelísm 30d justice?
In what ways does the text challenge U~ to rethink our often cozy rela-
tionships with power and privilege? Does the text help clarify the cali of
gospel discipleship in a world of conspicuous consumption, devastating
farnine, rampant disease, incessant war and vast economic inequiticsêl"
Tbe missionai engagement with cultures, "The gospel functions as
lhe intt:rpretive matrix wirhin which the received biblical tradirion is
broughr into critica] convcrsarion with a particular hurnan context."?
Jim Brownson is inreresrcd in how rhe cw Tcst;lment aurhors appro-
priate thc Old Te::stament into rheir local conrexr while on mission.
Thi~ I1lighl instruct LI~IlUW wc too IJlight do it. Hc looks ut the fe::-
sponse of the church bctwcen thc gospcl and culrure, believing rhe
gospc! is the inncrzuidi ng sy_ tem rhat shaped Paul 's approach to how
he uscd thc Old Testamcnr in his rnissional conrexts.
Each oftbcse approuchcs to a hcrmcncutíc brings .l valuablc
conrriburioJl lo a LlcvelopiJlg lapcstry of missional rheology, and provides
inrcrprctivc tOl)ls rhnr rhc li!jh givcr can .cach rh« congrcgation so rhar
pcoplc ll1Jgh( livc r~lirhfldry to thc :;ror)' ()f God and the JOU of rhe story.

john l'handkr. '1 !:>ivocll1on·d church pluntcr, lives in :t ciry whose
mot to i~ "Kccp Ausrin Wcird."!" Ycs, t har would be rhc scxy city of
i\ustin, Icxas.John's );ifr mi x is tcacherprorhet. anti whilc tcaching is
h ISprl rnarv glft, r he nccds ()f rhc cOllgreg:1tion and season of the church
planr multi move his prophctic gitt to thc torctronr. When pcoplc visit
che Aus(ill Must.ird Sccd wcbsirc (whicl: hc uc~igncd), thcy realize thar
Teachers: ught Gtvers

John is a gifted teacher. Moving from the site's bcliers section to the
values section (both of which are found under "About"), you sec thc
freshncss in the words he uses as well as his holistic approach.
Ir jusr so happens that the firsr of the three core values for Ausrin
Mustard Seed is "Story." As a community they approach Scripture as rhe
history ofGod's work arnong humaniry, recognizing rhar thi story is srill
being wrirten, much like . T Wright's fifth-act rnctaphor, When lhe}'
engage in Scripture rogerher, rhe core question they nsk is, I low can we
continue to partncr with God in the writing oI' rhis story going f;1rward?
Twice a mooth ar thcir wcckly gatheriogs, they rcad Scripture to-
gerher as a regular pracrice. Thcn rhey eilgage in dialogue bascd on
whar he has taughr. Dialogue is preferred over monologue, becausc dia-
logue engages those who are lcarning-. In .lJdition, onc Sundav i lIl'lllth
they explore various spir irual disciplines fi)r rhe pu rposc of recogn izing;
the Spirir's direction day to day, Practiccs likc lccr)» diuin.r hclp rhern to
hear Cods VOlte anti ennches t hcir rc.tding ()(~criprun:. :lS r!wir snu!,
are more fertilc to the call and tranS~(mllati()n th.u come fi·oJ1lir. Fi-
nal1y, one Sunday a month, rarhcr thunc.uhcr as ~t couuuunirv, rhey go
our to the communirv. Bcc<lllse rhev bclicvc rh.rr (:0,1\ <rorv is l1!lc rhur
'. .
is working roward rcdemption and rcpui r, physrcullv raki Ill!;parr
work eng-a,gcs ihcrn in rhe story in a wuv th.rr rncrc readin~ cun nor.

. ,
Discerning If VOU Are a Teacher '

• Do vou hav~ a hunger to devo r and LHIUO! .t.ino lhe S, f( II .r ':,.

• Do vou feel frustrated that others don't have the sarne IILJng'~r?

• Do Vou find yoursclf nelpmg others 1.0 mhabrt ti,,, ~<".red kA'

• Do vou demonstrare a passion lo nern tlle COtnOJUIlIty unuer

stand Scnpture In arder to l/Vê hithflllly 'o GnJ un•.J I I 1111'iSI"1I

• Do Vou help equrp others lo do these tlll,ll')~ d~ well?


Embodying a Missional Cu/ture


lhe Cultural Web and

the Neighborhood Church

Jt is surely a tect of inexhauslible signifieance fhat whst lhe Lord tett

behind Him was not a book, nor a creed, nor a system of thought, flor
a rule of lite, but a vistble community.


Hts inient was tbet flOW,through the church, lhe merutotd wisdom of

God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in lhe

heavenly reelms, according to bis eterna! purpose thet he accotn-
pttstteti In Christ Jesus our Lord.


How do we create a missional cultura thar helps shape mature disciplcs

who live in thc world wirhour beíng o/rhe world, ror rhc s.ikc oI rhcl r
While cuch IH:ighborhood church is callcd to bc ~lsign, Iorct.rsrc anti
insrru mcnt oF Gocl 's kingdom, shc is to do so in light of who she is anti
«obere she is mínisrcring. Vou havc heurd of original sino Whcn ir ..:nrnc.';
to rnodels or approaches to beín~ the church, LO!) m:.lI1y people havc
f;lllcn For rhe "unoriginal si 11_"1 Thcre is a rcnson why, out of rhc I ri 11ion-,

of snowflakes that have fallen, no rwo have been found to be identical

and no rwo fingerprints are alike. God loves diversiry. "God does not
rnass-produce his church.Y
Every church is a unique expression ofCod's kingdom. The congre-
gation's specific calling will be shaped as she considers her gifts, talents,
passions and resources, in light of her conrext and theological under-
standing. A church uniquely expresses herself as she matches her deep
hunger wirh the needs of the neighborhood.


With this in mind, ler's look ar how the six a~re rs of culture that I
outlined in chapter two can be applied to a specific neighborhood
church. To illustrate how the cultural web interacts with the culture of
rhe congregation, I've put the differenr elernents of culture on rhe cross,
reminding us that the church is nor just a social organizarion but has
Jivine IODts, .1lIJ (har thc foundation of thc church is Christ. The dove
in tlgure 16.1 reminds us
thar the church is holy as
well as humano The sarne
I Ioly Spirir who birthed
rhe church ar Penrecost is
leading rhe church today,
s we srar t ro look ar
pructical ways to creare li

III issionul cu h ure we rnust

remcmber rhe unique
nuturc of rhe church. "Ve
11lUS( also remeurber thut

Cod has a part anti we

h.ive ;1 part in creating
a rnissional culrure. 'vVe
can't do God's pare, and
he won'r do ours,
As yOl! look ar figure
Figure 16.1.TheclllrlJr~1 wch
16.1, yOl! can see that
Ttie Cultural Web and lhe Neighborhood Church

language and artifacts are central to developing a missional culture, for

they typically shape the orher parrs of the cultural web. The other tom
elements of culture-narrati've, rituais, imtitutioTl and dhics-give
meaning to language and arrifacts.
If the equippers and the leadership community hope to join Coci 011

his mission in the neighborhood, it is essenrial for thern to have a clcar

understanding of their cultural web. Each elcmcnr of the cultural web
answers vital questiona that the equippers and community need to ad-
dress. Each element helps to creatc the DNA of the congregation. Ler's
firsr examine figure 16.1, wh ich gives us the various elernenrs of the
cultural web, and then consider four crucial questions.
Language and artifaas are central to creating culture and are integral
to the other [OUf elernenrs depicred on the cross-narrative, rituals,
institution and ethics. Fou r questions will help us unJerstand and shape
the culrure of the 'ongregation we serve.
arrative-f1!l;>af!s Garis w!EJ':gjcr cur cburcb?
• Ritual~-Wh(lt are our corefrelctices?
• lnstitution-How will tue fidfi/I our calling?

• Erhics-rVhal does it mean fOr IH lo he)tút'?/itl anti ji'lIitjitll

Narratiue. The cornmunal calling of a church is shupcd by hcr approach
to theology, thc significanr stories thut shapc the comrnnnirv urul rhe
prirnarv teachings of lhe comrnun itv (docrrincs). Thc church 's cal1ing is
not somcthing wc invcnt; ir is somcthing we discover, The narrative of
our rnissionul calling l1y 'lsking, Whul lJ CO((5 odJingjór our
is discerned
,hllrch? '1'11i~ i nvolves wh» GoJ is (":(lling us to be and whar Coe! 1$ culliruz
us to do. Some find ir helpful to have a clear anel conciso slogan to capture'
the calling of thc church in a succinct wav. Illlag{) Dei iu Richl1lond.
Virginla, urticul.ucs rheir calJing rhis way: "Rcrlccr One, Rcslorc ;Vlall)'.
Rcnew AlI." Notice how this stutcrnenr is weighty but ca~y to rcmcrnber.
Trinity Crace church in :'-[nv York City lias cmbruccd "Joining G"d in
the renewal of all tlllngs.·· ,\JOtICC thc clurit v, conciscucss alld deprh of
rheir srarernenr. This particular IIrtifilct gives us a clue to Tri Illry (;ran:'s
approach to rhcology and ministry, Firsr, they dearly undcrstand t hur

Goci has a mission in the world, and we are invited to join him on his
mission. Second, God's rnission is not privare, conccrned onIy with peo-
ple's souls, but holistic. Ir is cosmic, communal and personal.
While having a slogan reminds the community of her purpose, her
calling goes beyond lcarning slogans. A community must understand
her basic philosophical and theological assurnptions, and how they
shapc her understanding of God 's story.
For exarnple, a basic assurnption I have is that conversioo is necessary
for evcry man and woman who does not livc under the reign of God. Ir
is nor enough for people to givc mental assent to a certain set of facts
without a concern for personal and global transformation. Whilc there
is a moment whcn peopIe move from dearh to life, having placed their
fairh in the person and work ofChrisr, an undue emphasis on this event
alone coupled with an anemic understanding of the gospel can srunt rhe
proccss of genuine transforrnation. The goocl news is an inviration to
"switch srorics" und [oin GoJ in thc renewal of all things, which in-
dueles our own redemprion. God gives us a new idcntiry and new life in
Christ so wc might bc a blessing to the world. That is whar gr:lce is alI
abour. Ir is by grace rhrough [úth that we are forgiven and made ncw.
And it is by grace (hrough fúth rhat WI.: .HI.: enabled to livc our our rnis-
sionul calling in rhc world for the sukc of thc world in rhe way ofChrist.
When ir comes to Ji~ccrning rrurh and rcality, l um convinced thut
truth is disccrncd cornrnunally through cripturc as narranve, rhrough
rhc tocal imagcs of cornrnuni y, cross und ncw creation.:' Reason, rra-
dirion and t:xpl.:flenc...: hclp us undcrstund Scriprure and enablc us to see
mel livc in Cnd\ rcnlirv,
Each faith community necds to dcvelop arcas 0[· convicrion uboui lhe
substance or thcir faith (docrrincs), whuh bccornc primary teaching
rl)int~ in rhe cornrnunitv, which 111 rurn shape rhc cornmunirys calling 111

lhe world. As rhe comrnuniry articulare- thc<l.:, rhe}' creutc artiElCIS rhut
shapc rhc culrurc. To crente :\ missionnl cultu re, wc nccd to examine our
prim.iry convictions and ask oursclvcs if Ihey rcflcrr a missional thcology.
Riruats. Our missiona! practiccs are discerncd rhrough our rituais. In
ordcr to do this the church asks, fVhlll tire OI/r core pmcli(el"? Identifying
core prucriccs moves us bcyond "SPOUJillg valucs ro fi.ving valucs. Tf wc
The Cultural Web and ttie Neighborhood Cburch

hope to see transformation in our communities, wc need to engagc in

thick practices, which are embodied pracrices rhat reshape our desires
and form us inro the kind of people we want to becorne (sec chap, 17).
Thick practices shape our identities and move us roward a particular
vision ofhuman f1ourishing.
When developing communal Core practices, it is importam ro consider
both the e71viro!1ment that practice crentes a!ong with rhc tetos of each
practice. I have placed rituais on rhc left side .of rhe cross anel ethics on the
right (see figo 16.1) because our rituais-c-in particular, our !iturgics (rhick
practices)-shape who we becorne, our erhics. Core pracrices correlate
wirh rhc kind of people we hope to bccorne. Each cljuipper's tocal concern
and telos paint a vivid picture ofwhat it mcans to be mature in Christ, and
provide a solid and holistic rnatrix in which to rhink abour core pracriccs.
The fruit of rhe Spirit and the seven virtues ovcr against the sevcn Jeadly
sins also offer solid pictures ofhuman f1ourishing. ~Idenrifymg a ser 0[<'0,<,
practices is not designed to lirnit thc church to rhose sp<xific pracrires:
other pracrices should bc encouragcd us wcll. The core pracrices sirnply
indicare those thar the cornmunirv considere rnosr vital.
lnstitution, The institution dcscrihcs our mi~si[)n:tI mcrhod. W('
disccrn this by .lsking. / /()'W wi//wr:ji'!Ji/1 011" ((II'/Ítlgf This isi vital qucsrion
bccause how we approach 1c.lJership ,lnd how wc struct ure thc church
shape the culturc of rhc C()n~rl·.~:ltion in hidden but powertul ways. r .cts
go back to lhe dcfinirion of an insrirution hnrr"wed Irom À-Iirosl.iv Vil!r
(chap. 2). An instirunon is rhc st.ible structures ,)f soci,tI illtnauioll t1'.11

dt.:vebps when ar lcasr rwo pcople do til..: S:lllll' lbillg t".~t:ther rcpcarcdlv,
Each church nccds to havc :1 (!.',{r //,/,.-(,,/,/1 t,. fldtlllill~ lu r 11I1,~iO)Jl-:l
method, :l particular way to lrvc out hcr calling ~() rha: thcrc rnighr he
UIIi ry anti movcmenr. How a rhu rch tul nlls hcr calltn~ t!ows Irum 1i 11' ler
stanJing her marks. ror rhe mcans 1l1l.I!.hr In corn'/arc wirh ,h,-, r:nd"
1 arprf'ciarc the ~rr:Hl'g)' [h ar :I chu rcl: iu \Vest [,os
(·!c.' 11.1:>
devclopcd (sce figo 1/1.2). This church sceks til rulfi l] hcr callin~' hy
transitionin.!.': rn issiona l "parL'~ inro discil'l'ship comlllullitic:" :\;111

rhen connecrillg gcographical "Illstl'ls oi' discif'leshil' rOlllll1unitics

into worship garherings. So rhcy t.:llcourag-c pcoplc [o bc involvcd i n
th rcc ~p:1CCS.

I' "

..- ..... . ,

·"'-'7' MISSIONAl ~ \ ."

......,<.:~ .

......./ /


: "1lssmNAI. "
• ,,-"0.
' ...,.-
[' MISSIONA •••.
• SPACE! ,. "•

.... ",..
..'f ,"DISCIPlESHI>\

././ -.

•• ,t",., .••...ri •.•
.jh •••.

1PA~E l , °

: MI:,:;,urM.L:
'IAl .
• ',' I;<;:r


.p, ~ ..

- EXISllhr.
- - .• 'NU EXISl

Figure 16.2. Wes( Losr\ngelc Church' strarcgy. ConccivcJ by Kairos Wc. (LA.
Dcsigncd hy Dcbbic Kim. Uscd by permission.
The Cultural Web and tne Nelghborhood Church

Missiona! spaces develop around where people work, live, relax or

serve, and can be adopred by individuaIs, a few people or an entire dis-
cipleship community. A missional space typieally has more unbelievers
than believers, and rhese spaces have some regularity and rhythm about
rhem. They eould be gatherings that are starred bya discipleship com-
munity. For example, the Westwood Diseipleship Community hosrs a
doIlar dinner for srudents at VeLA every other wcck. The dinner is a
great place to meer ncw people and meet a social nced. J\llissionall;paccs
eould also be places where a couple of people Irorn the samc d isciplcship
community becorne active participants in something happening in the
neighborhood, such as a neighborhood council. M issional spaces could
involve a service to the neighborhood rhat involvcs people wirhout
faith. Missional spaees are wherc Christians are connening mcaniny-
fully with non-Christian on a regular basis,
Discipleship communities; or what has becorne popularlv known as
missionul comrnunitics, are rnid-sizcd grOlq~q (15-50 people) npressing
their "scntness" together in specific missionul ~pace5 und developing a
cornrnunal rhythrn of life which forms rhcrn to beco me more likc Jcsus,
incarnating the good news in their neighborhood.
Worship ga/herings are weekly times for disciplcship com mun itics lO

rneet together to worship Cod, anti to be shaped tor ano seut on mission.
Every church hns a liwrgy, but in order to creutc a rnissronal cu lt u re III

the ulIlgn:gatioll, ir i, imporranr fi)r rhc wcek lv garherings TO uucr-

twine worsh ir .ind Jlli~sioll togerI1r'r. l\ lissioJlal Iitu rgics Jo more thun
meet fdt needs or tell a story, rhcj rcshapc pcoplc to inhahit Co,l ....~tlJ!_\.
in their cveryday life. A solid rni ssionn] hturuv il1l"()rpor:llt·~ rhick I'fll.-
ticcs within thc scrvicc, which thc úJJlgn:gatiulI es IhwughoLlt
thc wcck within .1 COIllJ1lIIlI.,1 rhytlllll oi" li!".:. [11 r his W.lj lhe '"llgle-
gation is énL')Ura~eJ lu move tow.u d hei (;od-t',"ivell teto»,

Etbics. OLl r cthics hclp lIS discern our rn ission.rl 111 a rks. fVJ,,,/ rltll'l i/
mean for UJ lo bcJ"ithjid ll/ldjlllit;id? 'vVh:tt are thc m.irks ot rhc church ~
1'00 oftcn thc prcvalenr response thur peoplc zive fClrsurccss is ccnrcrcd
on butrs (how rn:lIIy pcople come to :l scrvice), bucks (rhc church 's
annuul buuget) and bLliluing~ (thc sizc of lhe cl iurch piam), or ;\S Sllilll"
put it in the United Kingdorn, 5U":CC,~ is dcfincd by PCIlJl!c. pounds .uid

pews. Too often success is dictarcd by the business culrure around: rhc
botrorn line. I'm thankful that many are recognizing the importance of
reddi.ning success, recognizing thar quantity alone makes for a shallow
and rh in definirion of success.
Henri Nouwcn makes the case for us moving from talking about
success to talking about being fruitful. Hc says,

Thf.:rc is a great difference berween successfulness and fruirfulness.

ucccss comes from srrcngth, control, and rcspectahility, A successful
pc:rSOI1 has thc cncrgy tu create sorncthing, to keep control over its de-
veloprnenr, and co rnake ir uvai lable co brge quanriries. Success brings
many rewurds .md oltcn 1:1111<:. Fruits, however, come from weakness
and vulnerabiliry, AnJ Fruirs are unique. A child is rhe fruir conceived
in vulnerabilirv, comrnu n ity is the fruir born through shurcd brokenncss,
and int irnacy is thc [rui; that grows through couching one anorher's
wounds, Ler's rcrnind une anorhcr rhat whar brings us [rue joy is not
succcssful ness hur fruitfu Iness."

So whar are some rnarks of the church? Whai does it rneun to be faithful
and fr\lirt'ul? The roll()wing are fivc pictures to help get your creative
juiccs t1owing.
First, thcrc urc thc clas-,ic 111:nb ,Ir lhe church, Whcthcr one is Prot·
cstunt, Catholic or Orthodox, most consider rhe íour creedal marks of
rhc church irnporrant: the onc, holy, catholic anel uposrolic church.
Some thcolojrians vicw thcsc rruits us dynurmc ruther rhan sraric. For
cx.rmplc, rnissiologisr Ch.rrles Van [n.~en sllggests rhat the marks are
bcrter rcad as .ulvcrbs r.uhcr tlUI1 ~IJjl'c[ivcs, clplllrillg the dynamic
charar-cr of rhc . hurch on rnission, Tbu« thc missionnl minisrrv of rhe
ehurch is unirying, sancriryillg, reconcilinz and procluirning, til ud-
diuon hc rnukes the case rhnr til(' tillJr rnu rk s oll}!;ht ro be placed in rc-
verse order u-, a rcrnmdcr nt rhc churchs missional srance, So thc rnis-
siorrrl church is called til bc '.1 ··prnd.lilTling, rpcofl(·iling. ~:lnnifying
anti lInifving" rommunirv."
Sranlcv Huucrwrs ~iVl'~ lIS unorhcr picrure of a mature church. Hc
dêscrihcs rhc role of rhe church as culnvating u pcople who "can risk being
pcaccful in a violem worlJ, risk hêlng kind In a competitivo society, risk
bl.:illg- faithful in ~1I1 age of cvnicisrn, risk bcing gentle among thosc who
The Cultural Web and the Nelghborhood Church

admire the tough, risk love whcn ir may not be returned, because we have
rhe confidence that in Christ we have been reborn into a new realiry,"?
A third picturc comes from Stephen Fowl and C rego ry ]ones, who
describe followers of the Way as people

who see and do things differenrly. They are rhe kind of people who
serve rarhcr rhan dominare, who forgive und seek reconciliation rat her
than bear grudges and persist in alienating orhcrs, who feed rhe hungry
and visit those in prison without any fanfare or expecranons of returno
They are the kind of people who speak Ou! againsr lnjustice, who are
more concerned abour orher's welfare rhan rheir own, the kind of people
wi lling to risk thcir lives 50 rhar orhers may tive. S

Glen Stassen in Authenfic Transformannn gives us a good picrure of

Jesus' incarnatcd lifc, as the kind of murks ufChristian comrnuniry,
1. Not judgi ng, but forgiving, hcaling, and brcaki ng down thc barrier-,
rhar marginalize or cxcludc.

2. Ueliveringjustice: nor hording lTIoneygrecdily, bur giving a lms, tor-

giving dcbts, brcaking brcad togcther in lhe cot nrnon n rcal , ft:eJing
the hungry, announcing good news to rhe poor, sharin~ goods, ln-
vest ing money in Cl}d'~ feign ano God'~ dcliverini!; justicc.
3. Evangelism, prcaching the gospcl and Gl11ing f()r rcpcnrunce und
Jiscirlcshir: nor rirnidlv seeking honor in society und rcspccr in
one's Iam lir.

-t. Nonviolent rranstilrll1lng iruti.mvcs: nor rcrurnirn- evil ror cvil hut
taki ng- iniri,lrives ()f peacemaking.

5. Love ot cucmv: not vagul: words .ind scnti mcnr-, ot"low. ],tll "rlu- d''nl
oflovc .. : tahlc fCll()w~hip. c-rnngcnry:lid. rt·It";I~<:nfdt>hr, }H':din~."

6. Muiual ~ rv.u.thood. not patria., __ It ..d JUlllilJaliutt but ('llItlllllll1ltV

wirh mutuul anel c~alitarian scrvanthood.

7. Prayer."

And finully 1 contcnd rhar rhe fivc tocai conccr ns, lu rthcr deI iuc.I Ily
the tetos roward which each equippcr is seekillg to move rhc C()I1~n:-
gation, woukl rnakc some grcat rmssiona] rnarks /;,r rhc church,

Table 16.l. Equippers

Equipper Focal Concern T.IDs (Destinaríons) Marks

Apostle Living out cur Creating a discipleship erhos and cal1ing people
(dream awa kener) calling to participare in advancing CoJ's kingdom

Propber Pursuing God's C alling thc chureh to C,><J's new social arder
(heart revealer) shalorn and standing with lhe poor and oppressed

Ev-angehst Incarnating the Proclaiming rhe good news by bcing wirnesses

(srory reller) good IlC'WS and bClIlg redernptive ag.ents

Pastor Scckrng wholeness Culrivating life 'giving sptrítualiry wrthin

(soul healer) and holiness ccmmuniry and cmbudying rcconclliarion

Tcacher lohabiting lhe hnmcrsing oursclvcs in Scripturc and dwelling

(lighr gíver) sacrcd text faithful1y in God's story

Vision. Once rhe congrcgation and eguippers have identified their

cultural web+-rheir calling, core practices, method and rnarks-they
can seek to discern their vision. Pcople use the word oision many ways.
When I speak of vision, I'rn nor ralkilllj ubout a twenty-year drearn ar
a slick vision staternent thar peoplc memorize but rhat has no practical
relevance for duy-to-day living. The vision u[ a chu rch is a living dynamic
exprcssion of fairh, Ir paints a vivid pictu re of where God is taking rhe
congregurion in rhc next six rnonths to a year. We live in a time of
rapid, discontinuous change, so we need adaprable lcaders and dynamic
visions. The vision of the congregarion spells out rhe pr imury thing the
nmgregaliull is truslillg GoJ lu Ou in lhe lllllling year.
TI is hclptul fill' rhc vision to bc cleur cnough to know whcther and
when rhc congrcgarinn hns rcachcd rhcir dcsrination. Thc vision should
be spccific uhour rhc ncxt hill thc congregation nccds to rakc.


For thc rnajllrity of my mll1istry lifc I, likc Will 1\lanci ni, 111havc
scnscd rhc sil(nificance ofhaving a vision rhat is both quulirative and
qu.mrirativc in narurc. The qu.rluutivc pan cxpn::sses why the vision
is imporr.uu , whilc thc quanr itat ive part is spccific ano concrcte: ir is
thc fau h goal.
For cxu mple, ler's say thar rhc next hiLl for the congregation is
seeing more people in missional spat'e~ beco me purt of disciplcship
The Cultural Web and the Nelghborhood Church

cornmunities. How might the church articulare this vision? Firsr you
have the qualitative part: Who has your back? Check out our disci-
pleship communities, where we look after each other's best interest
and seek to be like Christ. Then you have the quantitative part of thc
vision: We hope to multiply our discipleship comrnunities from rhree
to six th is year.
otice that the qualitative part relates to rhe fact that discipleship
comrnunities are places where people can find authentic cornmunity
and grow to becorne more like Jesus. That is the part that needs to be
emphasized when sharing the vision and rhe whole reason for the
quantitanve part of the vision.
Before looking ar specífíc ways to live out this vision, it is irnportant
to consider how we measure faithfulnes5 anJ fruitfulness. Too ofren
the only rneasure people prize is the bottorn Iine, In other words, did
we reach our vision? But there are 50 many more dynarnics at play. We
nced a fuller and more vibram way of meusuring lru itlulness. joseph
Myers, author of Organic Community, gives us some wise advice: "We
must understand what we are measuring. We are ralking abour rncas-
uring life-community, relationships, health. We are not ralking abour
mcasuring inanimate entities. RcJucing livin!'; l>rgafl iSJl1Sl\l a ccnsus
count demeans rhe way we were created."' I


() how do we mensure our bithfulness anJ Irurtfu lncss as wc are
sl;t:king to inove forwan] in ou r vision? Fi rsr, ir is irnporranr to rc-
rnernber thut God plays ~l parr and wc play a purt. 'vVeca n't do Cnd\
part, anJ Gud wori'r do ours. Our pare is to piam a nd wutcr; Cods
pan is LU cause rhe growrh (I Cor 3:6). In orher words, growth IS nor
in ou r conrrol. Til is is why ir is I rnporram to d isr: n!!;ulsh hcr wc-cn
faith goals arul work goals. Fairh gnal~ tYl'ically relate to the quan-
titauvc part of ou r vision. They are goa 15 we are u nablt: to cio 1)11 ou r
own. They rcqui rc rhe intervention of Cod and the dcc ision-, nf
people. lf each discipleship community had the Fairh go:d of multi-
plytng thcir group by the followmg year, wh.u might rhcir work goal
look like?

Ir they desire to see rnissional spaces transformed into disciple hip

communities, then they would need to examine their current missional
space to see if they are connecting to enough people in a meaningful
way. Discipleship comrnunitics (rnissional comrnunities) will either
have one common missional space-a particular neighborhood or
people group-or they will be a community of missionaries who
support one anothcr in their missional spaces. In this particular case,
lets say the discipleship cornmunity has rnultiplc missional spaces. just
as Jesus sent peoplc out two by two, if a discipleship cornrnuniry decides
to be a community of missionaries that support one anothcr, ir is irn-
portant that ar least two peoplc own that particular missional spacc. Ir
is helpful for discipleship comrnunities to identify up front their ap-
proach to missional spaces; this way people will understand the narure
of the diseipleship community before getting involved.
Then, each discipleship comrnuniry should discern what thcir work
goals mighr bc to multiply their group. One of thc work goals mighr
include regular times of group prayer, specifically praying for people of
peace (people open to thc !(ospeJ who are interesred in you and wam to
bc around lhe comrnuniry 01 fairh; see Lk <)-10). Orher workgoals may
includc enlarging their missional sp:lecs to include more people and
devcloping Iorrnul parhways for people to move from missional spaces
to discipleship com n1Un irics,
Thc Wcsrwood Di scipleship Communirv collecrively hosts a dul lar
dmncr every othcr wcek tI) I11c;ll1ill1;(lIllyctlnne'r wirh treLA sru-
dcrits. That j" thcir rnissiona l 'p,lce. Thc dinncrs rncct social
need" Some pcople who corne ro rhc dinner rnav bc pcople of
pcace (rcceptivc to the dlsciplcship vornrnuniry anel to thc gospel)
who illay not bc brin~il1g tlu.i r Iricnds beLJUSC thcv .irc stil.l tcsting
t lie w.ucrs. Pravill/-!, t~)r Lll":~": I..ieoplc and t1l..:l1 l\)IIJlecljül1~ would be <l

wisc work !!oJI, a way to wutcr rhc soi l. Anothcr work. goal might be
to find ways ot crcarinz Iorm.t l parhs Irom thc missiona! space to the
disLipleship cornrnun itv. 011<: forrnal pathwnv, depending on the
readrness l)f thc pcople, 1l1i)!;ht bc tu i nvite anyone in rhe missiouul
'pac..: ro hc a part oi"a six-wcck srudy O!\ basic ropics, such as "What
is a Chr istian?" or "\Nho is Jesus?" The point is to devclop formal
The Cutturs! Web and tbe Nelghborhood Church

paths by which people can move from mi sional spaces toward the
discipleship community. These short studies and the responsc to
thern could help the discipleship cornmuniry discern pcople's read-
iness to beco me pare of the discipleship communiry. Ir is also possible
to slowLy rransform an cntire rnissional space into a discipleship com-
munity by introducing a couple of thick practiccs to the group ,l!> a
kind of experirnent in Iollowing Chrisr, and rhcn assessing people's
response along the way. ,
Too often churches will say, "Unlc~s you believe what we belicvc und
behave Iike we behave, you cannor belong." Tn my estirnation, wh.en we
give people a place to bclong, and cncouragl:: rhem to cngagc in i hick

practices (behaving), thcy wiU discovcr thut rhey are starting to believe.
Think of Cornclius, who with his farn i ly was devout anel God-teari ng:
"He gave generously to rhosc in need and prayed to Coei regul::trly"
(Acts 10:2). Cornclius engaged in rhick practices betore he evcr carne to
belicve,I've oftcn found th is to be thc ,,:lsl' 111fl:g,mJ til how pcople
come to faith today: they engage in :1 rh ick practice of scrving the
neighborhood wirh thc fairh com rnun ity, or srudY\O!i; ScnplLirc, or
praying, ar uny hosr olpracriccs bdcm: thcy huvc faith .tnd ~elf·idcnrify
as a Christian.
The point being, if a discipleship communiry hus lhe fúth gual of
multiplying itsclf within the ycar, rhcv need to wurk OUl in derai! some:
quarrerly work g()al~ rhar rnnrch rhe: r rulrh !2:D:tl. Wh.rr kinJ o( pl:tlltlng
anti wateri Ilg ncerlx rtl h:lpj1t'1l i I dús hirht!;C):d IS goi I1g to come -ihout-
Whar does failhflllnl.:~' ,,11 our part 1()"k Ilh·? TIIl:1I lhe gr"lI[l III1IS[
pray and wair 011 C"d f;)r tht: [ruir. ,t:('k n., '., 1'_' "'·I!,ili'.(· IfI rhe <";I'ir:r.
always Icarnin).\ und )!,Iuwillg .uul IISlcllillg.
1f lhe gIULl(i clcvclops L[U.lIl..:tly LtiLlI guais alld (U!'Icsl")lulillf!. work
)!,uab, Lhl: LUllllIlUltÍly cun a~~es~ thcir r;lirilfullll.:SS hy wiicrncr or 11\)[

thcy havr kcpr lo rheir work goak r t' I ht"y wrrr .ihlr- Il) "'<IV f~1i I h 1'111 [I)

thcir work guals, doillg thcir p.ut, rhey vclcl rr.uc ('Clt!, wr uk 111

their life, whcrhcr nr not rhe (:lith gO:1lcalJ1c tn íruirion, 1)(,\,;111'" the
CÚLh gaal is flor under rheir coutrol.
Underslanding rlie diffcrcn,.~c hct wccn t:lIlh all,1 work gCl;t!, I~ i m-
perurivc for a cnng-rcgatinn. lt i~ nlso i mporr.uit tilr.1 ('1l11lI11li Ilil} to gn>w

in d iscernrnent in what rhese goals ought to bc. Examining howwe have

kepr or not kept our work goals is one way ro measure our faithfuJness.
But how do we rneasure our fruitfulness? ls there a way to rneasure
our fairhfulncss and fruitfulness that goes beyond lhe bottorn tine ap-
proach? joseph Myers gives us some good advice here as well. He re-
mmds us that measurement is not neutral, saying, "We measure that
which we perceive to be importam. That which we measure will beeome
irnporrant and will guide our processo That which we do not measure
will bccorne lcss important." So "measurcment has dynamic power over
lhe journey and the results. Ir is not ncutral, The measurement is the
mcssage. Our way of measuring is not a neutral tool rhat simply te11sus
what there is to see. No, our way of measuring influences that facts in
a way that has a profound eEfect on our perception of reality."12
Whar does Myers pIOpose to be a berrer way to measure life? He
suggests rhat story is the rneasurernent of communicy. Someone has
said, "Lifc is not rncasured by the nurnbcrs ui breaths we take, but by
rhe number of moments thar take our brearh away."13 Because the
journey is as imporrant as the destinarion, srory bccornes a more holistic
way of measuring faithfulnt!ss and fruirtulness. But is ir an adequare
rool to mcasurc what is happcning?
As the discipleship comrnunity is involved in missional spaces,
mcamngfully connecting with peoplc and shuring rhe good news as the
promprs thern, srorics will be rold, anti rhe community will be
shupcd hy thcsc storics. If there is no planring- or warering, the srory
lmc will indicare .i nccd li)r more stories,

Sharcd srorics nu)' not fit nc.rt und tidj into » l harr or .•n thc back of thc
Sunduy bullctin, bur we grow lo trust thcrn as n pnwerful way to mensure
wherhcr whnt wc are hoping tor is takin)? placc, Shared srories are the
t':t~I~,t W:lV In cnsu n: what is Impnrt1nt IS raken 1I1t<, urcount. Story
h •.1f" 11<mcasurc rhc Iife ,)t ou r rornrnu niti<,~.11


Ir cljuippers are g-oing to crente a missional culturc, rhey nccd to be
nhlc to creatc a thriving, libcrating, wclcoming, hcaJing and learning
The Cultural Web and tne Nelghborhood Ciiurcti

environment in the cangregation. In arder to do this equ ippers must

understand the power of rituais, espccially "thick" practices (liturgies),
which have thc abiliry to reshape our desires and redircct our hearts
toward Cod, his kingdom and mission. HeIping thc congregarion de-
velop and engage in a cornmunal rhythm of life (mulriple practices and
liturgies) will go a Iong way in creating a rnissional culrure,

Cultivating Missional Environrnents

If the church is to be effective In advocatmg and achieving a new

social arder in lhe nstion, tt must itselt be a new social arder.


Therefore I urge you to irmtete me. For this reason I am sending you
Tirnothy, my soa whom I lave, who IS ttuthtu! in lhe tora. He wtll
remmd you of my way of Iife In Christ Jesus, whlch egrees with what
I teach everywbere tn every church.



The prescription for spiritual transformation hus oftcn bccn toa in-
,lividuali~ri,'allj oricurcd. \Ve ire CIl""lr-Igl'll In Cllg;I141:in spiritual
disciplines so that we Illight havc chc rowcr to do what wc can't do
hy \ViII powcr ulone. Bur whut huppens whcn peoplc don'r have the
"wi l l power" ro ('Ilga~c 'piriTltal di<;l"ipln on ;1 rnnsisrenr bas is- Our
charactcr is lcfi untcrulc.l. "[11 .t wi ld world likc ours, your churacter,
lcfr untcndcd, w il l bccomc u stulc room, an obnoxious child, a vacant
lot rilkd with t hor ns , wccds, broken bottlcs, ra~gedy groccry bags,
and dog droppings. Your deepcsr c hn nne!s \ViII silt in, anel yOll will
fccl yourself shallowill)!;- You'Il becornc a pn.:sence ncither yOll nor
ot lurs w il l enjoy, .ind YOU .uul I hey \-ViII spend more anJ more time
Culltvating Mlssional Envtronments

anel energy trying to be anywhere else."! So what are we to do?

As Christians, we eagerly await God's redernption of a11things, in-
cluding ourselves. We were made in the image ofGoel, but through rhe
Fall thar image has been shattcred. Wc all need to experience resto-
ration in order to more fully share in God's image anel be eapablc of a
greater scnse oflove, joy, peaee and wisdom.
When Paul writes of the fivc equippers, he says, "Christ hirnself
gave the apostles, rhe prophets, the evangelista, rhe pastors and teachcrs,
to equip his people ... 1I1ltiJwe all reach unity in the fairh anel in the
knowledge of the Son ofGod and become mature, flttaining to the who/e
measure o/the fullnm ofChrist" (Eph 4:11-13, cmphasis added), We are
to grow until wc becornc like Chrisr, anel the cquippers are to help us
grow into thar rnarurity. One of thc ways thl:} do th is is by helring the
congregation Cideally rhe mid-sizcd communiries or rhe basic group rhe
congregation is secking to multiply) to adapt a communal rhythrn of
life rogether.
If we wanr to expericnce rransíorrnation, wc need to be a part of a
cornrnunirv which develops a rhyrhrn of life together rhar al lows llS

learo rhe unforced rhyrhrns of graec. f love how Eugene Pcrerson purs
it in Tbe 1l1o·s.ragL':

Are you rired~ Worn out? Burncd um <lfl rt'li.v;ifHl~Come tf' me Cct
;l\ wirh me .ind you'l l rccovcr your lik. 1'11show you how to ta kc real
rcst. Walk wirh 1111.: and work wirh rn(;-wa(~'h how I do ir. Lcur» Ih/!
ultjon'<'d rhythlll; 0I'(ra,·<·. I won'r lay .1Il}thing hC;IVY ur ill fitlillg ou jlJlI.

Kecl' cOlllpall)' with me and voul] lcurn to hve t'lct:!y .uu! 1t;.;lllly {I\ It
11 :2R- lO, l'lllphasi, olddnll

Thc unforced rhyrhrns of ,gracc, which include t hick prncticcs (lir-

urgies), Iorrn us imo rhc kind of pcoplc wc wanr to bccornc. \ VIII - u
importam f"r C(llIll1lllltiliL~ til Ju-d"Jl .1 Ih} t1IIJ1 'lI" Iile, .1 LlII k<..l iOI! OI'
rhick spinruu] prucriccs?


Tn DeJirill}!, lhe! Killgdom ]arncs K. 1\. Srn irh makes t hc case l har {/l:du-
cation is formarional rather than inforrnarional, rhcn wc nccd ro move

from peoplc-as-thinkers and pcoplc-as-believers to people-as-lovers as

our primary undersranding of human beings. Because humans are in-
tentional creatures whose conscious and unconscious desires and loves
are always aimed at some vision of the good lifc, some articulation of
the kingdom, we need to engage thick practices rhat grab our hearts
through our imagination in order to reshape our desires for the
kingdom of God.
His pro posai is that we are what we loue more than what we think
or what we belieue. And our ultimare love is whur we worship, Thus,
if we want to expericnce transformation, we need to recognize thar we
are liturgical animais who are primarily formed by our desires and
leves through our imaginations, which are fueled by stories, images
and narrativos.


Thus, if C'lll ippers are going to creare a rnissional culturc, thcy nced to
help the discipleship cornrnuniries develop communal rhyrhms of life
that reshape our airns, loves and desires toward Chrisr, A communal
rhyrhrn of life is a collection of thick, bodily practices that engage our
scnses, grab our hcarrs, form our idcntitics und reshapc our desires.
These practiccs cu ltivate particular environinenrs in lhe congregarion,
thereby transforming uso Marjorie Thornpson expluins:

Thc c.irerpillar rnusr yield up rhe IIfe It knows and subrrur to rhe mystery
of interior rransrorrnatiou. lr emerges froll1 thc I'roccss lransfigurt;d,
wirh willgs t11Jt givt: ir Irccdorn to l1y. A rulc llf h íc [OI rhyt lun of lil"e]
gi\-cs 1'.1 W.I: fll cnrcr mto rhc lik-llm)!; pro,"CS, nf pcrsonal transfor-
mut ion. Its disciplines help IlS to shcd rhe úmi!iar bur constricting old
sclf and .rllow UU! II':W ,dfi" Ch ri" [lJ IH:[,'"l1ed-lh.: u uc ,d[rll<tl i,
n.uur.dly .u u actcd lu thc 1i~ht <)fCuJ.'

Takint; ['ali in conununul rhv thurs ,,r li I\: hdps brcak us lrorn our
Arnerican individualisrn anel shapcs us rowurd Christ wirhin the prac-
riccs of t hc counnunity. Tablc 17.1 is un ovcrvicw oíwhere we are going
and how cach cquippcr sceks to cultivare thc particular cnvironments
introduced in chaprer thrce through particular practices.
Cuttiveting Misslonal Environments

Table 17.1. Thíck Pracrices and Creating Missional Environrnems

Thick Pracrices
( Liturgics) Environments They Cultivare

Apostles Sabbarh Cultivare a thriving ensnrorunenr that ca IIs

(dream awakeners) pcople to join Cocl in lhe rcdcrnption of ali
M.king disciplcs things by devdopmg a srrong clisciplcship erhos

Prophets Bcing presenr co Cultivare a liberating cnuironmenr thut dares

(beart revealer) God people to cmbodv a holistic gospcl, helping
(si/me(, ,a/rtud., people expericncc [iber at ion from personal and
fustwg) social sins, by forming spirit-tri.ln-ftlrmíng
Brcaking brcad

Evangelists Hosprraliry Cultivare a wt.!(omIllg envirorlmen/lh:lt invircs

(story tcllers) people to blcss rheir nelghl",,, and bc
Sharing God', redernprive :tgents in rheir vocarion

Pastor, Conression Cultivare a h~alzrr.f!(n'V7Tan'nt!fJt in wluch peoplc

(sou I hea lers) lcar n to crnbcdy til!: minisrrv uf reconci lrution
Peoccmaking and cultivare .1litc-·glving spinrualrry 10 Glld's
11<;\.\1 Limily
Teachers S,ucd assernblies Cultivare a Ir!ur-nwg cnsnranmcru whcre pcople
(Iigb t givers) irnrncrse rhcmsclvcs iu Cl)J'S n.rrrat ive .lWJ
FUlun: -oricnted en~3gc in pr.ixis .md fUlurc-oricllrt:(lliving

As each equipper seeks CO cultivare these various environ rncnrs in

thc congregarion, rhere is a sense of renewa] wirhin rhc church, and
whcn renewal rakes plucc within rhc church, rhcre IS a narurul overt1ow
imo r he world.

I'he apostle, OI' drcurn awukener, cultivares a thri·ulTlg enuironmenr
throug,1t hdpillg t lic t..oll)!,regalioll participare in rhc Ilwrgy or' Il/tJhrl/1J
Jl1J el1).{a).{ein the pracrice l)f makinf( disaples. Bn':LllSe aposi les rcnd ro
bc h ighly active, they are rernpted to negiecr h, Onc
~:lhh;I1 ()f t hc char-
acieristics of the host cu lture of rhe United Smre« is rhur worth is often
deterrnined bv thc ability to produce and achicve. This has a tcndency
to shapc us into slaves of product ion,
Jn thc firsr chu rch I bclpcd to piam, It was rarc ror me to rakc a duy
off I was like arar running in rhc whccl with no rcst. 'Thc prohlcrn is

that when we cnter thc rat race, we often become rats in the processo I
had lirtle patience, which-aceording to 1 Corinthians 13-means I
had little love. I thought parience was for underachievcrs, Being an
Achiever (a 3 on the Enneagram), one of my basic desires is to feei
valuable and worrhwhile, whereas my basie fear is of being worthless,
The corresponding weakness is that 1 can try to find my value and
worth through aehievement. Sabbath beeomes (for me and for any who
are gifred as apostles) a needed concrete practiee that ean acr as a coun-
terforcc to the dorninunt culturc,
In Worki71gthe AngfeJ, Eugene Peterson give a beautiful description
of biblical sabbarh. He says sabbath is "uncluttered time and space to
distance ourselves from the frenzy of our own activities JO we can see
what God bas bem and is doing."J Thc dream awakener's role is nor "to
make things happen" but joining God where Cod is already ar work.
Sabbath might feeI countcrintuitive to cultivating a thriving envi-
ronrncnr, but this pracrice is vital becausc ir hclps people livc into thcir
sncred potcnrial, rccognízíng what Cod is already doing around them
in thcir life, rheir neighborhood and vocation, inviting rhcrn to stcp
into ir. As rhe apostle helps the congregarion practice sabbarh, the
eommunity is more likcly to sce what God is Joing in :1I1d around them,
and thus discover nnd live out their \:alling in Iifc." Making disciples
involvcs hclpin!!; peoplc livc our rheir primarv ealling to follow Chrisr
th rough thei r gifrs and vocurion.

Thc propher or hc.irr rcvcalcr cu lt ivutcx ,[ li/Jallling emnronment bv
ht:lping lhe c<)llgregarinn pructi •..e cornmuning with GoJ, bâ!l}!, plt!St:lll
lu (;Q,!thruugh praverfulsoliurdc, silcncc and t:l~ling, ,1UJ thrllugh lhe
pructicc of tlu, brt'lIk.iJl)!. u/brullf.
Connccting with thc libcrating Cod crcatcs a libcrating cnvi-
ronrncnr. ,\::; pcople connect with rhc Go,1 o( rhc cxcdus (who hcars
rhe cries »f his people), rhe Coa of thc CrIlSS [who dics th.rr we might
livc), t hc God n( lhe rcsurrccrion (who givcs hope for liberation from
ali SIIl) and thc GoL! ofPcntccost (who pOllrs our his Spirit to ali), thcy
cxpcricncc Irccdom.
Cultivatmg MissionaJ Envtronments

Henri Nouwen wonderfully describes the practices of silence, solitude

and fasting. Within a world of words, silence allows us to hear thc voice of
God and ultimately gives us a liberating word Ior others, Solirude, as
Touwen say~, is "the place of purification and transfonnation, thc place üf
the grcat struggle and the great encounter.'? Solirude is rhe place where we
stand alone, naked before a holy God, and lcarn to aecept his graee and
love, whích set us free. Finally, fasting allows us to cnter into the suf-
ferings of Christ and closer with God .. As Eddie Gibbs suys, "The
Church in thc West ha: got to learn to surfer, Wc lovc Easrer, bur we don't
like Good Friday."6 Fasting gives a needed brcak (O our digesrive organs
and sharpens our spiritual senses. As we engage in thc rhrcc prucriccs of
silence, solitude and fasting, we ean ovcrcorne a noisy, overwhclming,
frenzied life and connect with the hcart of God, FIcre we find lovc .ind
liberation for all, responding to the surfering and caprivity in thc world.
Brcaking bread and receiving Comrnunion togerhcr JUú\Vs us to re-

mernber Ch rist's dearh and live as pcoplc of thc n:'I I rrccrion, Whcn WL
gather togethcr ar rhe Lord's Table as a communiry, wc becomc a [()fC-

taste of Cods futurc cornrnuniry, rogcrhcr with rhc rrrune Cod und ali
God's people. This new community uround rhc Eu<.:harisl kccps u-, rrorn
separating Communion .md jusricc, Ior wc are :11lc'1t1;11bctorc C"d .. \6
Paul instructs LLS in the book of Corinthinns, "Whocvcr, rhcrclore, curs
the brcad or drinks rhe cup of the Lord in an unworrhv m.uurcr rdiviJillg
rhe cornmuuitvj wil l hc anvwcrahle ri,r rln- hOlh .uul hlo.x] orrhc I.ord"
(l Cor , 1:27 NHSV)" The Easttlll Orrh"c1Il\ 'holll h '"Illlsiders ri", 1':11
ch.irist central .md ttlunJati,lll.d .\l1d c.u; (uuivcr-ul}, wllidl i... wll)'
Jnhn 'iays, "/\ cuchir: ..•r \\"]1;,'11 di,nil'liILl:t:S h\:I\'"('l"11 r:ll'·'.
sexcs, J.gcs, protcssion-, oULi.d d,,,,,c~ dL" ~1,,1.ltC., lIul c cr t.rii: clhi,:al
prinl,.iplc~ but il~ CSl,.ll.llUI"gil..illllol(lIlL. 1',.( dl<lll<.:.bOJII ,IICII:1 \:lILII:III,,1 í,
not ,I 'baJ'-í.c. IIlumlly Jdll..iclIl- cLlLh.lrisr [,ll( liCl cucir.rr i:.r ar .ili. Ir
cannot bc snid to bc rhc body of thc Onl: who sums up :d I inll) I I I 111 -c IC',
As t hc prophcr hclps the LOlllllllllllry cllga~c in silcnc«, sohruoc .md
fasting, as wcll as understand thc sie;ndiL':tIll'c anti divjll'~ pown prescnl

ut the EULharisl. lhey help W cultivutc a lihcr.u iI li-!: cnvironmcnt . And

as a libcrarillg- cnvironmcnr shapt:s rhc l(lnlITlUlllty. il 111 rUIl1 sccks, hy
the power ofthe pirit, to bring-lihn".\liolll to rhc wnrhl.

Evangelists or rory tellers help to cultivare a we/coming environment by
equipping the community to practice hospitality as a way of life and
shaTe God's story wirh others in the right spirir ar the proper time.
Dunng one of my first visits to Honduras I was invited to stay at a
pasror's house in rhe city. I still remember his words to me, a complete
stranger at the rime, as I was entering his house: "My house is your
horne.' And ali rhroughour my stay with him and his family, this is
what 1 felt. There wasn't pressure to have to talk with them constantly,
and they didn't feel pressurc to entertain me. They had simply created
a space for me that was 50 free rhar I felt as if I were home.
The practice of hospitality creates a space of mutual exchange be-
tween guest and host. Tt is interesting thar rhe Creek word for hospi-
rality 10 the New Tesrament can be translated as both "host" and
"gucst." For hospitaliry is remembering we are fellow travelers in life,
cach <lf us sharing in the s.ime broken hurnaniry, each of us with stories
to share and gifts to beur. We can practice hospiraliry at home, in our
vocarions, wirh the stranger and In the 'ongregation, especially to the
ncwcorner. Paul tells us to "welcornc one anorher as Christ has wel-
comcd vou' (Rom 15:7 E~V).
As we ta ke rime to rrulv welcornc peoplc as thcy are, where they are,
tliev oftcn wanr [U know why we are so wcJcoming. They wanr to hcar
a bit .ibout our story, and because our stur)' is so intcrtwined with Cod '5

"to r}', it may be the "proper time" (l Tim 2:6) to share God's story with
rhcm, .ilwuys in a graciuLl~ way.
,:I':lrillL; God'~ stor.v does nor cnrail lIsing J prcpackagcd approach
with rhe hopes ofg-crring- people Co pray <l praycr. Cod dcesn't call us to
be sakspc<lpiL: bur jOllrnalísrs, ;lnnOUIll"illg" ro rhose in our parh thar
GuJ's kinzdorn 15ar hand. Ir 15abour cmhody,ng rhc good news to thc
p'lint rh:lt renple wn nr ro ~\Vit('h their narrativc 'lI1JJive linde!" the rule
<)fCllrist nnd his kingdorn.
As wc learn to rruly welcorne anel ernbrace ali who Gorl brings our
way, we crearc a welcoming environrncnr, which allows hosr and guest
tn givc and receive, to sharc importam things with cach othcr, to give
pcople Sp.1CC to bc who thcy are, and to gi\'c God room lO do his work.
Cutttveting Mlssíonal Envlfonments

The pastor or soul healer helps to cultivare a hc!aling erruironmen t by
modeling the thick practices of confession and peacemakinx.
In Telfing Secrets Frederick Btlechner gives us solid reasons why we
all need to engage in rhc practice of confession.

I have come to bc1eve rhat by and large rhc human family all has the
sarne secrers, which are both very telling and very importam to tell.
Theyare tel1ng in the sense thar they rell what is perhaps rhe central
paradox of our condition-that what wc hunger for pcrhaps more rhan
anything else is LO bc known in our full humanncss, and yer rhat is ofren
just whar we als o fear more rhan anything clse."

We confess 50 we maybe known in the midst of our íear to bc fully known.

We confess to repent and move toward wholeness and holiness. Wc confess
to find forgiveness and that we might experience reconciliation. Confession
helps us to take off our masks, understand our false selves anti move roward
decper community. We may not like to adrnir Iailure, ycr hcaling and
wholeness come as we confess our truc selvcs to othcrs,
Confcssion is nor jusr ~haring the garb<lge in ou r livcs. Confession is
a pracrice bctwccn rwo or three rrusred all ies who share' their victories
and defears, thei r joys and pains, rheir up~ and downs, their highs and
lows. \Nhcn wc engage in rhe pracrice úfl.:Onfcssiun, ir signitlcs rhar we
believe we have some rrusred allics in thc world, pcople wc know Me Ior
lIS. vVhcn wc help culriv.ue safe places whcrc pcoplc can bc real with
onc anorhe-, wc cultivare a healing environment. vVhcn we move Irorn
a programm i ng approuch to hcing the chu rch, to hclpi ng m id-sizcd
mi~sij)nal groups clevclop a shured rhythm of lire, wc makc spacc for
thi~ hc.ding l'ranicc () take placc, Too oftcn m inistrv anJ busy ncss
beco-no a W·I)' to uvoid hcing- our true solves. \ Vhcn thcrc i~ ,til work
und no play, rhcre is no tamily arrnosphere.
Bcsidcs conlCssio!1, pastors hclp pcoplc e!1);age in pcacclllaking,
which is pcrhups one of thc rnosr vital rhythms otli fc that a commu nily
can .rdopr. Pcacemak, I1g is a rhick pructicc thar hclps us move rowurd
the tetos of cmbodying rcconcíliation, which is J. le.irncd sk ill, Cn::gnry
]olles pm:; it this way:

We should bcgin ... identifying forgivencss as a crafr, The craft of for-

giveness is a lifelong lcarning process thar people are iniriared imo as
apprenrices to those who excel ar rhe crafr, Those who excel have a moral
authoritv as teachcrs, and apprentices musr recognize a gap berween
their present cornpctencies and genuine excellence.t'

The soul healer has learned the craft of forgiveness and equips others to
practice forgiveness and reconciliation.
Peacemaking is learning to live with each other as forgiven and for-
giving people, resolving conflict in God-honoring ways. Jean Vanier
reminds us thar

communities need tcnsions if rhey are to grow and dcepen. Tcnsions

come from conflicts .... Therc is nothing more prejudicial to com-
muniry Iifc than to mask tensions and prerend rhey do nor exist, ar to
hit!e thern behind a polire façade and flee from realiry and dialogue. A
rension or difficulry can signal rhe approach of a ncw grace ofGot!. But
it has to be looked ar wiselv and humanlv.!"

Conflicr is normal-but unresolvcd conflict creates a toxic atmosphere,

which is why oul healcrs must model thc crafr of pcacemaking. Soul
healers cquip the congregation with rhe practiccs of confession, praycr
for each orher durin.g contlict, humility, rcflccrion 011 our own for-
giVCllCSSin Chr isr, und going to Lhe person of WIl t1ict fi rst. H we desire
to see shalorn in thc world, we must first ernbody peacemaking wirhin
0\1r rongregation.
As the pastor helps thc congregarion adopt the rhvrhms of con-
te sion and peacernaking, he or shc will hclp to crcate a healing envi-
ronrnenr, inviring nrhcr-, in to cxpcricncc Gods rcstoration.

Thc teachcr or light giver sceks to cultivare a /carlllng etruironrnent by
cn"ouraging the cornrnuniry ro activcly participare in sacrrd assemolies
and future-orienrni /iving.
acred asscmhlics include rhc weekly gatherings (chap. 16) and the
cquipper guilds (chap. 18), but they also involve crea ingmore inrcnsive
trai ning ti rnes, g:1rhcrings and retrcats.
Cv/tivatmg MlsslonaJ EnVlronments

The líghr giver takes time to assess the community and looks for op-
porrunities in the comingyear to gather people together to learn, borh as
a congregation and in rhe grearer church. In Los Angeles we host an
annual c:itywide gathering around a missional therne, such as discipleship
or rnissional living. In these city gatherings we have tourteen leaders
frorn [ourteen churches sharc for fourtecn minutes each on the thernc,
Tbe gatherings encourage us to rhink imaginatively abour rhe flltllrc of
the church with others in a participatory and open-source way.!'
We also participate in regional and national gathcrings with the
Ecclesia Network, which gives us the opportuniry to connecr with
orher missional churchcs.12 BuiJr into rhese rimes is space for rnean-
ingful relational connections, which helps creatc a missional movemcnt.
Thcre are equipping times whcre we Iearn pral.ticallllissional thcoloKY
frorn seasoned lcaders, as wcll as a time of rcsol/rcing: connccring pcople
ro various resources in arcas of thcology, spirirual tc)rmation, comrnunirv
building. missionaI living aud social justicc.
In addition ro encouraging people to participare in sacrer] assem-
blies, the light giver helps peoplc cng-age in futun.;-orielltcd Iivi ng.
The apostle Paul's hope was in r;od'~ future-hc conrinucd on his
mission, despire thc enormous amount of suffcring he cndurcJ, lIe-
cause hc hacl an u nw:wering hopc thar GoJ the Father, Son a nd
Spirit would bring thc world toward its i nrcndcd pu rpo-.c th rough
rhe church. And as the tcac her helps rhe clJn~re.~ation PU[ her hope
in God and let:; God's [ururc slLlpe rhe mi ssiou (l( rhe church. the
cornmunit y oi:" laith wiJ/ bc ab!c to cndu re hnrdship, ~erh;lcks anel
ti iS.lprqi nr mcnrs.
As mcnrioned prcviously. I . T. Wright imagines Scriprurc as ;t fivc-
act play. We have thc firsr fOllr ;ICfs nnd thc hsr ~Cl'!ll' nF rhe rit"th :tLl-

(;nrl\ tlltllrr-bllt are now called to immcr-ic oursclvcs in Co,!" s"'ry

so well rhur wc gcr ro know thc Gor! of rhar SI",) .uu l r;tithClllly livr I()f
hirn in rhc contcxr in whieh we find OllfSc!vcs-lhe f1~-rh ;lI.t.
Ir IVC undcrsr.inr] thc las: sccnc nf rhc fl!lal :tl r -(;"..1', intcndcd
plirpo~c íor ali of creation-and Id thl'filllli"<' Jhtl/,<' l/l,. ,·hurchj mis,íoll,
thcn we wil! havc a good chance ofhcing f:lirhi"ul to God. So whar does
lutu rc orienrcd living 1001< like?

Through the prophets and John the Seer, we see the renewal of ali
creation, John doesn't say that God will make ail new things, but that
he is "making cverything new" (Rev 21:5). So as we freshly grasp what
God has promised in the final scene of the fifth act, and aliow that to
shape our eaUing, we ean join God in writing a new furure for the
world by antieipating his furure in the present. If God's furure is the
elirnination ofhunger and thirst, how are our economic praetiees at this
momem anticipating the reality of abundance? If God's future is the
elimination of weapons of war and having people live peacefully with
each other, how should we treat our enemies at this moment? If God's
future is rencwcd ereation with clean air, fresh warer and natural bcaury,
are we living sustainable lives in the presenr? Future-oriented living
forces us to answer these questions in concrete ways.


Annle Oillard profoundly said, "How we spend our days is of course
how we spend our lives.":! 50 as mid-sized communities discern a com-
munal rhythm of life together, the dai ly, weckly, month Iy or annually
thick practices thcy engage in, they cultivare a rhriving, liberating, wel-
coming, healing und leaming environment, which in rum shapes the
eommunity. For we create culture and culture recrcates us.


Ir wc are going; tu create a missional culturc in the congregations wc
serve, ir
wc are going to cultivatc thcsc various cnvironmcnts, we nccd
to cultivare an cquipper cthos. Whar do •.., t h.u look like? Ilow do we
spot and develop equippersr What 15 some of thc specific work of
cquippcrs 111 the congregatíon, in discrplesh.p cornrnunincs (rnissional
communirics) and rnissionnl spaces? Whar are w:ly<; te) cultivare rhc
growth of rhc cquippcrs? Whu; does it look like to cornmission
etlll ippers in rhe congregation?

Cultivating an Equipping Ethos

The more I considered Ctuistienity, the more I found that while li has

estabfished a rufe and arder, the chief aim of that arder was to give

roam for good thmgs to run wild.


Keep watch over yourseives and ali the f/ock of which he Holy Spint
has made you overseers. Be stiepheras ar lhe cnurcn ar Goa, wtucn
he bought with bis own blood.


What would the church look like if cveryonc in the church used their
God-givcn gifrs and talents to cquip thc rcsr of rhc church in such a
way that the entirc ehurch bccarnc more likc Jt'~LJ';' ,\nd ir rhe wholc
church looked more like Jesus, hnw rnuch more would <"!r neighhnr-
hoods and citics look more like heavcn?
One idea thut lias helpcd to shape how j think abolir culrivating an
equipping cthos in rhe congreganon comes lrorn rhc pen of G. K.
Chcstcrton. In his clnssic book Orthodoxy, hc wrircs, "The more I con
sidercd Christianiry, the more r found that whilc ir hus estuhlished a
ruIe anti order, rhe ch ief ai m of that order W:lS to give roorn for .r!;ood
rhings to run wild."' Until rhe congrcgarions wc serve recognizc ali

believers are priests who have me I Ioly pirit and rhe ability to equip
others, the church will never reach her sacred potential in Christ,
Tn Tbe Permanent Reuoiution, Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchim help us to
understand that we rnust have a threc-dirnensional reading of Ephesi ans 4.
We hould understand the fivefold gifting as calling (everyone may have a
gifting), ministrv (everyonc ministers through ar least one of the five rnin-
istry paths) and leadersbip (not everyone will be an equipper, equipping
others).2ln other words, some may be recognized as apostles, but the whole
community is to be apostolic. "Some will be callcd to be evangelists, but
the whole community is to be cvangelistic."?
1 think about this three-dimensional reading of Ephesians 4 through
a SpDrts analogy. Imagine players and coaches on a continuum.

I ----------- ------------------------------------ I
Players Coaches

Fig'uc 1S. t. Player-coach conrinuum

Wc are ull playcrs. But we are ulso ali conches in the sense thut we
encourage and equip our fellow tearnrnates. But ovcr time, some people,
due to rhcir scnse of ca lling, ch.iractcr, influence, expcricncc, gif(ing
anel thc work of rhc Holv Spint, srart ro spend more time coaching or
cquipping orher players. Anti rhcsc pcople nre rccognizcd or cornrnis-
sioned as cquippcrs (cldcrs).
I rernernber rhc first church rhar T helped restart. I .ulopted ,1 group
oi rwcnry-four peoplc who didn't sccrn to huvc J11l1ch of a heart for
rhos« outsidc thc kingdorn. 1 took til hcurt whur . \.lb\:r Schwcitzer
said, "Exarnplc is not thc main thing in influcncing others, ir's the only
thing-," anti 1 slIughr ro r onnr-rr wirh as m;lny non Chrisrians as I .ould.
Aftcr fin: yC1fS I lookcd our nt our congregarion onc Sunday morning
aml rcalivcd OUlll( the une hundrcd pcoplc sirting in fronr of me,
Cod had allowcd me to hc pn.:scnt whcn .ibout half oi" ihcm cume to
l.iirh. At that poi nt , in light ol thc nccds of rhc congregation, 1 rcalizcd
that I nceded to devote more rime to cquipping orhers to elo what [ had
bccn Joi ng. So 1 rnoved more tow.ird rhc coaching part of rhe con-
tinuurn. This doesn'r meun I stopped being a playcr: T just nccded to
CultJvating an Equrpping Ethos

spend more time coaching. And as I devored more time to coaching,

the church starred to grow in ways beyond our imaginarion. We started
to experience the power of multiplication instead ofjust addition.
To build an equipping ethos, we need to understand this three-
dimensional reading of Ephesians 4, where rhe tive equippers are a
communiry of pricsts ministering to other priests, There is lhe lead-
ersbip matrix-the equíppers, the ministry rnatrix and Lllf/ing. Ali are
living aposrolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and reacher kind of
Iives. Lcsslie cwbigin reminds us rhar

ir is the whole Church which is called to bc-in Chri~t-a royal

priesthood, and thar rhis priesrhood is to be exercised in rhe daily life
and work ofChristians in the secular business of rhe world. Bur t his will
not happen unless rhere is a ministerial priesthood, which serves, nour-
ishes, sustains and guides this priesrlv work. The priesrly people need a
ministering priesthood to sustain and nourish ir."

The t;;l\uipper~ rnusr also rcmcmber thar rhe church cxists ror the
sake of the world. Thus is it i mportanr to ask how the various cquippers
function in rhe ncíghborhooJ as rhc church scarrcrs. As Ray Bakke sa)'s
in /1 Tht:ology as Big as the Gity, "Pcrsonally, 1 um cornmirrcd to rhr
vision ofa local church and its pastors with two basic runctions: pastor
to the faithlul and chupluin to lhe wholc cornrnuniry." Some dccp
thought necds ro he giwn to whur rhc neighborhood mi~ht loo], like ir
thc roles of the apostle, propher, cvangclisr, pastor and tcuchcr wcrc
uctivated in thc ncighborhood fClr thc sakc of tl1l' whllle C11lllJ1llllliry.


When cquippcrs li nricrvra nd I har r h« ch ier i
;l fll (lf .1 chu rch 1'; to
"make roorn fi)r good thin,!.';, r" r u n wi ld ," the) wil l :lbo nccrl to op
cratc us ovcrsccrs, hdping to bri ng a sense oI" ~yner~y to thc c()n~n.:-
gari\ln on m issinn As pcople fccl crnpowercd by lhe I [oi) Spirit ;tn<l
starr to l ive UlH i hcir sacred potcntiul, rninistry will happcn-Iots of
ir. CUll~e'lLLelltly, ()TlC oi the role, of rhc cqulppín;.ç commu n irv is 10

help hring a scnsc oi" synergy to whut is happcning, l ikc nn .ii r tr;tft"ic
cont rolJer, wh ilc ar thc sarne time allowing the wi nd ()( t ln: Spi rir to

blow freeIy. For structure should always submit to Spirit. Being an

ai r tra ffie conrroller (adrninistraror) is also a gifr of the Spirit.
Besides creating ao ethos where good things can run wild and
bringing a sense of synergy to the whole, the equippers, along with the
rest of the leadership community, discerns the annual vision of the
church. And then, like good coaches, they help the congregation move
toward the goal. When the whole church understands the primary
thing that the Holy Spirir wants to do over the next rwelve months and
moves In beat with rhe Spirit, ir brings a sense of un.ity and mornentum
tu the congregation.
This is where polycentrie leadership comes into play, Ir is importam to
rernernber that leadership is not limited to the recognized equippers-
Ieudership is unlimíred in the Holy Spirit. So while thc church ought to
appreciare and respect the role of forma/leadership and move toward a
concrere [annual) vision, the church also ought to make space where
"good rhings ruo wild." Thus there is an appreciarion of tht: role of the
Spirir io the "inforrnal leadership" or the not-yet-recognized leadership of
the church. In this W3y Chrisr and rhe Spirit are honored in the church.


Two orher clcrnents are vital in developing an equipping erhos in the
congregation. First, rhe leadersh ip cornrnu nity must have a clear
picturc of the natu re and fT1 inistry of each of thc íivc cquippcrs. o Thc
church uceds tu have a gooJ undcrstundinu of t he part ol' the cultural
wcb (insururion) which .isks rhc qucst ion, H,)""1.1.' 'will 'w,.. Jidfill our
calling? Ín particular she necds to ask, Wõat II lhe cburca nmltiplywg at
Iht! most ;'tHi •. In'cI?

Sccond, ir is irnportant for cach min isrer (ali mcrnbcrs) in the congre-
g~llion lu undcrstarul thc cultural wch und unnual vision of rhe congre-
/!,ari<ln. In particular, in terrns of rn issionul rncthods or basic strategy,
cach pcrson should understand what I call the busic building b/ock of the
congrcgution, or what the church is n1uItiplying at a basic lcvcl. Every
church is called to rnakc more and betrcr disciplcs. When we do this
wcll, we do ir togcrhcr, bccausc disciple making is prirnarily a cornmunal
Cultivatmg an EqUJppmg Ethos

ministrv, So each congregation, if ir is going to multiply disciples, necds

to understand the basic building block of the community. the bread and
burter of the congregation, the ministry thar they are multiplying.
For some churches the basic building block is the small group, a
group of ten to fifteen people. For orhers ir is the rnid-sized group,
twenty to fifty people. This is the rnissionaI comrnunity or what I call
discipleship communities. Other are multiplying congregarions of 100
to 150. While each church is unique in its method of rninistry and
conrexr, it ís importam for every chun:h to undersrand what it is seeking
to mulriply. It's also importam that discipleship is taking place ar every


Writing in Tbe Search to Be!ong, joseph Myers, with rhe help of anrhro-
pologíst Edward T. Hall, identifies four kinds ofspaces thar we live in .
Each congregation wouId be wise to think rhrnllgh hnw rhey pursue
making disciples in each of rhesc spaces.
Public Spafl1 is abour sharing a comrnon experience in larger space,
like fans at a baskctbull game, whcre strangers whn he/orz,:; to the same
teurn cormecr with a "high five" after a score. This can happen ar ~l
larger public worship service, or i f the church is not large, ar a city, re-
gional or national gathering of some typc. This space bccorncs rnis-
sional ifit reshapes people to inhabir GoJ's story in their everydav lite.
So•.ia! sparL' is where people selccr a conlrllllniry-peoplc with whorn
thcy wnnt to go dccper-v-ro belong to. In rhe congreganonul 'etting rhis
spacc is more likc a lT1id-sizcd group of twentv tu f1fty pcoplc. Bibli..:alIy
this space 15 whnt rhe New Tesramenr cal ls oiéos, which is a Greek tcrrn
rvpically rranslarcd "house' or "houschold." Ir n:f('r~to the b~lSic L'uilJint-;
hlock ()t ancient sociery, rhe household, and its dose nerwork of rcl.ition
ships, the exrended family.lVlike Hrccn .ind Alex i\bs,tI')1l1 11IakL"a rhco-
logical, sociological, hisrorical and practical case t()r rnid-sizcd vomrnu-
nities to be the prime building hlock of rhe chun h.7
Persona] space is where we connect through privare rclationsh ips. Per-
sonal space includes the cight to rwelvc people whorn we feel dose to,
whom we spend a lor of time with, likc Jesus and the Twelvc. This is a

key area for discipIeship to take place in a deeper way.

lnfimate space is where we share experiences, feelings and thoughts.
Intimare relarionshíps are those in which anorher person knows the
"naked trurh" about us, and yet the two of us are "not ashamed." This
is like the space Jesus had with thc thrce: Peter, James and john.
A trong discipleship and equipping culture develops when a church
seeks to make discipIes in each of these spaces, which is why 1 am a fan of
the neighborhood congregation that connects occasionally with the
citywide church. One church that does this well is Trinity Grace Church
in New York City. They encourage disciplcship in each of these spaces.
They have missional communities as their basic building block and neigh-
borhood parishes for their weekly gathering. About every si>:weeks they
have a c.itywide gathering, which, in addition to their neighborhood con-
gregation, creates a sense of momentum and rnovernenr in the publíc space,
Ever since I carne to Christ in collcge, I have been a part of rnid-sízed
missional cornrnunities. Thc bread and buttcr of the firsr church I helped
to restarr ar Virginia Tech in 1989 were horne groups, which werc mid-
sized commun.ities rhar grew rhrough discipleship and mission. These
mid-sized comrnunities are also the basic building block of OUf churche
in Los Angelcs.Whilc in thc carlv days J didn'r havc rhe sociologicul
evidence for rhe imporrance of thcse mid-sized groups or ali of thc theo-
logical reasoni ng, borh intuitivclv and pracrically I have ulwuys scnscd
lhe powcr thcy huve haJ. Thus, I arn a personal fan of making mid-
sized cornrnunirn-, rhe basic hllilding block of rhe church. s Mike
Brccn is fond of sayi ng, thcy .trc SIIl:l1 J enough lo cure and big cnough to
dar.' (hc mission f()cu~ccl). This is rhe [!rOllDthur ad0!Jts missional spaces.
Thc mid-sizcd cUnlmunÍly can adopt a C0ll111l0nrnissional space like a
ncighborhood OI"pcoplc grvup, UI it can bc a collccriol1 of rn issionuries
that help und enl.vlIra!!,t.: onc uuother in rheir rnissional spaces.
The ncxr levei of multiplicatinn is lhe r·ongreg;'tinn. I define a con-
greg'lrion as threc to í ivc mid-sizcd groups, which mcans a congrcgation
includes 100 to 250 pcople. In my experience, ir is helpfu] for cach con-
gregation lo have five eyuippers, which is whv we seek to rccognize
cqllippcrs ar rhis stage, Thc definirion and thc size of a congregarion are
clearly more dcscrirtive of whar we are doing, nor prcscriptivc. Each
Cultivatmg sn Equippmg Ethos

congregarion will need to work through the details herself, in light of

hcr context, tearn, tradition and theological understanding.
Once the congregation understands the basic group she is sceking to
multiply, it is important to understand how to spot, develop anel com-
mission equippers in thc congregation. I trust thar as I talk abour this
in my contexr, you will find ways to practice it in yours.


I decided to start an experimental "leaderless" discipleship cornrnuniry

with the framework of the five cquippcrs in my mind. I brought wiih
me the five focal concerns and the ten dcstinations of lhe cquippers (see
table 16.1). By this time in my ministry 1 had a clear pictu re of each
equipper in mind. I wanred to start this group with pcoplc I had rnet in
Los Angeles. We started as a small graup of five people. For rhe firsr
fivc or six months, being a new graup. it was importam for us to gct to
know each orhcr bctter, o we would huve a rneul. and then Orle p('r~fln
would share his or her story with us for the ncxr two hours, Thc group
members were vu lnerable, sharing- personal wounds .ind personal high-
lights, their spiritual h ighs and lows and the thi ngs rhcy wcrc proud of
OI [hat broughr sharne. These times were so powerlul and community-
forming thar our group gre;:w every wcck, As I wns lisrening ro people's
story, 1 was thinking ubout thc gift~, passion, pcrsonalitv and expcricnces
rhat madc them who they wcre. 1 started to think .ibour rhe Ieadcrship
matrix, rhe ministry marrix and calling Jinll':ll:;i()l1~ oI' Ihe (.:tlllippcrs, :1 nJ
W<lS gctring a sense uI' pcople's primury mmistry Oi' gi fting.
Bccausc cach wcek ncw Pl:Opk: ClI1k' tu rhl: g-ruup (ir wus ~1I\ UpCIl

groU}) where anyonc could invire anyone), ir took IIS six monrhs of
rneeting wecklv to get through cvcrvone'e stnry 1\\ Ihi~ pni nr rhc gro)IIP
had grown ro around twenry renple Thi« ph.isc nfbLli!Jln~ commu nitv
i, sorncth ing thar rhc pastor lovcs, bur cach c'luipper c.m bcncfi: fI<li Jl ir.
Now that the group had bcen rogerhcr fi)r six rnonths ,1I1d ~r ••w II t,)
around twenty regularl)' involved peop!c, some Il\lT1gercd to :'"l1ly rhc
cripturcs. So the discipleship cornruunirv decidcd tu takc lhe ncxt
couplc of rnonths [o work th rough onc or rhc Gospck Duri Ilg- til is ti me
I was to spor thc budding "rcachcrs" in rhc grollp. I look ing-

for the people who carne alive and had an uncanny ability to help the
community understand the Word.
Ir LS unportant to note that at the onset of the group, I rold them that
I would not lead rhe group. I would help, but would not lead. With no
designared leader, group members sometimes weren't SUIe about the
schedulc and what we werc doing. Eventually sorneone from the group
would send an email to the rest of llS when and where we
were meeting. This happened spontaneously.
Eventually thc group decided ir was irnportant to make quarterly
plans. My friend asked me, "Who should wc invite to make plans?" I
said, "Why don't we invite anyonc who wants to come?" The group
agreed, and 50 we started having a quarterly planning meeting. At this
time T wanred to introduce the cornrnunal-rhythrn-of-life idea in light of
the framework of the equippers. As we starred to experimenr with, ir
beca me obvious who rhc budding teachers, prophets, evangelist, apostles
anJ pustors werc. SpenJjn~ rime with people, Joing ministry rogether,
secing people's passions and seeing how people were interacring in thc
gro\lp servcd as the best way to spot potencial equippers. There are three
simple quesrions 1 ask: What is the person good ar? What do others be-
licve the pef~Oll i~gooJ ar? In what arcas does he or she bear fruit?
Some pcople were dearly passionatc abour the poor and oppressed,
,111d would not allow the cornrnunity to go on without actively standing
with the disadvuntagcd, Othcrs had a dcep passion for the Word, and
whcn they shared from cripture rhe entire group paid utrention. Some
Sllllght tu crente .l [lmil)' atmosphcrc for rhc tiroup. Olher:; hud ;l passion
for mulriplicntion. Esscnrinlly, whar I found in my cxpcrirncnt was thar
Gml had cleuriy givcl1 various peoplc diíferent passions. Wirh a clear
picrure ot euch kind of eguipper, spotring [hem was no! difficu lr. And
as huddlll,l!; cquippers srarted to live our rherr c:.tlling, the gcoup con-
tinucd to grow and cnded up rnultiplying another group.
Anorhcr way to identify pcoplc on rhe equipping minisrry rnatrix is peoplc giftcd in onc arca temi ro judge others not similarly gifted.
For exarnple, thc budding cvangelisr would criricize thosc in rhc group
who didn't havc a similar hcart for thosc outsidc of the kingdom. What
huJding cvungclists necd to know is thar GoJ wants to use them to
Cultivatmg an Equlppmg Etbos

bring that heart to rhe rest of rhe group. The process of idenrification
can take place with the other equippers as well.

Not only is spotting equippers best done in the basic building block of the
church, this is a good space for the deveIoping equippers as weJl. We
are less familiar rhan we should be wirh the nature and function of the
five equippers because we have lost the art of apprenticeship in our
local congregations. We need to expand the craft of equipping from the
classroom to the living room, and from rhe sanctuary to the strccts.
Equipping needs to move beyond rcading books and writing reports to
practicing the craft under the guidance of a rnentor.
My friend Pavi Thomas believes that the mcdical field gives us some
practical insights into howwe can betrer engage the craft of equipping. He
sat down with four ofhis relatives who are in the medicaJ field-s-a surgeon,
gynecoloaisr, cardiologist and pediatrician-and had n long cnnver,;jrinn
about rheir training experience. Afrer ret1eeting on the convcrsauon, he
identified five fundamental elerncnrs that shaped thcir rmining.
1. They rcceived strong thcorctical fuundLlli,)f1S.

2. Tnregrarion of rheory and practice-noth ing was learncd only


3. I'vlcntoring-they were always u ndcr rhc ovcrs.ghr and CH<.:of cx-

pcrienccd specialist.

.f. Expcricnce-evcrything they were rrained ro elo rcquired broad alie!

repcritive experience.

5. Sp<.:cialization-thcy were rrained to specia lizc. since rhr ovcra ll

body of knowlcdge i~ vast, ~ training has, or should havc, a similar process.


The rcnaissunce was a rebirth of crcarivity. Du ring the rcnaissance lhcre

were guilcls for mcrchants, artists and crafts, i\ l'eblJll h.lJ tI> work
rhrough three phascs to beco me rop-notch in rhci r ficld-appn:nrice,

journeyman and rnaster. In rebirthiog the equippers, a cornmuniry of

faiih can establish equipper guilds.9 Apostles cao create apostolic guilds;
prophets, prophetic guüds; evangelists, evangelistic gu.ilds; pastors, pas-
toral guilds; aod teachers, teacher gu.ilds.
This is a key role for those who have already been recognized as
equippers in a church. They would work with each of the discipleship
cornrnunitics (mid-sizcd group) within rhe congregation, ioviting budding
apostles, prophcts, evangelists, pastors and reachers to participare. Here
thc craft of cquipping is learncd aod refined.
The cquipper guild is a place where budding equippers are encouraged
and enabled through the process of self-discovcry. The guilJ is Iirst and
foremost a place of encouragement and support for apprentices. Thus an
imporranr skill for rhose leaJing equipper guilds is being able to ask the
right questions and listening wcll. The guild should also be a place
wherc apprentices can share vicrories and dcfcats, rhe pain and the joy of
cljuippil1~. 1LshuulJ he a pluce of mutual peer eucouragcmcnr, sharing
of besr practices and the devcloprnenr of relationships.
lo addition to being a place of rnutual cncouragement and support,
rhese should be ~paccs for people to grow personallv and in ministry
sk ills. Ec[uippl.:r~ lc.•Jing rhc guilJ could use lhe cquipper candidate
rcfcrenee form (scc appendix 2) as a tool for an initial assessrnent in rhe
arcas of rhcol l)gy, characrcr, t:C]L1 ipping skills and missionalliving. This
will givc borh cquippcr and apprcntice J scnse of dircction lor personal
;;rowrh. Based on rhis ussessrnenr, rhe currcnt rninistrv nccds of thc
apprcntic« and i lrc role of lhe cquippcr (sce uppcndix 1), rhc cquippcr
.md ctpprcnticc will dcvclop ,I spccifi,: eqllippil1~ projecr togcthcr. which
IllC(;I~ thc nceds nf rhc congrcgurion and dcvelops thc apprentrce.
Finallv, with in the cqllipprn~ gtldcl, thc apprcnnces would be cn-
courazcd to r·ind luvtor ical and l"ontemporal-Y mentors in rhcir equipping
role. I Ti rorica l mcnrors :ll"l' ,,·qllippcrs who havc ulrcady passed Oll to bc
wirh t he l~()rd bur still havc much to rc.ich tiS (c.g., Lcsslie Ncwbigin).
('(1lllc1llporary mcntors are pC1)plc livin~ our tlu. cquipping role rhat
)'011 wn nr rn ernul.ttc.

Ir is imporrant rh.u cuch budding cquippcr hus some cxpcricnccd

mcntors, rcer mcutors (borh with in lhe ~ollgr(;gati()n and outside of the
Cultlvating en EqU/pping Etnos

congregation) as well as sorneone he or she is mentoring. Oftcn our best

learning takes place as we teach others what we are learning.


Along with equipping guilds, a church can have leadership communities

for all who are leading and apprenticing ditTerent ministries in rhe con-
gregation. Togethcr they can develop ao approach to bcing the church
that develop upcoming eguippers on a regular and meaningful basis.

As you discern ways to spot and dcvelop equippcrs, you will scc that the
Holy Spirir has been developing character, knowledge, skills and fruir in
rhe lives of these budding equippcrs. Thus, it is helpful to develop ..l process
by which yOli forrnally commission the equippers in rhe congrcgation. An
eguipper's readiness is primarily determined by exarn ining the fruir of his
or her lifc and ministry. As Jesus aid, we will knnw thcm hv rh.-ir frll;1

As a discipleship community (rnid-sized group) mulriplies and a new

congregation starrs, it is likely rhar rhe Holy Spirit will have culrivarcd
eqll ippers to rhe point that rhcv could he appni nre-d as ddt'r~ (or
equippers) in the congregation.
When ir COI1lt.:Sto officially recognizinK equippers in rhc wngrcgatit )11,

it is importam ihat rhey be pcople of rhe Wnrd, pcople ()f virtue , pcoplc
who havc developcd equipping skills rhrough thc Spirir, and pcople who
live rnissional livcs f()r thc sake olthc world. Thcreíore, I h.rvc devclopcd
an cquipper cundid.ue rctcrencc rorrn (scc appcndix 2). Eaeh c.uidid.ue
giv<:s the ti'f111 lO thrcc ro fivL" peoplt.: C!o-it.:to thern (indudilll!; lus or hcr
spousc, if rnnrricd). This rcrcrcnce enablcs ot hcrs to evulunre the cundi-
dare s theology. character, cquipping- sk i IIs .ind rn ission li li~r_
Whde ali ;H(' m in is crs, rhe '>crirrures illusrrutc har ir i·; he!pful I')

officially rccoaniz c spccific cquippcr- (cl.lcrs) thrnugh t lic I.lyillg "li"!"

hands, E'luippcrs are scrvarus who u ndcrsrand t hcy are 111 i II isrcr-, r»
other ministcrs, hclping cuch disciplc fulfill his ur her rnm isr rv in 11\1"
church and in rhc world for thc sake ()f the world.
Equipper candidates with good rcferrals thcn go thl"llugh an in-
ter vicw proce~~ with current cquippcrs. J Icrc thcy are quericd uhour

their characrer, rnissional lifestyle, theology, skills, the porenrial

equipping role and understanding of the various associations of the
church (see appendix 3). Upon a successful interview the candidate is
presented to the congregation. The current equippers inform the con-
gregatlOn that it seems good to them and the Holy Spirit that this
person is qualified to be an equipper in the congregation. We give
people two weeks to share with any eurrent equipper why this can-
didate may not be qualified. If there is 00 objection, then ar a desig-
nated date rhe equipper is formally recognized bcfore thc eongregation.
lf the candidate is not yet ready to be an equipper, due to lack of
character, skills, theological training ar missional living, the process
becomes a learning experience, The person now knows areas in which
he or she needs to grow in character and equipping abilitics. The
equippers and candidate can then discern specific ways the candidate
needs to develop and grow, and develop a plan aecordingly.
During rhe commissioning cerernony we share Scripture relared to
rnissional Ieadership; we discuss the process rhar each candidate has
gone through; we talk about the specific equipper role the person will
play in rhe congregation; and we huve a liturgy of commissioning the
equippcr. Within rhe lirurgy UfCUllllllissiollinr;. we as/-.the candidate to
rnake, wirh Gcd's help, certain comrnirmcnrs to GoJ and the congre-
gation. AnJ we ask the congregation to make some commitments to
thc cquipper. Thcn each of the currcnr equippers lay hands on the
cquipper and pray for hirn ar hcr, dedicating the person and ministry to
(;oJ, J.IlJ sCIlJing h irn or her off co serve, Wc oftcn follow this com-
missionini!, u:rcmolly with Communion.


Not only do SpinHIUeJ lcadcrs culrivarc a nussronal culrure, but our vcry
approuch to le.idership helps crente 1 rnissional culture. Bur therc aren'r
many cxarnples of how polyccntnc lcadership works. For exarnple, how
does decision makinq work in the contcxt uf shared lcadership? Are there
any good resources for those leading as a cornrnuniry among the com-
munity? Thcsc are a Iew ofthc questions wc will tacklc in rhe final chapter,

Polycentric leadership at Work

Studies of selt-orgsnizmg, emergent systems have shown suniter

traits running through them, whether they are in computing, biofogy,
or economics. fn every area of fife it seems there are tustoricelty top-
down organizations that are beving to adapt and evotve, that have
realized that the onfy way that they can survive is to transform them-
selves from ... mono/ithic, ttebby, grey tnstituttons lhat do not and
cannot respond to realllies on lhe ground, into coruunctive, devolved,
bottom-up, adaptable networks that are trim, agi/e, and f/ex/ble
enough to face and meet the ever·changmg chal/enges of the test-
tnovmg post-Enlightenment worid.


Go to the eot, you sluggard;

consuier tts ways and be wtse!

It has no commander.

no overseet or iuler.
yet it stores tis pro~/si()tl:;,.n sununet
and gattlers its tooa et narvest.


Transformation. We alllong for transformation. We just hate change.

Life as a catcrpillar isn't so bad, is it? Afrer all, if we decide to enter
into that dark mysterious cocoon, we might die! We don'r want to die.
We prefer life. But what kind of life have we settled for?
We dream of living up to our sacred potential. We want to spread
our wings and let the brearh of Cod lift uso Flying beats crawling
around, any day. When we fly, it changes everything. lt ch:mges what
we see. Ir changes how wc feeI. Our minds think differently. Our
imaginations are awakcned co what could be.
But t1yiog requires death. Death co preserviog the status quo. Death
to real and imagined fears. Dcath to our power. Dcarh to our ability to
control. Death to our status and reputation. Death to OUT idea of success.
The rhreat of death seems toa high a pricc to pay. Let's just stick to
crawLing. This is the world I know and am comfortable with,
Make no misrake abour ir. Leading as a cornrnuniry within the com-
mun ity requires death. lt requircs a willingness to live in the dark for a
period of time. Ir will rake living through stages of developmenr that
are mysterious and seem impractical. Tt will takc a williogness to feel
awkward and underproductive. Ir will take faith.
One of my life verses, whieh T stashed in my heurt early in my tife of
fairh, comes from the rnourh of'jesus. "If anvone would come afrcr me,
he must deny hirnself and take up his cross [daily] and follow me. For
whoever wanrs CO save his life wi 11lose ir, but whoever loscs his Iife for
me anJ for tht: go,pel will suvc it" (Mk 8:34-35 N IV 1984).1 Paul said,
"J die t:very day" (1 Cor 15:31). BeclUse the aposrlc Paul took this
tt::l(hing OfJ.:SllS to hcarr, lic bore much fruit in his litl;. With Christ,
death rneans ncw lite. This reaching is transforrnurive, which is why it
is included in ali lour Go~pels. InJohn we hcnr jcsus saying, "Verv rruly
J reli you, unless :t kernel ar whenr talls til t he ~rl)tlOd and dics, it re-
maios only a single seed. But ifit dics, ir produccs many sccds, Anvonc
who laves rhcir Ijfi.: will losc ir, while unyonc who hutcs thcir li(e in this
wurld will keep ir [ar ctcrnal life' (12:24-25).
Thc discovery of how seeds work introduccd whar is known as the
agri .ultural revolution, Prior to rhis, pcoplc si mply ate sccds for suste-
nuncc. Thc idca o" putting .\ secd into the g-round and throwing dirt
Potycentru: Leadership at Work

over it seemed ridieulous. Ir seemed insane. To bury seed is to dispose

of food for the day. Consequently you'd go hungry. But what looks like
death is aetually the secrer to life.


If we wanr to see the sponraneous expansion of the ehureh, we need to

learn irnporrant lessons on how to approach Jeadership frorn thc prcmier
ehurch planter, the apostlc Paul. For how.we approach tcadership ereates
eulture. Roland Allen, an Angliean bishop who spent mueh of his Iüe
living, ministering and writing in China, England und A frica, is a good
resource in he1ping us understand Paul's merhcds.
As a missionary desiring to join God's mission, Allen sought to un-
derstand why many rnissionary societies were failing. So hc smdied rhe
Iife and rninistry of the apostle Paul to undersrand why hc was o
fruirful. In his book Mis.rionary Merhods: SI. Paul's or OU,.s? which is a
classic for church plantcrs, AI1~n e xarn ine-ri rhe r·nlH.liri"n'l'1u ctn:t!!"!1.-

stanccs in Paul's day, the way Paul prcached the gospd, how he truincd
new belicvers, and his rnethod of dt:aling- wirh discipline anti uuitv. In
the concluding section of his book, Alltn su mmarived Pau I's pract ice,
saying, "The prmciples whieh sccm to undcrlie all the Ap"stle's pruct ice
were two: (1) rhar he was a prcacher of Cospel, not of lnw, anel (2) rhn
he rnust retire lrorn h is convcrts to glVC placc ti)r Chrisr. Th~ spirir in
which he was able ro do rhis was the spi rir nf LI irh ."·~
Allcn'~ own exper iern« on rhc mission ficld vcri [JeJ thcse toundu-
tional clerncnts in the spontanaous r::xj>wl:Hono/lhe churco, which hnp-
pcncd to bc rhe tit lc of .1 subscquenr book, in which hc r~~pundcd l(J

some of his critics. Thcsc Ioundutionul clerncnrs can bc

with two words: rross anil ~uilld. The<;l' two words luivc Lk:.:p implica
ioris in hmv we approach missionul !cadcr:;l1ip, .U1 I in rum Lr':,li.; .1
missional culturc.


Thc cross, which was ever bcforc Paul, is .1 .rymbol of tl1t:gospcl. Tht: L ross
rcprescnts the way jesus livcd. Th~ cross reprcserirs his dcath. !\ nd lhe
cmpty cross his rcsurrection. Missionul kadcrship. til!" the uposrle P:lld,

meanr helping those he brought to faith grow in their understanding and

rdationship to Christ in the context 01' community. He sought by his ex-
ample to share the mind and life ofChrist. Paul did not preach himself, he
prcached Chrisr, Paul was nor the king of the cornmuniries of faith he
srarted, he was their servant, for Jesus' sake (2 Cor 4:5). Paul "believed that
Christ was able and willing to keep that which he had cornmitted to Him.
He believed that He would perfecr Ris church, and He would establish,
strcngthen, sertle his converts. He believed, and acted as ifhe believed.f
The wind, the mighry rushing wind that birthed the church, is the
power and sourcc of the spontaneous expansion of the church. The
Acrs of the Apostles is acrually rhe Acrs 01' the HoLy Spirit, for the
apostles were just trying to keep in step with the Spirit, Allcn writes,
"Spontaneous acrivity is a movement of the Spirit in the individual and
in the Church, and we cannot controI rhe Spirit.?' When studying the
apostle Paul, AUcn recognizcd that for Paul rhe cross and the wind
were the foundational elernenrs to the rnissional church, In chaprer
sixteen I said the cross and deve (wind) are central and must always
rernain 50. We aren't building and cxpanding a business, we are part-
nering with Cod to build rhe church for rhe sake of his kingdom. A
friend of rrune rweeted in n:gard to the church, "When a body becornes
a business . . thut's prostirution." Ofren business principles ieach us to
be in corurol, But Paul understood thut he plantcd and Apollos wa-
tcrcd, and rhur God causes rhc growth-not us (l Cor 3:6).
The significam lesson Roland Allen repcats throughour his writings is
Pauls unwavcring belicf in rhc Iluly Spirit's work in other people's livcs,
I h: notes how Paul "pracriccd rct iremcnt" (rdt:'l~t·d control and litcrally
rnoved on to another city within two yt:ars or 50) to alJow the Spirir to
work íreely among the new behevers, Allen brings to our atrention that
rhe Paul plnnted churches and taught rhe new belicvers
how to rei}'on rhe
Spirit aparr trorn Pauls di rcct involvcmenr. Allcn observes,

rr is not elloll~h l h~ll thosc wirh whom wc have to do should scc our
acnvincs and recognizc that thcy are inspired by a gooJ spirit; ir IS nor
rhat they should imitate our ncuvirics; ir is nor enough thur rhcv
should hclp us in rhcrn; rhcre is no surisfuction u ntil thev are actuared by
the Holy Spirit anti exprcss thc lloly Spirit in iheir own activities.ê
Polycentnc Leadership et Work

For the apostle Paul the cross and the wind are the key elements to mis-
sionalleadership. Central to developing a m issiona] culture is for leaders
to cede control to and to mode1 and teach reliance on the Holy Spirit.
Allen, spealcing of the apostle Paul says,

He believed in the Holy Chosr, not merdy vaguely as a spirirual Power,

but as a Person indwelling his convcrrs, He believcd thcrefore in his
convens. He could trust rhern. He did not trusr thern bccause he be-
lieved in their natural virtue or intellectual sufficiency, If he had bc-
lieved in thar, his faith musr have been sorely shakcn. But he believed in
rhe Holy Ghost in thern."


One af the ways we can teach reliance on the Holy Spirir to our fcllow
pricsts is by moving from dependencc on a solo pastor or senior pastor
to dependence on the Spirit through polvccntric leadcrship. Polyn:ntric
Ieadership is not merely abour a tearn of cquippers equipplOg l he con-
greganon For minisrry, though that is an important srep, It's ultirnutclv
about recognizing the leading of the Holy Spirit in lhe congr<::gatiun,
and undersranding thar Christ hirnsclf is the Hcad. lr is recognizing
that leadership cun come from the youngesr Spírir-fllled pcrson in the
eongn:gatiOI1 as much as it comes frorn the equippcrs. Polyccntríc lcnd-
ership i~ kccping in ster wirh rhe '3pirit, which is diffen:nt from flat
lcadcrship. Flal leader'ihip oIrcn fall~ nato Eut with polyccnrric lcad-
crship, Icauer-follower rclations are nor nccessari I)' detennillt'd hy
formallcadership hut by the Spirir. And thc rccn9;niznl cquippers scck
to demonstrate how lcadcrship rot.rrc»,
A pracrical sl1gge~tioJl I give to renpl(' wh" d('~in' In enb:\~t' in pnly-
cenrric lcurlcrsh ip i, rh.u they wrirr- ou! lhe role (,t rhc scnior or lcud
pastor, and find the best way to share t hat role :!Ill()ng rhe cquippcrs,
wherher there bc thrce or fivc. For cxample, oftcn thc lead p~\stor ta kcs
charge (J[ teaehing-dcLiding whar is going to bc taught und wlli) is
going to reach. What [ suggcsr ís that the equippers look ar lhe lIP-
coming year ogether and devclop the tcaching ca leudur hascd O!1 rhc
foU0wing stcps.

l~irst, I encourage pcople to use rhe Christian calendar frorn Advenr to

Pentccosr for half rhc year, and then tcach what is most needed for or-
dinary time (the re t of the year), Second, besides teaching from the
various parts of the Bible and each of the di.fferent gemes, which the lec-
rionary helps us do, I encourage them to give spacc to teaching on the
focal conccrns and tetos of each of the cquippers. So one séries (four to
cight weeks) of tcaching is more aposrolic, anorher eries would be pas-
roral and 50 on. In this way rhc congregation grows to the full starure of
Chrisr. So, whcn it comes to rhe evangclist serics, rhe evangelist takes
charge 01 what is taught and who teaches. The evangelist leads and the
others Iollow, When ir comes to the pastoral series, the pastor leads and
thc other equippers follow. In this way people learn how to tead in the way
of Christ, and leaders learn how to be followers as well, since being a 101-
lower is central to ali of our lives as Christ followcrs,
When leadership is shared among the equippcrs, ir provides a pos-
irive mudei of polycentric leudersh ip to the enrire congregation. r n this
way thcy are like a flock of geese flying, where one goose rakes the lead,
uoing 1110st of the work for ~Iwhile, and rhen moves to the side so an-
other goose can rake the lead and sh.ire the loud. Polycentric lcadcrsh ip
glvc~ opporrunity to demonstrare reliance on rhe Holy ipirit as wetl as
l!;ivc lcaders necded resr,
Potyccnlric h:aJt:r~llip does nor nccessur ilv mcan rhar each cquippcr
spcuds rhe sarnc urnou nt of time lt.:.l..:1!ing the congrcgation in weekly
garhcnngs. Some are more gifled nnd sk illcd to communirure in rhur
,clLill)!, t liuu othcrs. I huvc louud rh.u ilavill~ rwo or thrcc primary
\ onuuunic.uors i., idL·~d.Vlorc t lian rli.u tccls ovcrwhclrnimr. $0 the
cCjlllppers should sec who is best in t his role,

Brutal honcsty comes mto pLIY here. When approaching polyccnrnc

leadcrxhip, rhcrc are a number nfimpnrr:l11r racrors to keep in rnind. As
~l curn munitv of lcndcrs thc rcl.irional naturc of (;od should sh.ipc thc
cquippcrs' .ipproach to lc.uicrxh rp. The Trinitv is intcrdcpcndcnr, com-, rclntionul, p.trticipntorv, sclf-surrcndcring and sdf-giving. This
is how lhe cquippers should lcad. r n .ldJition, ir is importam for lhe
ellll ippers to huvc rnuruul rcspcci for ()IlC anothcr, apprcciating rhc
gifting .uu] cxpcricncc olcach person, giving weighr ro cacho Apprcci-
Potycentric Leadershlp et Work

ation for each orher occurs as the ream has a history of relating to each
other, Trusr takes time to build.


What about making decisions? What approach should be taken? J
encourage the entire leadcrship community to analyzc their cultural
web rogerher, with input from rhe whole congregarion. In rhis way
the congrcgation owns the mission of the church. Having developed
a common cultural web solves a lor of issues. Thc
missional methods will reveal the basic building blocks of the chu rch,
what the church is seeking to multiply. And if the church is sceking
to multiply a mid-sized community. rhe equippers give a frarnework
for that community. appoint leaders and Ict thern go about the busi ness
of multiplying rhernselvcs. In orher words, once a basic fra mework is
established, dccision making should bc decentralized as rnuch as pos-
sible. giving Jecision-making aurhor iry ro rh()~,·who h'.lvI' n.·~r"n"i-
biliry for a given ministry, with rhc undersranding that evcryone
should work interdependently.
T encouragc rhe frarncwork for rhe b.isi,: huildinp; block ro includc
the focal concerns and telas ot the fivc equippcrs. In this w:\y rhe com-
munity grow~ hohsricallv, and this comrnunirv berornes thc pLll'C to
spot and dcvclop more cquippcrs, To includc rh is :1S part ot lhe
framework, cach comrnuniry should disccrn rheir rhvthrn of hte. Ar
leasr one Ibi,-l, pracrice shoukl corrclutcwit h lhe ((lcal conccrn llf cach
cquipper, While some equippcrs will help lcad rhese mid sizeJ groups,
J. i{roup JOCSlú nced .\ rccogruzed equlppcr to runcrion. Equippcrs .irc

there to serve cach comrnun it y, primarily rhrough thc various C<.jll

gll i IJ~. rhc ort":1sinnal lc.idcrsh ip commun ir)' g,lrhcri!l)!;s :uld sllt:lÜ!
rrainin;; limes rhut are open to the cnrirc cornrnuniry. Th..: rhyrhm ur
litc can var)' from ,l!,roup til gnlUp, dcpcudill)!, \lIl r lu: u.u u n- aud III.xLI uf
the group and in light of thc "ore practices I)f rhc t"ClIlgreg;1lion. Wlu-u
cuch grollp h.l<; adoprcd a rh) t lun ,.flill:. di"il'k~hiJ.i<r.t r ts

to take placc in ull of tife, not jusr dllring rhc garhcring times.
Onc way lO help people move frorn missional spal'cs to disciplcshrp
communitics (rrud-sized grollpS) is by helping pcople ll1 thc missional

spaces to adopr one or two of the thick practices of the discipleship com-
muniry, they are ready. In rhis way discipleship is parrici-
patory, active and embodied. Disciplesh.ip takes the path of belonging,
behaving and then belicving. Faith comes as people encounter the srory
of Cod in the body of Christ. And as tbey are wooed by the Holy Spirit
to "change stories," they engage in thick practices that create thriving,
liberating, welcoming, healing and learning environments in the con-
gregation. These, in rum, shape the community to be more like Christ.
Ir is best to kecp dccision making as decentralized as possible. Decisions
that a.ffect thc whole body ought to be more ceruralized, while decisions
within a rninisrry should be decentralized. This takes advalltage of poly-
centric leadership and givcs authority to those who have responsibility.
I encourage the equippers to discern the annual vision (wirh the
input of the congregation). In discerning the annual vision, it is im-
portant for rhe equippers to understand what is happening in the con-
gregation and the neighborhood, and engage in adaptive leadership.
Each equipper should be fully present when tlisccrning the annual
vision, anti they should seek the sense of the Spirit.
Ir is natural for each equippcr to havc differenr concerns-indecd,
this i, what keeps polycenrric leadership diverse, However, what ofren
happens is thar rhe apostle anti evangclist will feel that the church needs
to expando But the pastor believes rhat thc comrnunity needs to grow
decpcr. The prophet, 011 the othcr hand, is conccrncd thar the church
ought tu be more: fully cngaged with rhc poor and opprcsscd. 1\ nd the
tcucher iceis tlie congrcguuon doexn'; know lhe story of Coa well
cnough, Obviollsly, hccau-«; "f thcu girtiqg. tl\t'_~euch feel lhe necd to
pull the congregation in a slighr1y dlt'tercnt drrectron (see figo 19.1).

Figllr~ 19.1. E'Iuippcrs' Jiffcrel1( focal C""~CTllS

Po/ycentric Leadership at Work

While this can create tension, as the equippers li ten to the Spirit
through one another, they can gain a sense of the Spirit. One resourcc
I recommend tearns work through is Patrick Lencioni's Tb« Fiue Dys-
jimctions of a Team.'


We havc rnuch to learn from rhe Quakers when ir comes to di cerning

the leading of the Spirit in decision making. The Quakers, or Sociery
of Friends, demonstrare a deep trusr in the Holy Spirit ar work in the
entire body I was taJking with C. Wess Daniels, who pastors a Qtakcr
congregation near Portland, Oregon, abour how they approach decision
making. He said, we have "a meeting toe worship for busi ness." In other
words, for QIakcrs, business is another expression of worship. For some
congregations these meetings are monthly. The congregation Wess
serves holds rhern quarterly. These meetings could bc impromptu if
needed, Ilow do thcse meetings operare?
There is a fundamental belief thar unity comes by cornrnunaljv lis-
tening to God's Spirit through one another. The meeting's clerk prcscnrs
the business ar hand. Then comes a time of worsh ip. 'The worsh ip typi-
cally starts wirh silcnce, which could last tIve or ren rninutes, though rhe
time is nor fixed. The peorle sirnplv lisren to rhe Spirit. The clerk, who
is a "weighly person," not sorneonc in rhc pastoral role, bring-~ busincss
iterns to the table. Those who feel guided to say something spcuk. When
people speuk, they are encouragcd to speak thc words rhcy senso lhe
Spirit is calling rhcrn to speak, not rheir own words.
fo m.ikc this concrcre, let's ':ly lhr church is sceking ro discern
whcthcr a pcrson is ready to be <In cquippcr, Twdvc mcmbcrs spcak in
lhe ;lfTirrn:tril'c, and O!1Cpcrson is hesitam. Thce,lJaJ i~ t,) listcn [li lhe
Spirit through lhe vJ.ri\lll~ pcople. SUIIletil11eS lhe clcrk may call ror si-
lcnce .lgai n. But whcn rhe clcrk dis cerns that .l ·'sensl' oi" lhe IlH':L'1 ing
hus takcn placc," he or shc says, "Fricnds, do we huve approval?" Anel
ali who :.tppmve say so,
AgaiIl. the goal of lhe meeting is nor necessarily unanirnirv bur
getting a scnse of the Spirit, a "senso of rhe mceting." If rnost peoplc
lcan one way but a "weighty person" (one who has wisdorn, chaructcr

and a strong reputation for discerning thc Spirit) speaks another way, ir
could block or delay the decision. But the person's position would have
to be a matter of conscience, nor just preEerence.
I asked We5s what he considered to be the strengths and weak.nesses
of this approach to decision making. He said, "A weakness would be it
can take a long time to makc some decísíons, 50 if you are trying to get
sornething through quickly, ir is difficuJt. The biggest strengths are
that it is participatory, involving thc entire congrcgation, and therefore
there is high ownership in regard to the decision. Another huge strength
is that we regularly practice listcning to God's Spirit togcther, and
anytime you can do that, ir is good.'
Richard Wood, former dean of Yale Divinity School and a Quaker,

Thc search for rhe scnsc of rhe Mecring is rime-consurning, and many
people who are used to voring procedures rhink it highly incfficicnt,
l lowcvcr, after lIlany yean, uf wúrking with ir in a variety of diffcrcnt
Quaker instirurions, J belicve rhar rhe rime ftom idea to aalon may be
about rhe sarne in borh sysrcrns, anel thur a truly shared sense of lhe
Mceting facilitares collectivc acrion. Whar is shorrer in voting systerns,
wherc thc majority rules, is thc rime trom idea to dcciston; bur if lhe
dceision does not rcflccr a consensus, the time from decision to action
can be lung indccd."

Quaker congregarions in Wess's rcgion tend to range from 50 to 150

people, dose [O the size of whur 1 cal! a congregatiou (thrce to fivc mid-
sizcd groups), So rhis could bc a pracrice that congregarions cngage.
Wcss told me abour rhc regional iVlecring hc iusr urrended wherc une
item of busi ness was lo consider thc nom ination 1)[ a person to be a
supcr inrcndenr f(,[ rhe n:gi\!n. Thcrc wcrc three lo four hundrcd pcople
pn:senl al lhe mceting, and over twenty peoplc sharcd something frorn
thc Spirir. In thc end thc scnsc of thc I11ccting: was that thc ncw supcr-
inrcndcnr should be approvcd. lf rhrcc to four hundrcd pcoplc can come
to rhc scnse of the Spirit in rq;-arJ tu lhe .ippointrnent (lf a regional
lcader, rhen ccrtainly five equippcrs can come lO rhe senso of rhc Spirir
when Ol:lking decisious for rhe local congrcgarion. A cornrnunity of
lcaders is more likcly to hcar the Spirit better than one pcrson. This
Potycentric Leadershlp et Work

Quaker practicc demonstrares and teaches thc entire community of

faith to depend on rhe Holy Spirit.


God has given us rnany ways to learn; hc speaks to us many ways. He
speaks through his Word, his Spirit and creation itself. No wonder
Solornon says,

Co to the anr, you sluggard;

consider its ways and be wisc!
lr has no commandcr,
no overseer or ru ler,
yer it stores its provisions in sumrner
and garhers irs food ar harvesr. (Prov 6:6-x)

While this was writren rhousand of ycars ago, scientists trorn a vuriery
of disciplines, incllJding lite scicnces, social <ciences uru] hard st.iences,
are studY1l1gand shanng intorrnation rcgarding living- sysrcms, cornplcx
adaptive systerns, in a scientific rnoverncnr cullcd crncrgcnce. Emcr-
gence occurs when simplc componcnts self'org-anize into wondertully
rich funetlOnine; systcrns, withour any rop-rinwn conrrol Scicnrisrs
first exarnined anrs and slirne rnolds. And rlic more scientisrs looked,
rhe more rhey found new ways ofbehaving ,Iml org:.11llL:ing. Thcv ttlllnd

ir in thc bruin, in the devcloprnenr of citics, in ccll structurcs, In tcrrnin,

coloriics anti in imrnune systerns.
Kurt Fredrirksnfl wrile~. "This 1I1'\V sysrcrns undcrsranding Sl:(,'; rhc
world more a~ dcccniralizcd thun ccnrralized, more nctworkcd i hnn

h icrarchic .rl, more organiL rhan fixcd. Ir IS nor rundorn .md disorgunizcd;
ir i" r-irher nrgani'l"d thrnugh an undcrs :tndint; of cornplcxiry :tnJ C:l1C;""
grnce This new undcrstandinjj' o Icrs new possibilitic., :c)r ccclcsial llrg.l
nization."? I sharc rhese thOllght~ ubour anrs, the bruin and cirics to en
eourage us to learn more about cmcrjzcncc, bccause t hcsc Jis(Jverie~ in
Cod's creation will shcd lighr on ways filf the chun l, til organize in sue h
:1 way that cvery singfc part of the i100y lives up to its sarrcd
lo his book Emcryence, Sreven johnson ralks ,lhollt rhc ClJllIlI':Lled

livcs of ants, brains, cirics ano software. VVhcn ir come, to .mr-. scicu-

tisrs have confirrned rhat no one ant rells the other ants what to do.
They have discovered that the gueen ant is not command central bur
rather a gianr womb the other ants seek to protect. But there are tasks
to be dane, food to gather, garbage to dump and the dead to bury. How
do anrs know what to do without a leader? When firsr observing an ant
colony, ir appears chaotic, wirh ants running around and climbing over
each other. But for them ir is an essential act of community. Ants take
direction from a srnall ser of signals, or phcromones (a secreted or ex-
creted chemical factor lha r triggers a social response), released by other
ants, When an ant identifics food, it leaves behind a pheromone trai!
ihar other ants pick up and follow to rhe food source. Ants respond to
the freguency of anr encounters and the gradient of pheromone trails
rather rhan messages from individual ants. ln addition to being able to
discern the different tasks from the various scenrs, thcy can also discern
if more help is needed for a particular job.
vVe lcarn from anrs lhe

prinClpIe of low-Ievel interaction and ft:etloack The colony works only

becausc of rhe high nurnber of mreructions bcrween 'Ines. A starionary
ant multi nor rnake un informed dccision about which task [O undcrtake
bccause ir woukl bc out of rhe informarion loop, jusr as a "super anr"
moving ar tcn rimes rhe speed of any other would Oi' unahle ro lay rrails,
as well as leuvc thern. Wirhour rhe low-kvd, walking-pacc intcractions
the community could not sclf org-anjz~, could not I:Ill~rge. Qpite simply:
110Íow-Icvel recdback, no communirç.'?

Wc see the sarnc kind of rhing happening in rhe brain and the devei-
Why cio lhriving neighborhoods spontaneously de-
o[>lllenr 1)( cites.
vclop without rhe help of City !-IaU? Em..:rgencc, interactiuns berween
individuaIs, defines and shapcs various kinds ot cornrnunirles around
the city-fmlll arrisr cummunitics to hipsrer cornrnuniries. No central
o ffí ce makes sure cnough tC)UU is dclivercd tu the city, bur tood is easilv
lound. :--Jo govcrnrnenral olficc ensurcs that each ciry has cnough
plumbers, but thc pipcs get fixcd.

Til i, is hccuuse uI"lhe i ndividuals UII lhe gruund 1t:<lctil1!( alld rC~I'0l1dinK
to ()IlC :Lllollter-seeillg opportuniries and g;lps in the marker, scí7ing
Potycentnc Leadershlp et Work

new technological advances and putting thern to use-all of rhcsc

people and transactions inrerconnected through adense web of hori-
zontal connections, nor needing to roure everything up throllgh to some
queen ant coneroUcr or mayor before bcing givcn perrnission to act.!'

It's not that nothing helpful happens top down. Regulation is some-
ti mes needed when people start taking advantage of the system or fail
to participate. The point is that complex solutions emerge in the ab-
sence of any central form of Ieadership; the complex whole is crearcd,
rather, by individual agents-ants, neurons, people in ciries-wncn
they "pay attention to their immediate neighbors rather than wait for
orders from above. They think Iocally and act locally, but their col-
lective action produces global behavior."12
Is it possible that the body of Christ can work simi larly to so much
ofGod's creation? If the church is going to wake IIp and move forward
with great encrgy, could it be we necd to look to lhe anr, yie1d ro rhc
Spirit and gii<c IIp on trying lv l-ul1lrul lhillg~) \Vhcll RolallJ Alleu
ralks about the spontaneous expansion of the church, hc says, "I mean
sornething which we cannot control. The greur thirizs of Cod are
bcyond our control, Therei n lies a vast hopc. Sponrancou, expansion
could filI the continents with thc knowlcdgc oi Chrisr: our control
cannot reach as far as thar."ll


PolyCt::11lric lcadership is not a uew conc\.:pr for thc church. r r is as old as
Scriprure. Di7)1'r.(r! lcadership, rhe tive cquippers, IS not ncw, It is ar leust
as 01<.1as thc book of Epheslans. Embodying a diverso und polyccntric
lcadership approach in rhe local church fccls new to mally becausc ir is
r.ire Ior a church lOJa." to pracrice J;t:lluin\.: shurcd lt.:adtr~IIip with u corn-
muniry cquippers (apostles, prophcrs, ev.mgclists, pnstors <Lnd rcachcrs).
While thc rcasons for this <Ire Illany, if rhc church is going to cul-
rivarc a fruitful missional cthos, shc nccds a varicry of giftcd lc.ulcr-,
working togethcr as a cornmunirv to stunuluie llIé cntire buli)' to join
God in rhe rcncwul of all things. For this ro hnppcn wc nccd In n'-
rnernbcr two WO[dS-CTOSJ and -tuind. In 1968 Tgn.\tius, .rn Easrcrn Or-
thodox patr iarch, gavc an address ar lhe Assembly of rhe World COllllci 1

of Churchcs. In that address he spokc of the Holy Spirit in a way that

is hard to forger.

Wii hout rhe Holy pirir CoJ is flr away.

Chnst srays in rhe past,
The Cospel is simply an organizarion,
Authoriry is a matrer of propaganda,
The Liru rgy no more than un evolution,
Chr istian loving a slave morality.
BUl in the 1101y Spirit
I'he cosmos is rcsurrected .ind grows with the
birrh pangs of the kingdom.
The Rísen Christ is there,
The Cospcl is rhe powtr oflife,
The Church shows forth thc liíc of rhe Triniry,
Aurhoriry is a lihcrating science,
M issron is :J Pcntccosr,
The Liwrgy is both rcnewal anti anricipurion,
Humnn action is deificd.'"

lfwe are going to develop mature disciples and mature communities

of faitli, wc rnust recognize the powcr of culturc to transforrn lives.
The cu ltu re of our congregarions shupe us in hiddcn and powerful
wa~'s, thus Spirit-fillcd cquippcrs nccd [O understand the various ele-
mcnts tl[' thc cultural wcb .md scck lo cultivare rhriving, libcrating,
wclcom ing, he:.t1i ng and leu rn ing envi ronrucnts in lhe c,)figrcg:lcion.
'\1,,( unI, Spirit-lcd Ic;tdl;r~ hUI ou r very IlPproi/C/! lo tc'c,d<l\hip crcares
cult urc in profou 11..1 \V:l\ s, wh ic h i, whv Chrisr ~ave lhe chu rch
upostles , proplicts, ev:.tllgdj~ls, pastors :.tJJJ rcachcrs tu cquip the
cnt irc LhuICh ::,u rh.u CVCly p.u t ol t hc LuJy i~,lwakclll:J tu live uut
t lici r L.!lIiul!; tug-clhcr, alltl in this way we become 11IIIrc like the Head
otthe bodv-c-Ch ri-a .
J t rusr you h,IVC hccn cncouragcd ln cultivare a rnissional culturc in
lhe congrcgation .you serve. so that we rnight sec Coe! bring more of
hC:.tVCII lo cac11 oI' our ncighbnrhoods. As you conremplate what God
would have yuu do as a rcsu Ir of rcading th is book, plcase join me in one
of my J:lVoritc praycrs.
Po/ycentric Leadership at Work


We yearn to be thc church you want us to bccorne,

Shapc us into something beauriful.
We recognize rhar you are rhe Pottcr and wc are rhe clay,
Please continue to rnold us into the image of Chrisr.

We wanr to join in what you are already doing in rhe world,

In our worship and Iife rogethcr, in our ministry and service tu others,
we wanr ro givc people a glimp~..: of yOllr intentions for rhe whole world.

Help us (Q welcorne the ourcasrs, love our enernies,

and form a Community that is visibly Jilfen;nt from rhe culture aroun.] U~

as a sign ofwhar you <Ire doing in the world.

Help us experience your lovc and g-racc,

grow in our rclationship with ]l:SUS,

and cxpericncc the power of your Spirit

,15 wc offcr yOUf gond IIl:W' tll othcrs.

In Jesus' narne wc pray, Arnen.P


Equippers and Their Roles


Cultural architecrs are people who help shape the culrure of rhe l'ongre-
gation in theological and practical ways, Thcy hclp the com rnun ir ç lo
díalectically dance berween identifying with anti chaltenging thc host
culrure, and thus the ethos developed in thc congrcgation enables pcople
to live [aithrullives to God in the context in which thcy finJ lh<.!lllSclv<.!~,


Eyuippin,t; is borh a rcpairing und prepa[il1~ mirust rv. [':qulpping Ill'cd~
to take placc in multiple cnvironrncnts: the cbs~ro()1ll .md rhc living-
roorn, lhe sanctuary as well as th..: strccrs, Equippinl!; othcrs mvolves
helping- pcople gain a strong theoretical fillll1darinfl, inrcgraring r hcorv
anti pructicc as well as Olclltoring anel cxpericnce.


Peter says all tollowers oi" ChriSl are prie:;b (1 Per 2:<). anti Ivl.irkus lL!llh
rcrninds us that, "Thc wholc church is rhc clcr)!,y :lpJloinrc, I hy Co.! I;li" 'I
m.inistry to ;lI1d tor thc world." I Ea,'h pcrson in rhL bod) 01 Lhrisl i~ :1
disciplc uniCjllely made h) G"L! with paninILtrl!;ift,. pcrsonaliric. J1~IS
sions, talcnrs and experienccs. 1"(Jllippcrs are scrvunrs who u ndcrsr.uu]
rhar they are rnirusters to othcr ministcrs, hclpll1,l~ (',l\'11 di',-ipk tlllflll his
ar her rninisr rv in the churrh .ind in rhc \V"rld t;)r rhe ':lke "f thc ',\'(,;-Id.


\tVhilc wc are ull ministcrs. ir is hclpfiil to ?1Ji.-i,d~y rl'J}gllj:..~", rhr"'lgh rl«
laying O!1 ofhantls, congrcgauonal cquippcrs in our l.'(1!l11l111Ilil li to ()\'LTSCl'

a particular arca of congreKational lifc. Th()~e wl m .m: r"l"),l';ni/l'd c<JlliJl

the clJn~rqsali()n .ind ovcrsce a particular arca ot rninisn y in rhc •...hurch.

While euch cquipper is .1 KiÚ to the body in a primary way, he or she may
be a gift to thc body in a sccondarv way as well. Each equippcr is called to
lrve a holistic life in which hc ar she is being shaped and formed not only
by rhe other rccognized cquippers but thc congregation as a whole.


Fallowing thc pattem of rhe New Tesrarncnt, newly recognized
equippers of the congregution are selccted by the current congrega-
tional equippers and broughr before rhe congregation for approval.
Each equippcr is proactive in training apprentices so rhar there might
be five equippers for every 100 to 250 people. Equippers will also seek
to cultivate a team who will hclp them fulfill rheir particular m inistry.
If someone is appointed as a congregational equipper and feels the need
to step down due to time constraints or other issues, then thc equipping
teurn wauld seek to find a rcplacement.

Table i\ 1.1. Apusrles: Drcarn Awukcners

:'Ilission \1'""lc hclp tn r rcarc u dlsciplcship erhos and ,,11 people to

What is rhe ip.uc in ihh·;lIh.:ill~ GoJ'~ klI1~Junl hy .nv.tkcning people
primary missjon?l .IIUI..:tlllll11llJ'lirk:; ro dh.\.tlvt:r :lnd tive ouf thdr ca.lling in üt~.
11c"'1 !)r(~l1l1 .1\\',d't:I'H.'r h.ivc a d(.;cl' dcsirc til <;t:~.God's kín~dom becornc
How du rhev reflcrr mon- i;II\~iht,· iu Ih,· woa1d dUt.)U).!h lhe church. "3nJ thc:y ..I,) whrrever
rhc hearr ,,(C()d? ir r.rkc-, rll ";'\,.','rlU:-'l·OIlH.: .thout ,

Focu. Tlwlr dL'l')Il·(I1)l·nl);. .u'.' rltl" Ill';!lch :lI1d t.urh Ilf rhe church , rhe tiHUr"l'

\ Me lhe .hn , tlllfll!fdll \. l.ur ..h, ~h, ,ltrnl)~rhcrc .lOd .unrude nfthc .:nm
issues rhar oecpl)' mu rur v, hlenri,\' tu Chri ..a, oq.!;:u\:zarinnal dvna mics, individual and
coucern rbcm- ~ Imm:!!l.d \.·.t1I;n:; ••, Hll\rkll'~ wrrh mhcr hith L'nn'lO"lUJllfll"Ii, Idccy<:k''i
111milll'ilIIL· •.•
, IUI w.tu] movcrmnr wHh J!lC hlg: pu.:rurc 111milld.
Ivlinistry nn: ••·I'L'lp pt..'lIpll.; li\!'; illlo Lhe cuhu r.d wcb, .tl.:l:'Irdillt.!; to their ~Jlling.
'.Vh.H u·~ rhl.' 1 [nv '" '"".1'l' li ·t.: -t 'l11c' n~ .t'l.!"Y rem. rc-vc-vul , c:-C.1t!!l:;.l1l
I"rirrlJ ry \\ .1Yi tl1Jl 'va;"
,1;,;11, ../ \.:;,~ ·.\"::~·:c ..,1.1 .1 +::-l.~.,';"111rt:::1 '.\'ih..i m a ~ym:r.~ctic n~cy
rhev embodv [hi< di..'\i(_·l0l' .1IId ltçll' l~lnl'l. rr ..•nnrccs f~lr lhe ml~••mn ••111d monitor ,111d
II\,t~ in rhe ~hurch? 1l" rl r iv H" '11~(·ll'l("dllp 111 :111tl1l1.r "Õnn:ll "p:1ce, Ihey culnvarc rhe

'n'lh ]'Ii, ·I'l<1l1l1t I,·"ln •• l~tl""lnll:1\ irn rnu nir u-«, mini ••rrit', ;Ind
..hllrlll .11111 "IpI!" 1\ I) ",) :;•.'L'.••'lrk .••·i:h «r hcr ,hUí .•hc:;. Thcj" train
.IPpr ·llli •....
f l·'j>.11111 huild 1(',1111:-" til Lclp wuh thcsc minisrncs
r-------------------- ------
Weakness \ j1""r1c'o 111,1\IIJ1.! tlli.:1 r ~.I luc H1 .10... lucvc mcnt tn·;rc:ld ot ( ,()d, and
\Vh.lI i, rl.cir Ihll!>i l' ••d.1 "'.11,1<' dI(' IIli·~""II.1l JI t lw t':'-pt.:fbc.: .~rthr individu.rl
primary hlind ipm:
F.ffec! \ 1'",rll:'o l Idti\,;\!I'.J rltrivlIU~ cuvrrcnmc nr where rhl'y ,1\\ .ikcn pcople
\Vh'lI I> rlunr err"L[ 11/ ;11111(:t1d IH t hc ,t.:1u..:w,d .tlllhill,gr- thrIlU.~;' ~lj.,uplc"hip .lnd
wirhin thc body? mulrip!« ..ation ilt lc.tdcrs, rrussional rommumncs, minisrrics,
chun l n- v .1IHIIIIII\'CitlCtlt'; nfd,urdu.: .
Appendo; 1: Equipoers and Ttuur Roles

Table}U.2. Prophets: Heart Revealers

Mi sion Prophers help people pursue Gods shalorn by ~,"ling rhe church
Whatis the ro live in Cod's new social order and stand wirh the p""r and thc
primary mission? opprcssed.

Ilcart revealers huve a deep desire for peoplc ro expertcnce thc divmc
How do they reflccr romance ano have 0111 intimare walk wuh rbe Spirir. They are rhc
rhe heart of God? conscience of the chu rch.
Focus Thcir deep conccrns are social juStíc-c, praycr, devdnping God-
Whatare the ccrucred contrasr cornmuniries, [rue worship, hnHness. prat:'tll:ing:
issues thar deeply Cod's prcscnce,lisrening ro God's Spirir, spiritual pracriccs,
concern thcrn? Sprrlr-formcd pcople. ~lobal convciou-.ncss and downward m"bílity.
Ministry Heart revealers help people, missioual communitics anel rhc
Whatare the
congregarion develop a cornmunnl rhythm oflife. Tlicy equlp l'c"plc
primary ways rhar to llve Sririt-f1I1ed lives and prucrice t he presence rhrnu,\h "rc".!
rhey embody this silence, solirude and f.1Sring. Thcy cultivare the praycr Itfc of thc
gift in rhe ChUICh? congregarion and crenrively speuk rrurh tu power Ilnd CtJ!lJP orhers
tu du rhe sarnc. Thc,v glv~ spnnr:.tncou\ wurds 1)1C'nrnllr:\gcrnenr.
romfort .md cxhor t.mon .,nd htlp pc:nplc: move hum '.l pof irics ot
cxplorranon nnd oppression ri" onc ufjllstire" ;Ind cornpasaiun lhev
(,:ncouragt~ thc cong:rcJ.;.i.uit}n to live IIIlIre 'iirlll'lc, slIsrain;lhl-e livc-, .
.ind tlnd W:lys to stnnd with thc POI)( .lud '}Pl'rc:s.;c~1 in cuncrcr c~ ,"Vil):t
h,h..:.dly ;lnd .~tllhalh,. They traiu :ll'l'n.·n[kc~ .uu] budd J. tL'.\J ot"

Prophers potcnriullv rnismke rl«..:ir words tor Gud ....worJs .nul
What is rhcir undervalue cnJ\ré!\:III:.lli,.,Hi,HL
prim 0ry blind "pOI?

Effecr ---
Prophcrs culrtV.lCl:.\ libcr:ltm,1.{ cnvi ouuncur rh.1t da res pcopk
What is rhcir ertcct [o crubodv a hulivric ~~o~pd hy fonllil\~ Spirit -illlbihcd cont r.•...I
within rhe bOOy1 CnnlH'lUIIUICS fur hc glt}ry IIfCod .llId rlle I-!;II'HI nfrhc Wqrlt!

T.,ble 1\1.3. I':v:\tlgcl iSI~: Scory Tcllcrs

Missiou Ev.II.~t..:II'.I:-' hei!, rl«: n)tl.'~reg.lltlln IU•.
:.lru.itc t hc j!;lItHI nrws 1,_\ hC(I)I!
Wh'lri, rhc wltll(· ..•
·w'Õ\tld rr-. h'lllptl\'~',_~elH I :c.·d-.;r.:lnill~ t",'cl; .1 pl!'i "r ,0,-1\ ' .•
prinurv mlssüm~

11e,,, r S[I)I'Y 1~·IIt-" 11.,\.(· a dt:l:1' P_\"'UII\ lrrr ITI 4Hh 11,.11111'1 I"iwy 10\/'- di
I (OW c1u dicv I cflcc t pc,,!,!c: tn" dC-:-'lil': lu "iI.:C w h.H \V;\S IWil .rr rhc "'di hc 1111..:ndt'd
lhe hcarr olC"d? Ih.·llpJc.•..n·1.uiilll ..•hip wir h C'H,f \VIIi! ~',,,h 'ldwr l\ld, tlw., II1VTl .Jt
.111'{ .dl of,:rl'.1I1tlll

Forl1 li;; Tht'\ .\"': ' n"<"·'.·rl,,·d t; -r r!l.· sn i !.~n.d \,.'ll:i ..:!:, n •.i;,' 1:"1.111;.111 •.••
Wh,t are rhe phiJ:'''iI)phy; culrun-: rcdn:lIling II\.T cultu rc , VHv .llu'H:-;. :-'l~li.d

issucs th.u dc"pl~ -v-rcrus .IUJ I.t"CJtitU1: -,Lllfl ll1.1 l'II.o.! In rn II1b",It)lh~ hcilll',.1
conccrn {hem> hilhful r hurch IU:\ plur;J!i-'I":' 1\'orld; ~h;lIill~ Llllh r.:spn_-tt'ldl., ,
"ltclIl~enrJy. IO\"lIlgI\' .lild r'lmc~IILd'r: ,"·rl)l:-'~lIll\lr;tllj1.-III.~~

IJht!'I,!!;I-IIC.-...lll"l'ir,1 ity; IIld blc"'-:-'IIIf.; 'L',' tlcJ,~hhtldln(1I1

__ J

Srory tcHers live missicnally and equip others co engage in rnissional
Whatare rhe living as J way ofHfc. Thcy hclp people to meaningfully connecr to
primary ways thar missional.paccs which connect Cbrísrians wuh non-Chrisrians.
they embody rhis They tench people how ro live and share their story and Cad's story.
gifr in the church? They vicw rhe eongrcg~tionallifc chrough the "yes of those outside
of rhe f.ith and flnd practical ways for missional commun.itics tO
mcer and serve rheir neighbors nnd neighborhood. They help
connecr rhe congregarion to what is bappening in rhe neighborhood.
Tbey train apprcntlccs and build a tenm of people who help them
wirh these ministries.
Evangehsrs may engagc In cverconeexeualízanoe by idcnrifying toa
What is rhelr
closely with culture and not valuing thc develcpment of J conrrast
prirnary blind spot? communiry,

Effect Evangclists cultivare" wc1coming environmenr and ao ourward

Whar is their effecr foeus toward thc world for rhe sake of rhe world hdping people
withio mebody? [Q be and share lhe good news ccntexrually,

Table A l.4. Pastors: Soul Healers

Pastora help rhc congregarion pursuc wholencss and hcliness within
Wh.tis the
commun,ry lhrough cultivaling a litê-!!;iving 'pltitualiry .md hclping
pnmory rnission? (hem cmbody reconciliatlon.
They have a dccp dcsire for peoplc to cxpericncc rhe lite-giving
How do they reflccr teJlowship of uuthcnric communiry as medeled by our triune Cod.
rhe hcarr of Cod?

Theír concerns are idenri ry in Chrisr, confllcr resolution, sei f-
Wh.t are lhe .lw~rcncs~, cIl1oriol1,tl1r lu:alrhy livin~. he;tlin~ of p~l~1wounds,
issues that deeply
livlll~ in hrokcnucss nnd vulnernbl liry, t'ccciving thc glfe of liuuts,
concern chem?
crnbrucing gtic'Iing and 1055, lovJI1g wcll, spiritual fricndshlps,
:'1llfinl.d dih':L1iOIl, tdlUi1y lirc pc~u.:cnl.lkillg, ~olll rn.tppll1g,

~()tlJ1sclin~. cOJl:'hin!-!;. iJVln!-t confc:ision..ll hvcs, sh:tnng vrctories

.unl f.lilt'rc.:~ .• IIIJ I!clpillJ.í dlc t;ulj~tCU...llilllJ [oiu In rhe Tablc
tcllowsh ip ofthc Trinity.
SouI hca lcrs l"lllriv;ttc.1 life givmg "pirilu,a1ly wirluu rornrnuuiry so
\ VhJt.u~ rhe d1.\t r hc ,,:ul1~rc~.HlulI c.m ~nst;1J11 hcr ...clf rn 1I11','iHlII.

primary ways rhar

rhey embodv this
gift in rhe church?

\Vc~knc.s P.t.)t~H:'\..Iluld v.iluc rl.c iudiviJu.d V\'Cl llIi:lo:,iulI. piUil1g du: twu
\-Vlu, i, rheir
.1_~.LIII~l (.·adllJda:r LlI '\lJo.:h.1 W:'\y;1S {ü crc.uc u Cd~c dll:hml)!nV
primary hlind spot? hcrw('l'n commnni rv hllildin[r .•nd rni~~ifln
. .'
P;lHl'r" culuvnr- ~ hcalinh cnvironmenr in wh:ch peoplc lcar-n
What is rheir cffect ff)cutcr into ,I lifc-gi\'-ing spiriw;!li[J wnlun God'..; "L'W t:u 11iI}'.
wuhin lhe body' lIndcr·~t;1nrli(l!~ t Ítci r I1t'Widcnrll}' in ChrJ'H
Appendix 1: Eauippers ena Their Roles

Table I\J .5. Teachers: Lighr Givcrs

Tcachors help rhc congrt1>,uilln to inhabit the sucrcd rexr by
Whatis 'no
encour~ging thc communlty to irnrnerse hersclf in Scriprurc
pri mary míssion? and livc birhfuUy in Gods story.
Hean Liglu giv~rs desire thar God's people would be nourished by
How do they reflecr Scripcure so they lI11ght berrer undersrand lhe ways of God
the heart of God? and build thcrr Jives 01'1 thc solid rock of his Wnrd.
They are concerned abour theology .• thies, pracricn] theology,
Whatare thc
hcrrne neut ics, phil".uphy. lhe Torah, the ProplIcts, thc 'vVtltillg,.
issues that deeply
the Co.pel" thc c"rly chureh, narrativc theology, sysrernaric
contem them?
thcology, crecds, truth and error, wisdoru, word ::;tUU1CS, lJ.rHrtl:ll~e'.
memor izat ron and medirarion of Scnprure, currenr thcologlcal
trends and hor-burron issues.
Ministry Light givers finei mu ltiple ways i()r rhe cornmuniry to hc shnpcd hy
Whatare tbe the living Word, They crente, garhcr aud share resources for rhe
primary ways thar coogrcganon so th at people might Icarn and practlcc Cod's Word.
they ernbody this
Thcy rcach, wr itc books, write purnphlcts on hor t"fI"" and mvolvc
gi ft in the church?
people in "crive Icarnlng. Thcy creure hunge, io, thc 'vVord aud help
the congregarion rhmk and acr in thenl()gically sound w.ivs ['hcy
hclp to dcvclop rhe reaching calendar in" holisrlc wir h tI,..
orher equippers. They rrain apprenrices a nd build .1 tO;1I0 "f pcople
who help t hem wir h t lu-v v min isr r u--,
Teachers may PU[ 'itudy .ibove prncrice, a nd seck to uraster rhc tc x t
Whllt is thei r insrcad of allowing rhe rexr TO masrcr rhern.
pf1l0~ry blind SPOt?

Effect Tcachers cultivute ~ll("Jrning cnviroumenr whcrc pcnpll." immcr-,c

Whar IS therr cfti:cr rhcmsulves m Gmj's narrarive und c:n~ag-c 111 pr:1X'i~ -cll.lned
wírhin rhe body? rctlcction-~lSwcll ,», tururccricnecd tiving.

Equipper Candidate Reference Form

Bccause of your relationship with the congregational equipper can-
didate, you are being asked to fill out a reference on his or her behalf
This reference is a vital part of the selection process, so your honest
evaluation is rcquested. It is OUI desire to recognize those whom God is
working in and through, 80 thar the cungregation rnight move forward
in fulfiUing God's rnission in the neighborhood.

This evaluation is designed to help in the selection of and evaluation of an
equipper candidate. Whilc we are aU ministers, the Scripturcs illustrate
that it is helpful to officially recognizc, through the laying on of hands,
specif cquippcrs in a congregation to he1p ovcrsee, culrivate and nurture
various ministries in rhe mngregatinn. EC]uippers are servanrs who undcr-
st.uui thcy are ministcrs to other rninisters, hdping each disciple tulfill his
or hcr rninisrry in the church and in rhe world tor the sake of the world.

Bcc.iusc af thc naturc of thc cquippcr role, it is imporranr th.1t cquippers
are pcople of thc vVord, peoplc of virtuc, peoplc who have dcvcloped
cC]uirrinE?; ~ki"s thru'Igh the Spirit and people who live missionallivcs for
thc sakc of thc world, Thcrcf()fC, this cvaluation will ask you tu cvaluate
thc I..'lIldiJ.ll<.:'..;
tIH:()I()~y.vharacn-r, clfuipping skills anti missional life.
Tb is evaluarinn is ~lliJed hy lhe ious lisrs (lf virrues fi)und
t hroughour lhe New Testarnenr. Thcse lhe Pastoral Episrles
(1 Tim 3:2-7; 2 Tim 3:10-11; Tit 1:6-9), the truit 01" the Spirit (Cal
5:22-23), the fundamentais of fairh, hope and love (l ar 13), and
Pctcr's letrl:rs (1 Per 5; 2 Per I), In .uldirion, this cvaluation is gllidcd
Appendix 2: Equipper Candidate Reterence Fortn

by other virtues and ways of life discovered in the Ii fe and reachings of

Jesus (e.g., the errnon on the Mount [Mt 5-7] and various parables),
the Pentateuch, and in rhe biblical narrative as a wholc. The Scriprures
painr a picture of a mature di ciplc: a person who is ablc to equip
others in the congregation rhrough exarnple and m inistrv.

Throughout this evaluation, plcase use the five-point scalc in tablc A2.1
in evaluating the candidate. You may use whole nurnbers (e.g., 1, 2, 3) or
half numbers (e.g., 3.5, 4.5). If ir is an area that you have nor obscrvcd,
thcn indicare that with the lerter UN, ter unobserved. Space IS pro-
vided throughout the evaluation for your writrcn comrnents.
Table A.2.1. Five-Poínr Scale
5-ExceptioniUy l\'1ature \ way (}flifc~ cun",i..."iolcnrly l.·xl.:d~111 t lu, .rrc.r

4-Commclllláble trl.·lI~ih111 rllI:'l'f,:r~"II'~111,

.\ ...•
3-Compctcnt AC'lt:I',,,-hlc, s••lid. lill'ilhk
2-CrOwlh Needed Growrh nccded in thi:'l Ht;.1


U N -Unobserved

According to Jesus, IVe are nor to livc by hrcud .ilouc hur h.1c\'cry word
rhat procecds Irom the rnouth oH ;ml. Scriprurc is (;od 's word to Ih, .1
taithful ~lIidc lI) 11m livc~ WllCII 1I11,krs[""d .IIlLi '\I'plied w,11. .\~
Mirosla« Volf has suid, "At t hc heart uf cvery good thcolllg} lics nor
sirnply a plausiblc vision bur more irnl'0rr:ll1t!} :Il"Jifl;ll'llin,é!.
account ,lf.1 W.l} "flile, ,11lJ tlun tllclll,)~.' i, tl,o..ld;llc. bl..,r ,1,)111.. :', .. rr t

wirhin rhe pursuir orthis \V,1~ of lifc."

The aposrlc Paul says, "Kecp I d""l' wu« h "Il how vou liv.· ,l1lLl '111

your teaching. Sray true to whur is righr ttlr rhc ';lk..: ()f .\(Hlr '1'.':11 ~;LI-
vation anel lhe sulvation ofrh(l~e who l.ear you' (1 '11111-+;16 NI.I'). /'11 ,IM':
use tuble A2.2 to cvaluare thc candidate in rhese v.rrious ;IrL';LS deal ing
with theology anel prncrice.

Tablc 1\2.2. Theologlcal Evaluation

Arca Description

Reguhrlr spends nme with God through bis Worcl in 3 way that
he or she hears rhe voicc of God and falls more in love with him.
Gospel Has ~ holistic undcrsranding of the good nOW5, rhar ir is
good news for rhe poor and lhe puor in spirit, for lhe
presem and rhe furure. Undcrsrands that lhe good news is
focused on lhe lifc, dearh and resurrecrion of jesus,
Kingdom Undersrands, tcaches and Iivcs our rhe reachings ofJesus and
lhe kingdom, rhut lhe kingdom is here and coming, rhar we
are called to pray and participare in secing God's kingdorn
becorne a grcatcr reality on carrh rhrollgh his Spirir.
Undersrands, tcaches and abides by rhc basic narrativo of
creation, Fall, redernprion and the renewal uf ali rhings.
Comprchensive iJno.!ersl..nds, reuchcs and livcs by 11ie facr thar GoJ intends
to rcdecm or resrore "all ehíngs" in heaven and 011 earrh,
incJuding our bodics anel creation irsclf
Inrerpretation Takes into accounr me Scriprure, lhe Holy Spirir, the local
church, thc currcnt context. theolo~icat hisrory, reason and
cxpcric.ncc when it comes [O sccking undérslanding of lhe
sacred rcxr.
Undersrands .rnd abidcs by rhe Niccne .nd Aposrles' creeds,
Encnurngcment Is .ihle ru cl1c()l.Iragc orhcrs wirh Svriprure.
- -
Is ,iblc to .pply Scriprurc .ll'l'wprürcly, with humility .md
)l;racc in various !iltu:trions.
:\llows people roorn ro frcely explore lhe rrurh undcr a V.IST
umbi ell.i ,JfG{".l':o. uruce, nor uaivclv but wirh nuelligcncc,
wisdom ~Ul(J leve. Reuhzcs rh.rr crrrical openncss allows us [(1

(lJll~'ilisteu [O ....l1ot!a:r\ pcrvpccrive wl[b,~ut prcjuJg:lIlg thern

or rhcir \·lC'wrníJlt. HL:-;pcc;:; cn hcrs wlien convcr ..•ing ovcr
rcvcl.rrion .md rc.rlirv. Knows that 1Ind('rS(~lHcJin~ expand-,

---- inl"rCmenr.tJly. whic h r i'.i ~('ntl:l\.:~l!j i!'\"·h-in~

Commmts. Thc fi)llowing Sra(C is providcd for yelU to ndd turther intor-
marion in rC1;ard to this candidarc's lhcology, tcachlng and W;lY of lire.
Aooeaat» 2: Eqiupper Candidate Reference Farm

Christ's followers are called to increasingly bccorne more Christlik..:. The
apostle john says, "Whoever clairns to l.ivein him rnust live as Jesus did
(1 jn 2:6). Being a Christian rneans following rhe way ofJesus, living like
Jesus. While we all have room for improvement, equippcrs should be
spiritual fit, moving roward becoming a fully mature human being.
Bcing mature entails having a diffcrenr character. lt is importam to
keep in mind that rhere is a big difference.betwcen a generous act and
being a generous person, or a countgeous <ler and being a courageous
person. "Mosr people are capable of a generous act [rum time to time,
by a suprerne efíort of will, Buc that is very ditterenr frorn having~t:n-
erosity built into thc very fabric and tenor lifc."2 Cod wants [O ar
transform our lives in such a way rhat the basi<.:way wc live is pattcrnc.l
after the life ofChrist. This is why Paul said a halfdozcn times rhur we
should follow him as he follows Christ, Please use table A2.3 to cvaluatc
rhe eqllipper candidate in rhesc i nrl ispensuhk- virrurs
Table 1\2.3. Characrer Evaluation
Arca Descr lption

Trustworthy hdtills prc.>1111S(.'S .lnd nhli~.nlUI1~.I )" .1 l~m!-oI~;tl'l1l'r

and Trusting in vrlues, skill-, ,uHl .urum-, Aur hcnru-. Il.t~ k.HJ1cd 10 tru st
ut hc rs .r , wcl!
Servnnr lJownw.Hdl." mobile. J)nl'~ flor Inrd 11\)\,\'1 I)[hl'l:.lllll .~·I\\!

othcr~ [roru t he hc.rr: \Villlll:':' lu Ju t l rc IU\\II,· j(,lh ;1I\lI1..\nIlH·~ I

wirll rho.c IIfIlO reput.u!tul. I 1I·,t :~dl willl.:d lr "H;tndlill:~_
Olhcr-;-,,:clHcrcd. Bt111d~ (;nd '..,kln~dlllll. 111)141\\'11
Lovcr II.I~ cxpt,;nl!l1(l~d rll c lovc 0'- t ~"d to I1H: pl1int Ih,11 1\\, 'H h~ 111\',,·,
(;nd tcrvcnr lv hum rhe hcurr .1J\d 1"\'l:S )h'lIpk 1.•··\'1·" :-Iw
uuln'''Tlv; IClvrs Irwl1d •..;h \'wll;1 ,'1 n-ru i,'''''

Peace .VIa ker

I \..:lIu:l1t:r 111 üC.llrhy \\I.t)" '\1 I'c;h.l: wuii 1.:\.'\.:[\11111.:. ,t~.11111\"11.,,,

J-. l-í __ --+..:.p_"_,_,,_h_Ic_

.. _l_'nJe-p.d,,ru\:.. own IlIr~I\CI1l'::-'~ .lIld t41r~I\"t:•• otln-r;

uud Faithful

Uumblc Demonstrare .1 11I.:.11tt1\ scnsc ·)f scl! fi)~.:.r.:tft1lnc·,~.HeiolL .~ '.\"lt1I

orhcr pcoplc's succcsscs. Coopcr.uwc, tc.uu pl.rvcr. ";!'I'b, ,h~"h l' .111t1
rcsponds wcll to autluu inc . Di .•pl.l\ -; IW;I~!l1\' IIllnd.'p(·lhtl Ih I

[JIIC'iJÚ reei lhe I1l"Ct! I" plnH': "clL ,\" I,vdy 1(';1111'1 [rotn othc.:\~.

(1-5) Dcscription
Ho pirnhlc
Friend III ,rranf:crs. Wc!comes pcople in his or her hume or
.rparrrncnr. Coes out of the way tO rneer people he or she doesn'r
know at gathcrings .ind in luc.
Dcmonsrrnres a mindser of abundance, not of scarciry. Encourages a
.I!;ift-oricmcdculrurc in rhe rnidsr of a marker economy.
Livcs a morally pure Iifc and sceks ro pleuse God in evcrything.

Rejolc", always ao.! is thank.ful in everyrhing. Radiates 3 contagious
joy, 1-1", .1 j,)y rhar givcs rhcrn <rrcngth to persevere rhrough ali rhinb~'
Waits on God 111 the miJ,r of a drivcn socícry rhat appluuds
Has agood scnse oi own strcngrhs and weaknesses, gifrs and ""!!iog.
t::motiolully rntdligcllC. Reads social dynamics well, Has learned to
lisren to own selfand procc,. own expericnces in hcalthyways.

Comments. The following spacc is provicled for you to add further in-
furmation in regard ro this candidate's charactcr,


Wc are ali ca llcd to be mi nisrcrs, but some are callcd to be equippers

of orhcr rninisrers. The crarr of cquipping is likc any other crafr: it is
learnc.l lhrnll~h apprcl1ticeship .md prucricc. jusr as mosr basketball
wachcs srarred ou tas pluvers, ClJlI ippcrs seck to follow Chrisr in thei r
JiPe und i n ti me rcali zc rhcv h.rvc passions uud gifling in particular
areus. III t irnc t licy hccomc mcntors, coaches or eqlllppers 01' ot hers.
Thc uposrle f-'aul ulcnri fies f ivc equ ippcrs in Ephesians 4: aposrles
(drearn uwakencrs), proplicrs (hcarr rcvc.ilcrs), cvangclists (story tellers),
pastors (soul healers) .uid teachers (/ight g:ivers). Each of thcse equips
rhe body in various ways. Though cach cquipper nas a ditferent focus,
evcry equippcr nceds lo dcvclop a ser of skills in order to excel in their
Appendix 2: Equipoer Candidate Reference Form 235

craft. A few of these skills are lisred in table A2.4. Please evaluate the
candidate in each area in the table.
Table A2A. Ski1l Evaluation
Area Descciption
Catalyst Cases vision, Able to cummunicare vision in such J way rh,rr
orhcrs have J desire [O use rheir gifts to conrributc tu whar God
is doing. An inirinror, .l pnssionate pcr<õõonwho takes rhe lead In

gClting work donc.

Cultural Hclps tO cultivare .\ cu hurc In rhe congrcgaríon in whil:h .1
Architect particular mimarry of Jesus is more fully livcd out. Culnv.m-s a
rhriving, libcr~tlng, wclcoming, healing or Icarning cult urc.
Menror Dcmcustrares sincere intercst in pcople. Rcsponds wrth
urgency and cornpnssion to pcoplc's physical and cmorionn l
necds. Con'dorcl'l, encouraues anti cxhorrs orhcrs wisclv su
thcyeln move forward.
Listener ---
Engages in holisrlc lisrcning Ihmugh (1) a,kin~ !lu"d
quesrions, (2) li.tcning to rhc Splfir ofCud .md (1) lisrclIlIl!;
to is l13prcning wirh rho-e rhcy .rre scrving.
~ --
~tri·.'!..·, r'r ~·~··~l!!'n,,::.·:'n
cve •.•.'hing-. nl.J'-g:'l~"-" o'''('nn,ih~r.t;., c
to dcvclop pcoplc accor •..lin1{ to rhclr g:ifr$ :'111\-J call. Crc:ucs
syner~y tcward çongn.'gari11lul gUid· ;lrlJ he lp-, lhe L...'(JIl.~rl·

garic In me ivc fll(Wa rd

Nerworker ni....
pl.t~,~ ";O{"iitl in{dlit~cth.:c .uul find, \V.I,\"S tu uct wurk wirh ut t iu-
con;.;rc~.ltitJJl :1.'wcl] as with or her churches nnd movcmcut e 111
lInity f()r rl.c ...ake ofrhe kill!-{Jnm ofCt)tl
Rcsourceful Not onlv is «ble ro l'n wnlo !()( <co) f ,In..l .,:IO"'l' flI1t"", bur .11"11 ti Ild·:
lIIulrll'l,,·,,!tl n-•..•
uucc tldlc" 111Il."fI I h oi knowlcduc.
nct',\"\lr!'dI1g' ,1:1&1 problcrn nl\.'in.~.
Tc:am 11I\'olvl''';Pl'(jplc h.lscd nll rhc ir Cl1d ~i\Jt'll S.I r 1'\ P' I~. (Spll11 u.r!
BllilJcr Cil[s~ J Icarr \hiIirü.::~,Per •.on.rhr v, J'>"ipcrit'I1":c,,;).' 1'.ll,~a{~('~111

...llãH:d k',ldt:r.llip I "II.~lI;I.~l·. ~llIll.·.llId

tlt •. lu·II.I\;i"1 iu ....
pill ,.I1.C! ~
J.- +[_(J_d_ClIOllJ:-i wl·1I ,I:'; workãu.:..:. ru~cthcl tilr ,I Lt)fHtIlt>1\ Vi"'llIl1.

lnnovator l·rc'.ll!Vt' .uid ln1.IJ~Irl;IIIVt· 'I hrnk -, lI!1r•.•,d.· tlu- !tIl\;" (·ItIl"'I.!I·r~.

Irc~h id(';Iç, olve

iC) •..• rca: prnhlL-ms.
Ile~iljenr I<..CII1i.tlll~ hopetut .tnd per ..•c\ crc-, whcu ,,·()ltVlIlI:..;d iH: ur ••nc "
in (:qtf'" h,/iU \Ltkr ••'~ll(\d 11 "11' "tlpp ••r t y r,'III" !\'":Ill·!·.••
~1·'~:..,IHi,,~h rrllllll\,~-", .lln{ .1. ..•• UIl.I~llr,~ni. 1·:-.~dcjJ~...
l'morhHuJ !-o.(.lhilhy.

Adapríve rnspilc ...t.urh .uul c rc.u ivrr j. wirluu t he \iJu~r~:~.t{iulIllI.1 111111'

oI' rapul.llld Jb~{)Ilti1llhHI.., dl.llIg,l· Kl:cp~ .11.01 Jp,'U Inmd 1nd i.

wi 11in.:.!; tu m,IItIt.IÍIl.1 C1.•e o(flc:,;~hili[·, vhl h- 1110\t!~ f~lr·.'.·"lrI
tL)W,lId .1hnti;;UJ1.

Disccrncr h ahlc to Iool, at circumvt.mcc :.tIHJ..1' k wh.u (~lId l' dnlll,1"

Thcn heips move rhc l'On:!;fc,e.aLJIHl or nu nisr r v ro ~(': t hc ...:11,,("
'- ...J ...L'_,_r_li_,c_, S( illl ill 11u\'ll 111fl,.,PIIIHI lu rhc i:-.:-.u(' .,,_,_"'_,,_,_1. _

Comments. The following space is provided for you to add further in-
formntion in regard to this candidate's equipper skills:

Jesus said, "You are the light of the world .... Ler your light shine
before others, thar they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father
in heavcn" (NIr 5:14, 16). Karl Barrh said, ~A church which i!' nor on
rnission is either nor yet or no longer the church, or on1ya dead church-
itselfin need of renewal.?' When we read Scripture, we learn that Cod's
mission is to ser a11things right. He desires to redeem and restore the
worlJ to its intended purpose. The mission of Cod is the reason the
church exists. Equippers help the conaregarion to join Cod in the re-
newal of al1 rhíngs.
EL]uippers livc as cultural archirects, hdping to sh.ipe particular en-
vironrnents where litc erncrges in sponraneous way~. Tn rhis way chey
culuvute COI rununities thar are a sign-poiming people to something
thar i" bcyond their prescnt horizon but can g-i\'c p;uic!ancc and hope
now. Thcse signs are instruments rhar God can use for his work of
heallng, [ibcrating and blessing, They are a forctastc, :l placc where mcn
anti worncn can raste the joy and freedorn rhat God intcnds for all. 5
Pleuse use tablc A2.5 to cvaluatc the cquipper candidate in the arcus of
Appendix 2: Equ'pper Candidate Reference Form

Table A2.S. Missional Evaluation

Arca Descri prion

Undersrands thar God i. missional hy narure and that rhe Fathcr

sent the Son and Spirit, und the triune GoJ sem Christ's followers
imo the world for rhe sakc 01' thc world. Lives in light 01' rhis rrurh.

MissionD I)' Undcrsm nds rhar he ar she is a rnissionary and is sent tO

Consciousness be Gud's arnbassador. Helps rhe congregation to livc a.
rnissronaries in thcrr conrext ,

Incarnational Undersrands the unique pulse, needs and charactcr of'rhe local
neighborhood bcc.rusc hc or shc Iivcs .1mong thc people. l lelps
the congregation join God's rnissiun conrexru.rl ly,

Reconcíler Valucs hclping peoplc bccomc rcconciled with God, wirh orhers,
with own .c1t' and with crearion. the rrunisrry of
reconcilarion und hclps the cong.-egarion to bc rcconcilers as well.

Missional Laves being in and crc:l.ting missional spaccs ti" self and f,,, lhe
Space congreguríon. Acrivcly flIJ.H. and w.ucrs secds 01"f..irh; hclps
others [O do rhe sarnc as rhcy rrusr God tu do his work.
Missiona] Pmacnvc in lcarning how ro live more rrussionully as un individual
Learner us wel l J.~ Imw tu hclp rhc ~'ongrcg~ltit''Itltive mofe nllsslUl1ally.

Bridge Builder Hclps rhose nutside r he •...

omrnu niry nr fJ:irh fiud J. SI.:IlSt: l,t
bdol\j:i;IU~in rhc \:~)llgrcg.Lti~)I1. Hclps [O breuk down wa lls
.wd huilJ hnd~l:s bcrwccn Cbrrsn ans J.I1U non-Chrivriaus.

MissjonaJ f\ g,ll\hl cx.uuplc 111li\'lllg out GuJ's misslon in c vcry rc.rlm

Leader oi 11ft.:. Hclps rh c· ('(\IlgregaC1Il1l 10 hc ~I"1~n. .1Il~1

insrrumcnt ofCoJ\ kin~d'l.)1TI

Comments. The Iollowi ng 'pace j, prnvided for you to ;ldd fll rt hcr in-
formation in regarJ rl1 rhis l'andidale's missionul Iifc.


1. Is there anything you are aware of that would disqualify this person
from serving as a congregational equipper? If so, what?

2. Would you recommend thar this candidate becorne a congregational

equiprer? Please rnark one of the tollowing wirh an X.
- I would highly recommend this candidate be a congregational

- I would recommend that this candidan- be a congregational


- I nave hesitations in recommcnding this candidate to be a

congregational cqoípper.
-- I do nor think that this candidate should be a congregational
equ ipper,

3. Plcase giVl: a shorr explanation to your answcr to number rw: .


Equipper Candidate Interview


1. Faith-How have you displayed faith in Cod in rhis past rnourh?

2. Discemment-How do you discern Gnu', will tor }'nur litê .md for
congregational life?

3. Presence-How do you handle criticisrn? TÍow do )'Oll m inister

without a privare agenda?

4. Patience-How have you disphyed parience this rase monrh? Tdl 111e

outstanding unrcsolved conflict with anyonc rhut you are awurc ol":-

5. Resollru!itlneJJ-VVhat is your currcnr financiai st.irus? Do ~·()lI ;.?;ive

at least 10 perccnt of your mcornc ro rhc local church- Whv or whv
not? Whar is your undersranduig of wcalrh .md ~t:nero~it) ,I~ ir rc-
lares to Christ followers?

6. fl/lmility-Ilow huve you dcrnonsrran-u humilitv i n r lrc 1';1'\ Il,rLT


7. Love-ln what wavs have you ItlvcJ thusc \VIm ;\ n: hurd ro [PIl· I lu-

past threc monrhs?

8. Int<-:!(ritv-How are vou doinl.!; in rhe are.i of moral and sexual purit v?


1. In ways do yelU Iive rnission.rllv?

2. Describc for me your currenr rclurionships wirh th()~l" wl.o huvc 111) hirh.
3. What missionul spaces UO yOll currcnrlv livc in, and how dl) Y"lI livc
in thcm?

t What does it mean for Kairos IIollywood

.. to be a missional com-

5. Wh~n it comes to missionalliving, whar are the strengths and weak-

nesses ofyour discipleshíp community?

6. What ways can you help Kairos Hollywood live more missionally?


L How would you describe the good news?

2. Whar does ir rnean to join God in the renewal of all rhings?

1. What do you consider the three most controversial issues facing the
church today, and where do you stand on these issues?
..I-. Describe for me your hermeneutical approach to the Scriptures.

5. Namc the rop five peoplc who have shaped or are shaping your theo-


1. St!I/-under.ltanding-Whar do you consider to be .v0ur biggest

srrengths and weaknesses?

2 P,,!s,'oIdlJlrch-Whar do you consider rhe rhrcc greatesr srrengths

and wcaknesscs "r Kairos HollywuoJ?
3. f.,mr;:Jtlg'· IIow important i" languagc whcn it comes to shaping a

t f.,·,'O;t'/" -Iu wh.u way" do y011 cduc.ue y(Jur~t'ltr

). IV/(/nllgi'fnolt-What an' r he rnosr irnporrant thin~~ to consider

whcn ouildmg a ministry IC;1m'

6. P.:r/órmanfe-What does a comrnuniry 11<:('.1 to t'lTcctivt"ly flllfill

Cod's rn ission i11 r hc neighborhuod?

7. Confiic: n'solutiol1-Dcsuibc for me how you rcru] to resolve conflict.

H. tvlissiona] m/tivation-In whar ways havc vou cul rivatcd :1 missionn l
cthos withrn Kairns l1ollywood?
Appendlx 3: Eourpper Candidate tniervtew l-H



1. Describe the general role of ao equipper,

2_ How does each cquipper relate to the others? Is thcre any hierarchy
within the equipper team?

3_ How does an equipper intcract with lhe congrcgation ns a wholc?

4. In what ways will you seek to identity and cultivare othcr cqu ippers?
5_ Describe for me the primary mission of the (add the
relevam equipper to rhe blank here and below),
6. In what way does the reflecr rhe heart of God?
7. What are the issues thar deeply concern rhe _

8_ Whar are the primary ways rhese equippcrs embody this git"l in the

9. In whar ways have you embod.ied rhis i!;ifl in the church 111 rilis
pasr year?

10_ When working un an equippcr tcarn, what are t hc primurv blind

spoes the ma)' bring to the rable?
l l. What kind of culture does lhe ____ clcvclop in :l LOII/!.rél.!;atiIJJJ?

12. Describe for 111e ynur vision for rhc _ rc>1c tilr rhi,; ('1)1J1ill,l;


[Dcvelop a case study ot' a C\JnlJ11lH1 ISSlIC thc lc.uicrs oI vour .:!>urêh
hnve Iaccd. \Nrire ir our ,1110 ask tlu: c.unlid.uc hl)w 11(' OI" ,he wou I.!
hnndle rhc prohlem .md whv.]


I. Wh,ll is your uJldcrsl;mding "f I(.lÍrc", I 1"llpv.,,,d s rl'l.J1I<1Jlship I"

Kai ros T,IlS /\ n,l';elcs?

2. Do yOll think it is importam I()f Kairos Los /\n;..;clcs lO hc ,\11 .ict iv«
rncmher ofthe Ecclesia Network? \.Vh~ \lI \VIII 1'(1)

3. What theological starcmcnt does a church that is completely inde-

pendent make to the worlJ?


Are )lOU consciously awarc of any reason why you shouldn'r be a congre-
gationa I equipper? lf 50, what is it?


lT'm borrowing some languagc here from jarnes K. A. Smuh, Dóiriílg thp Kmgdom.
Worship, Worlduietu anel Cultural Formation (Grand Rapids: Buker Acudernic, 2009).
lCraig Van Gclder and Dwighr J. Zscheile, Tb» Missional Chunh in Prrspectiu«:
.A.4apping Treruls and Shaping Ih,' Conuersation (Grand Rapids: Baker Al":ldl;"lltic,
2011). You can find my overview of the firsr half 01' the book ar <!1Itp:!lI.w/
0!;0M4hill> .

.'Saint Cyprian The Uni!y oftba Catboiic Church 6, hrcp://orrhocloxmerl"Opolisporrland

"Lcsslie Newbigill, Signs oflne Kingdom (Orand Rapids: Ecrdm ms, !'.ItlO).

Ch:tprcr 1: \Vha[ ""'li ~ional Cullllr.: .IIIJ \-Vily Doc. I [ ,\!••!Lc.~

'1 hcard rhis storv frorn John Orrbcrg, bur J[ appcars to h, uscd mure bruadlv. Une
vcrsion of rhc story C,lO be f"ulld online ar <ww\V.cclllr~lpc()q~/,nI11I111,/~(}()2!

'GCILII.lO IlIi.siullJgbt I(,lrl [1.11rcustciu c"iltcd thi, phr.\Sê wlicn SUlI111l.lli,.ill':; ,I

lecrurc oi' Kurl Bnrrh. Chr isrophcr Wrighl, Th,' ,\fi,.lwrr o/(;ot!: U"luoki"g r/.l,· IliM"J
GTlIlldNull,ui'l'< (Dowucr-, Greve, Ill.: lIIlCI\'.II,il) 1'1"", 20()(,), ". (,7..
')ürl.(en Molrrnann. Toe Chu,"d) /11 Ih" Ptnuer o/r/;,' "'pirit: /1 Conr. ilJ/lliol/ lo .1/,'",011/(,
EcdL'<iology(\llllnc~roli" t\ugsburg Forrn'ss, 1I.J77), p. (,-l.
'Karl Ihrrh, Chllr,h J log"'fll,t', 4.1.2, /,/;" J)?,(UI/,' 0I 1::'·'·'JII,i{,.'I'"'' (1':dlllll1lrgiJ.
T & T CJ.lIk, 1'J(2), p. ~74.

'I .csslic Ncwhimn, r "HIt,' N,'wl'~l(if/'\ ,./ R,'lI'/,.,. ",I. 1'.1,,1\"\""",,,

Iission.rrv T;,,'olrJ,~/{/rr:
(Grand Ibl"lls: I-:crd!1L1n~ 21)Oó), 1'1'. 111) ·42.

h lei! Ct1I(~1()~·l;., 1']' f.l·r''''· R,·,~f':I.'!;.',) 1 {)!' "/,l, {ri,,, 1,/"l- " rI f),q:"-""r"I' ((~rITld J? 'pid..:·
Rlkt.;r. 20ilS). 1'. IH'í

.St'illlky Haucrwns, /1 COlnmlllllty Oj CíJllr(11 ter: ·r;;'UMI"d .t l.{JI/\t1'Ii t ttr c.i" /\/1,1" ''';'J' !t,,'
.. lJllivc.:"il} "(N,,,,C
r~/hi, (j\;Olfl: D:lIl1e, 111.1 1).11I1l·p".". l/mil., 1
"Karhrvn T:\llIlc.:r, Tb"o,i"$/'J!C'u!l"r,:;I N.·w/~I(,·'hl" ,;)/ 'J'f,"oIogr 11\lillll<":'I,,"i,; FOIr
rr.-ss, !I.JY71. p ix,

"Marcus B,)r~, 111 i\1:trl'L1S 13or,l{anel N. T. \Nright, '/'11<' A/"((l1ifl,~ ''fi,·IIII. 'Ll"J J ";.1/(,11,

(:'-I~\\York H.lrpcrCol1in. 1000), pp. (,9 70.

IIIAndrc" Sa~"s aud julier Sehor, "[unk Culrurc," 'fI1II,-, l kroh~r 4. ltlO I, www.rirnc
.com/ti mC/I11:1ga/i nc.:l:JnidclO,917I ,')l)S267.00. hrm I.

11S<'~ Gerhard Lohfink, fesus and Community: Tbe Social Dimension oi Ih. Christian
Fai/h (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984).

11Timothy I(eller, Gospe! in Lifl: Grace Changes Every/hing (Grnnd Rapids: Zondervan,
2010). p. 126.

Chaptcr 2: How Culture Works

IRaymond Williams, Keyeuords: /l Vacahulary oi Culcure and Socifly (Oxford: Oxford

Univcrsity Press, 1976). p. 76.

2This dcfinirion is shared by Willíam Dryness, Tb« Earth ls God's (ElIgene, Ore.:
Wipf & Srock, 2004); Williarn Romanowski, Eyes Wid. Open (Gra.nd Rapids:
BrilZos, 20{H); and AIlJy Crouch, Culture Nlaking(Downers Greve, Ill.: InrerVarsity
Press, 2008).
lCrouch, Culture Nlt,lúng, p. 40.

"Tony Ben n err, Lawrence Grossberg and M eagh an M OTriS, Neur Keyuiords: A Reuised
VocabllJary of Culture and Soei.:/y (Maldc.:n, Mass.: Blackwcll, 2005), pp. 64-65.
; Kathryn Tanncr, Tbeories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology (Minncapolis: For-
tress, 1997), p. 3.
"Romanowslú, Eyer W:d.:Opm, p. 49.

-Phdip D. Kcnne""l. L!le 0/1 lhe Vin,!.: Cult:vating the Fruir o/lhe Spint in (:hria'IJn
Commllnity (Downcrs Crove, Ill.: IntcrVarsity Press, 1999). p. 2l.
'I gCl the tcr m cultura] web frorn Ccrry]ohnson, "Cu/ruee, Srrategy und Change fr0111

the Creator oi' rhe Cultural Wcb," www.stra[egyexplort!

cu lt Ure-dlJn.l?;e ..t.p. Whilc J .ipprcci.uc his .ippro.rch to un<.lcrsrandtnK culture, l'rn
Iooking ar culture fwnl rhc vicwpoinr of rhe church, nor a busincss, and thus havc
di frerem clcmcnrs and a diffcrcnt approach to rhe clernenrs of culturc,
·'St.lldc.\· I l.tur.:rwas, ~1 Comm/Jllity of Charada (Notre Dame, Ind.: Uníversiry of
:-.I"trc Da11lc 1'rc". 1?81), p. 136.
lUlh;d, p. '}~.

"F"r cxumplc, r diel ~ ,,'ri,'. "r p,,,t, "11 a ru ixxionu l vicw nf rhc doctrine til elccrion,
whcrcby 1 cornpurcd anel conrrastcd Ncwbigin und Grudem's understanding "f
elcLtl in. )'''11 c.m find rh.u Itere. bil.lY/tlIBxeLN.

I"Cathennt: Bell, l<illJ(/l: P.:rrpativ<, and Dimcnnon, (. cw York: Oxford LJnivcrsiry

ri C", I\/'.I7i.
·'í"id., p. irt.
l.llhid .. p, 102.

1');1111<:'K. A. Smuh, /)"J/rt/lX Ih" Killg.lom: U'r;nhi/,. iVo""vr"v, dll/I Cultura! 1'01'-
Il/rl/i'JII íCl,lnd Rapids: Baker Acadcmn , 2009), p. 85.

-u.u., \VilLtnl, TI;" Great Omimon: jelUrr j',n"nllrll 7~" •.hi"gr 0/1 Disri-
fl"I/Ii/, (S.lII Fr,IIKism: Harpc.:rCollins. 2006), p. 52.
1'Slll irh, f)"I/rll1g Ih,' /úngdofll, p. 82.
"Ihid .. fi. sr..
Notes 245

19Miroslav Vai f, After Our Lilseness: Th. Chu7'ch ar lhe Imag" oi the Trinily (Grand
Rapids: Eerdrnans, 1998), p. 23-1.
10Stanley]. Grenz, The M'Jral QUeJI: Foundations of Cbristian Etbic, (Downers Grovc.
111.:lnterVarsity Press, 1(97), p. 261.

Chapter 3: What's Goingon in the Culture of the Church Vou Serve:

'Tony Campelo, LeI M« Tel! You a Story: L!fi Lessons from Unexpecred PIam and Un-
fjfuly People (Nashville: Thornas Nelson, 2000), p. 69.
1Brian l\1cLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2UO-l), p. 166.
JRichard Rohr, Follawirlg tbe ,\Ilystits Through lhe Narrou: Cot» (audio curriculurn,
Cenrer for Action and Conrernplarion), available ar htrp://
Merchant 2/mercham, mvc? 'creen= PRO D&Product_ C ou<!=SP-C - 34&C aregory_
Codc=&Store Code=CFAAC.
'John Ortberg. Euerybody'« Normal Til! You Get to Know Them (Grand Rapids:
Zondervan, 2003), pp. 89-90,
5My fnend A. J. Swoboda jus r finishcd a book rirled Mess»: Cod Ltlm 11 Tba: Way
(Grand Rapids: Krcgd. 2012). It's a great resource ro Kcr a rcalistu, picrurc uI' '-001-
munity and spiritual growth.
"Hishop Gr:lhJIll Crav s.ud thrs ar a Frcsh Exprcssions Contere" cc, C"IIIIlJI".l B"l'ti,r
Church, Falls Church, Virginia, Dcccrnber 2-3, 2010.
"Cornclíus Plantil1~a. Nol th~ WaJ It's Suppowl to lk,1 Breutar» O/SIII (C',llld R'I",h:
Ecrdm;lIls, 1995), p 10.
"Campelo. L·, lll,' t.n YQU ti Sror», r- IH).

Chnprer 4: I>nlyccntric LcaJchhip and Misstouul Cu lture

'In 1 Cormthrans 3:10 P,ml ~;t1J" hirnsclf .1 "wisc builder' (in <()l11e rruuslurion s ;.t

"rnasrcr huildn").
2ThomJs [1()vHI)!:. Ali jor Dumnn;» (FIJ,rcr Ciry. C.d,t' .. [D(; 1l""J,.,. !'jt)'J). 1'.
'Ibid .. r. (,.
\'vl.lrkuô llarth.l:'ph,·sid'''.' Translat ton md CO"'l!I01lflry on (;I;"/,I<'I'J .t I' (l'<cw York:
Douhled.rv. [')61l), r ·137.
·J~\tll1:had lrost .1IHI Alun t lrrsch. Iht' \"J/JIl/'lllg fJ! lhrll~\ IfJ L'J/lh' [rtrm uat snn ,lll{/

A1/Sfionlbrth"2/t1 C;01IUI'\' (/JUr,IJ(Pc"ho,ly. J\Lt" .. 1 k"dná,,,,', 1()1),), 1'. Ih'!

"Harrh, 1:'phl'SIf"I!, I' .~li.
l""''''/;I"n,' 'vV i\IM"'. "Fivc Buildill~ BIr.,k, tin Succcsslul l.caderslup," 111 lh,' Com
munity oj tb: "IIIIIl'. ~d. Fr.uiccs Hcsselbein et "I. (Som Francrsc» -""scy- n·,,,s. ! 'I')K).

II Edgar 11. Schein, Organizatiolla/ Cu/tllre and Leadershzp (San Francisco: jossey-
Bas, 2004), p. n.

llCraig Van Gelder, Thr: Essence of thr: Church: A Commzmity Created by Ih/? Spiril
(Crand R.lpids: Bakcr, 2000), pp. 116-17.

Chaptcr 5: Fací ng Today's Challengcs

I Eddie Gibbs, L~tldashipNext; Changing Leaders in o Challging Caltare (Downcrs
Grave, III : [nterVarsity Press, 2005), p. 35.
lSee lhe vrdco at
~;V1arsI1cl1lMcLuhan and Quenrin Fiore, The Mediu-« Is lhe Massage: AIl1nventory 0/
4Ji'as (NcwYork: Banram Books, 1967), p. lI.
'Ibid., p. 26.

; orne hr isriau works that :ugue we have bccorne blind ro cffects of technology
include jacques Ellul, Tõe Tt!Chn%gico/ Bluff (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. 1990);
Marva Dawn, Unfittemi Hope (Louisville: Wc trninsrer John Knox Press, 2003);
A Ibcrt Borgrna n n, Tah1Jology and th~ Cha racter oJ Contemporary L ifo (C rand RapiJs:
Brazos Press, 1984); Alberr Borgmann, Pouser Foi/are (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press
20(1); .ind Shane Hipps, Tbe llidden P01IJer of E/ectTonic Culmre (Gra.nd Rapids:

"Rcx :vl. Mtller, Toe Mi/tcnniu-n Matrix: t<,-c1llzmil/gtht ParI, Rr:fmmlll,f!; lhe Furure 0/
the ChuTeh (San Francisco: JossCy-BHs, 2(04), p. 114.
'This charr is my own summ:lry ofinformarlon from chaptcr six from the charr in thc
llliddlt· "r i\lillcr', Iv!il/mnillm /l1i1/7"1.,(. Some uf rhc word choiccs are mine 1 havc
n>lt iIlLiIl,J.:ll thc Ornl Age in rlus chan bccause ir is lcss rclcvanr In rhc Wc,rcrn
C('"rnt, .ind i\ltllt:r did nor ralk .ibour Ir in rhe chaprer un lc.ulcrship,
";\ lilkr, ,Ut!/elJlliuFII 1\I,lfrix, 1'. 124.
"].1I11<:SK. \. Smirh, !f'IJo'J ,·lji,rid 0/ Po..t"'udellli.""t 7hkillg Dcrrida, I.yotar'!. nnd
FOuttllll1 (o CI;"r(h (Cr:IIlJ Rapids: lhkt·r '\l"adc,"k. 20!)!)), I': 21.
'")i''' l'(Jwdl, D,-rrid"jb, B~l[,lIIn<'rJ (New YOI·k:Wrucrs & Rcadcrs, !'.i'J71.p. 7.
'Smith, J/'ha', 1'{I;"IIId{)jPQJlmo'/cmi'In')l. 54.
"11,111.. l' 51.
1'J.IClJllCS Dcrr id.i, quored in ibid.

1"'\lil"hcl Foucnulr 'j'"'tnl in SlIlIlh, W/'o\,lfmida/POS'!lJo'!''''''.'Jm?p. 3).

"Ihi.l. rr )l1-1I)7

"'Mim-LI" V..,If, EI;(,·,·· rhlT /.:"1..,..•• ,: 7:~,(.·,~·;.r(1; ,;, :1]<· f/li.'S" '1"'/''' 7iil/i/y ICr.IIlJ
R.'pitl>: Eérdman,. I'JI)~). p 2.3 .•.
'lhid., 1'. 2.,(,.

1""IIr! l.'reJri.:kson, "Firc in rhc Church: OrganiL Strllcturc, lor thc M,ssiol\<ll Con-
.l';rn~:lrí"rl." .1 1';[1',·r writ ren t;lr !VIP~O() Turorial in Pnstmod~rn Culrurc, Fullcr
SéllllllMV, J>:lsadcn:l, CJI,fi,rnia, 2()07, p. ')

\9lVlark Lau Branson, Memories, Hopes and Conuersations: Appreciati'ue iJlfl/J:,.y an d

Congregational Chang~ (T Ierndon, Va.: Alban Tnstirute, 2(04), p. 36.
lOKcster Brewin, Signs of/::mergena: fi Vision jãr Church 1'/;<1115Or/(,midN<'Iworked/
Decentraliud/Bottom-up/Commllna!/F!exibl~ {.d!ways Evoloiny] (Granel Rapids:
Baker, 2007), p. 92.
2ITbid., pp. 97-117.
22Ibid., p. 116.
nSce a helpful charr ar this Ilrerary revir-w of Brcwin's Siglll 0/ 1~'mC1gclI(t: hltp:!1[12007112/signs-of~emcrgcnce-by-kcsrcr-bn:win-a-Ilterary· revicw.
24AnJrew Davey, Urban Chri51/al1tty und Gkba! Orda I"hi"o!og.ta! Rcsourcc jiJr nn
Urban Future (Pcabody, Mass.: J Icndrickson, 2002), p. 5".
2'lhid., p. 7.
26Craig Van Gelder, "Undersranding lhe Church in North Arnerica," in ,\./i"j,mrlt
Churcb, ed, Darrell Guder (Grand Rapids: Eerdrnans. 1':!l)f!), PI'. -1H-·N.
27This report is bascd on ovcr 54,000 interviews coudur rcd b~( wccn r..•.:!>n'.Ir.\ .uul
Novembcr 2008.
!s"Carholics on rhe Move, Non-Rcligious 00 t he Risc," \RIS 200K, hnp:lk,)Ill111ÚI1S
.rrincoll.cnuhrisI200IJ/03/05/c:Hholks '''_l h" _'"tlVt _"oJl-roli:(il1l1' ,,11 rh,' ri-x-.
2"Ccrard Kelly, Retrofurur e: Rcdiscoueriny Or« Roa". /~<'(A."'·llUgUI/r /':0111,'( (I ),'WI1.:r,
Grove.Tll.: Inrt'rV:1rsiry Press, 19')9), 1'. 212.
"'Stuart Murray, Posl-(.·hrilll'n.!Qm· Cburrb ri TI,! .lt1,\\ion t n .r Slr"",~I' Nru: 11'",/,/( 1\ 1iltou
Kcynes, U.K : P:ttcrrmstcr, 20(4), p. 1.2(,
"Stu.irr !\til" rny, Chunh /lJi'"T (;brútrrldolll (.\ lilmn l'cY"l"·:. ll.l~ 1':I!l'fll' "rn. 2\)1 14.1,

p. \85
I. Lconard Hjalmarson, uJ..cadin~ 1"11)11. thc .\brt\lIh. NcXIN(!.un"flrrl/ \OI,,)!., 'H\\\'

.1lt=.\{rt:ll/rll\;,[ihll.I..."UJn/wp .idnuu/rcsour ·c·-/:\hr:'-!lll: .pdf(:h ..Cl'~:"L"d '>11 !'l'W

... 1 ~. '!lI 1'1

"I).wid I!",ch, 'Ji,,,,r/;'rmll1X !vll.mnf/" "'n.I'"~'''"brt!' 1/1 IJ"'I)/r;~\'~t H",i,,,, l :'>.1." \ k""II,
N.Y.: Orbi-; ['Nl), r 21.
Chaprcr 6: 11c:lrin;:; lhe <;rory
11" J (;nrrin~rr' ..J '-rA",,f'i,':,,'flj ,h,' /lui!1 FII- ';}"fJllIl//'II( /lnl/H' I:Jllprn:""'''!I/(',JI. 1~,'d,'1I1/'!J"1/

('1~w '~"k.C.lI\l!Jri"~c (Jlli,~rsity !'re", 2002), I', I.

'Eug.clIl: Pt..:rl"' 11)1l.1',--'Ut'/Jcd"TbuIlJU. TAl R4.' (,'II//vl. J.l,/J/i Ij,,/.',S .') ..~•• :, fll.. :I.~ ,.

('1"" )'",1..: 1LqlllC"lIill', 1??Rl.l'. 61.

\)bid., p. 60.
'ElIlo}t N Dortf, "J"wi,h 1\1".1,·1, (I( !'c.,d,.,.,hip" il\ !I·,I,lIli~!l.1 d' I i"oI.t,·nh!, J iou:
I'rúl/.' 'lradit ion, SI."'/,t· ti,,· Hí'J It' 1.,,,,1, cd, R"h.lrJ J. l\ louw :1,,,1 I:rir ( l. J,,"\)-""
(I'.\s~dcl\'\, Culi ": De Prcc Lc:\dcrshil' C'·lIr<'r. :~()llhl, I' 4
'G'lylc Frwin's scrrnon "The Last ~lIppcr" <.lll bc l~lIl1ldit http://nl<"di:l "'rlllI,"in,lc'\
.n.:t/21/Sr D217H'1.II1f' I.

jJI11C~ FI~mlng, -Exploring the World of Jesus," BAR lllJagazine,

/e tc,ltures/cxploring-world-jesus.asp.

Caylc Envin, in his farnous sermon "The Last Supper" (hrrp:l/mcuia.sermonindex

nct/21/S1D21783.mp3), gives rhe breakdown of where rhe disciples likely sat,
Therc;l(~ ,I nurnber ofscholars who contest thatJohn was rhe "one jesus loved," but
cven ifthís is the case, we know thar ir wasn'i Peter, who signaled to whoever might
have been In rhis scat. 1 base my seating arrangernenr on Erwin's serrnon and on
\Villiarn R Cannou, "The Cospe! of john," http://webcachc.googlcuserconrem

Chapter 7: DecpeningTheologicaJ Roots

I Leonardo 13o ff, Holy Tri!lity, Per:foct Communrty (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2000), p. 3.
llbid., p. 4

'Mirnslav Volf, Aft"y Ollr Likeness: Tbe Chllr(h "I the !mage of th~ Tnnity (Grand
RapiJs: Ecrdmdn~, 1998), p. 11.
'[bid., p. 17

\ I n ,Hldition to Aji,.,- ()ur Liéenas, Volt''s major work 011 this ropic, he has also co-
cditcd with Michael Wc1ker Uod's Llje in ['rinit) (Minnc;lpolis: Augsburg Forrrcss,
20(6). L~"l1ardo Boff's acadcmic book is Tnnity und Snciety UVhryknolJ, N.Y.:
Orhi« 1988). Ifoly Tr:rrity, Pcrj~Cl C:ommlwit} i' Boff's more popular book,
"L,"nardo BufC, Trinltv <In" Socire» (lVbr,vknoll, NY.: Orbis, 19R8), pp. 77 78.
·lbid.,]l. 15-1.

xB()ft~ Hai» Trinirv, Perfc« COfllmurlity, p. xii.

"Volr. Afta ()lIr I.J!UfI<'S>, p. 217.

'''B"n: 'fi';lIi:v ,JlJJ S"ciéty.j" 138.

"Volt, /!f!a Our Lik.·TI<'H, p. 2,19.
'2)jot( 1i-lIIitvllf/d SnridV, p. 1;\<).

11 .con.irdo Boll Ral,·siog"l/eJiJ. The 81"~ Cammlll/itl~s R,.illvoll lhe CI.7lIr,;'(:YI.lryk noll,
:...;Y.. I )rI",. i'Jhll), I' 11).

"Boft', Ifo/y Trtnitv, P<'1J~ct Commlwily, p .. xvi,

":\livh.1<'1 B.lrrl.·, "HoIV Should We Livc? The Ch,i~t'.lll Lue." t n ";rs~I/'Ullr 0/
CIiIlJI"1Il!'hpnlr;gy. etl William C Pl.ichcr (LouiS\·ilJc. \Vc,uhinslcr jollll Krn»;
Press 20())), p. 2R3.

'''./"hIlI.I1.10uLt" HCiIIga., CO"'(1l1l1l<nl/:StlldieI i" 1','rso"l;oo'/ "",i th( Cl;ul'ch (CrcslwHod,

:--" Y "r. Vladilllir's SCli1lnJry fJrcs~, 1\1115).
, V"lf, ,I/ta ttt, Lrl.:dnl'SS, p. 10-1.
'Zizillllbs, BCII/.I':II' CommlinlQI/, I' 18.

·"vValrcl Wink, '10" ['/)'(I"'TS Tl;a' B~: TheologY.lôrfl Neu: 1'vJil/alllill'" (:-I~w York: Dou-
hkd,.'·, I '}I)X), ". 1.
Notes 249

2llVeli-Nlani Kârkkãincn, Pn~umalotogy: Tbe f-Jo{vSpirrt in Ecumanical, lnrcrnat ional,

and Contextual Perspectiue (Grand Rapids: Baker Acudernic, 20(2), pr. 13-1-1.

Chaprer 8: Emhracing Emotional Health

(Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman llI, Tbe Cry o/lhe .\'01l!- I fow Dur Emotions
Reuea! Üur .D~epcst Qu~.,tionsAbOltt God(Color:tdo prings: Navf'rcss, 199-1),1'1'.2-1-25.
2Henri Nouwcn, Ca7l Vou Drinl: lhe Cup?(Norre Dnrnc, r nd.: Ave l\ l aria Prcss, 1<,1\16),
"Rosabeth Moss Kantcr, quored in l Iarvcy Seifrcr nnd Pcrcr Fconomy, /.""Jershlp
Ensemble: Lessons in Coltaboratiue i\iJanagementfrom lhe W~rld-F"mo/iJ COl/dador/eu
Ürcbestra (New York: Times !3ooks, 2(01), p. 1':1.

Chapter 9: Relinquishing the Necd to Control

ILeonardo BofT, Cburcb, Cbarism and Pouier: Lihaation Th,'%,~y aru] Ih,' lnst üntionnt
ChuTeh, trans. John W. Diercksmeier (I cw York: Crossroad, l')S'i), I'p. R, 111-16.
2"Leonardo Borf," W,kipedia, http://cn.wikipcJid.iJl)!/wiki/LclJl1.lrd,,_Rnff.
10ri Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom, Tbe S/"rj'."J ,111.1 Ih,' ,)rido n,,· Ullllop/"d,I,'
Pouier ofLeaderless OrganizaLÍor" (New York: Pcnguiu, 2006), p. 15.
'Ibid., p. 15-1.
I"Ddimng 'Qjiulity 01' Living," Mcrccr, i\l"y 17, llllO, www.mcrccr.c.uu/r ctcrcucc
conrenr. hrm?idC onrcnt- 1380465.

"Harvey Seífter and Peta ECOIlOl11y, J'oda.\hip lé1l\<'IfII,I,·; 1."",,,1\ 111 r:Qf{,';''''''/I'/','
i'v/llnagell1011 Im'" 11;,; 11'011./ J'dfll1W (.'QI1.!lI •./~r!"·Jf O,(~..'I··,' (Nn' ~'''r~ Ti "11"
Books, 2001), P.. xiv,
7Ibid., p. 3.
~O, pheus Chumbcr Orchc-tru honre 1''').\<:,
"Scifr"f .ind Economy, L~dJ<'I'sh,/,I~I""IIIN,', ". 27
lillhid., p. 4.
"Ihi,\.. pp. 16-17.
lllbiJ., 1'1'. 15-16.
"l'hilip Yanccy, Churd,' fI''';.·lIf)ll,,-,,·~t<;1.1".1 1{.ll,i.!,' 11.".1 •.• ",1>,11)1):':'11' .• :' ll.

14 ',,'\h;(Jholi" /1"/"/1",1111_ hrtp'l/n\wtkipl"tli" ()Itr/\\ikil \kuhp!h

'\nnTl)'~11n\I'~I" S

AnollyOlolls#OrU;,lniz,lr!ol1 OII1e1 fi 11.111":0.

Chuprcr lO:Jcsl>' t lrc i\n::J.ctypic,t! ClIlture Crcator

'[ohn ~loward Yodcr, Th« I?O~'I" 1',.i,·.II/)OtJJ 1:',,01';.\ !-:, IIW, lU,. I/ 1tI,/ /. ,•.I.., ·"t')'~ I. ,'/

(Scoud.dc, Pcnn.: Hcr.ild, 19<JR), p. 'i I.

li hcard t lus 'itory fnHIl Dave 1(IJldi ...ljn at "j'.Ill\:rgli1 ...!: l,,'ll\If\!1 l Ol'k vu , . I, Illl
Posto E.vangclican," Sun Dicgll, Culitorniu. Fcbru.irv .17, '11In
JAllen O. Wesley Jr, Nru: Prodamarion: );,," 01, .cOOS, /c"'lr" !, I:/J/i'-i li,. glll.~
(Mmneapolis: I\u~,hllrg F.mrl·", 2007j, 1'. 23.

'Mcgan ,VIcKenna, Prophds: Words of Fire (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2001), p. 15.
'Edwin K Broadhcau, .'\lfllrk (Shcffidcl, U.K.: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), p. 91.
"Ched Mycrs, Bi1lding lhe Strang Mun (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbís, 198 ), p. 290.
Augusrine On Cbristian Teaehing 1.36, tramo R. P. H. Grecn (Oxford: Oxford
Univer sirv Press, 1997), p. 27.

\"\lasda,r MacImyre, Afia Virt ue: /1 Sludy in Moral Theory, 2nd ed. (Norre Dame,
Ind.: Univcrsiry of orre Damc Press, 1984).

"AlasJ:ur l'vhcInryre, circd in ]""athatl Wilscn, Why Chureh Marters. Worship, Mm-
istryand Mission in Prtlcfrce(Grand R.\pids: Brazos Press, 2006), p. 14.

Chllptclr 11: Apo tles

'N. T. Wrighr, For Ali God's Worth: Tru« Warrhip and lhe Ca!ling ofthe Church (Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), pp. 23-2.1.

2Craig Van Geldcr, Tbe Êssence of lhe Chureh: A Community Created by lhe Spiri:
(Grand Rapids: Bakcr, 2000), p. 37.

CJiaptzr 12: Prophers

lMn.rcus Borg, in N. T. 'vVright rnd Marcus Borg, Tbe !\I1r:auingofJ<!sus: Two Visions
(Ncw York: HarpcrCollim, 1999), p. 72.

lGerhard Lohfink, f asus and Community: Th~ Soem! Dinumsion of th~ Chris/ian Faitb
(Phtl2delphia: Forrress. 198-1), p. ')3.

ISluJ\1: Claibornc, Tb« Irreú,/i/;/" R,'1}ollltiolI: Li·villg as l/11Ordi/1ary Radica! (Grand

Rapids: Zondcrvan, 200/), I', 161.

"Bryarn Mycrs, "VIJ'IÚl1~witb t/>,< 1'00,.: PrlllripJ"i 1II1f/ Praaices of TmnsjórmfltiOlJtIl

D<!'IJ"Iof'ment (MaryknolI. I .Y.: Orbi», 1<;1':19),p. 115.
ilbid.., p. 155.

"Jayakumar Christian, (JçJ u/th, l~'mpty-H'II1"~d. I'()'u~rly, POW'l anti th~ KwgdDm 0/
God(MonrmiJ, C,di!:: i\IARC g"ok" 1999), I' 1

C!'aplcr 11: EV"Jlgcli",

I"'.:ttc.: •.•
r POPIII.IIIQI1 F ri-n.m- ....··I,...'~,h!,-.;·!. 11._,;'J_1., \\"'\\\'
"'["11 :'\cw," E,ISt r 1"llpvond \icighho rho"d L'0I111<:,I, www.casthollywood.ncr.
'TI'h d"l.' i, I'r"'lI .i Pcrccpr ,\11I1I',ry I'rnl,k wc "<leI clone for E"sr lloll,vwood.
1</0.\ L:d iu li, r IIJIJI4 •.: PIIU"!'!," 1..6.\" jlJgt'/~·.~ /JillJtlJlf/t.", ww\V.Lt;tIIHanaL(f)rn/{~("on()n'.vI("c17h
.ium 1.".<,<:",.".11111<'2H, 20 In,

,,, 'bOlH 1':,I:,r I ["II:-"<I"J," E""I I I"IIywoo.! ,\'~ighh()rh(J"J Cuullcil, WWW.eaSI

1l(,II)·wo,,,I. !'~I i:lh"lH .hr uil

il );lr,.<:I1 1.. (:".1<"1, H,' II Iv ivu»,«; «( :r;II,,1 [{"l'ids: Ecrdmans, 1985).

))i"lri"'1 B<I 1I),(ll' (te r, I.>'II"rJIl/ld I"'/,cnpwn Prison (:'>J<.:w York: Touc:hstonc, 1')97),
I' ~S!
Notes 251

9James Choung, True S/ory: /1 ChrÍJ/ianity Worth Believing In (Downers Grovc, li!.:
lnrerVarsity Prcss, 2008), p. 195.
IOlbid., p. 205.
!lIbid., pp. 205-18.
11Andy Crouch, Cullure Making: Rccovering Our Creatiue Calling (Downers Crove,
tu. Inrervarsiry Press, 2008), p. 37.
UMartin Luther King Jr., "Whar 15 Your Life's Blueprrnt?" 0,·. Marrin l.utber
King [r., Octobcr 26, 1967,·.

Chapter 14: Pastors

lRick Me Kinley, Jesus in tb« }v!aTgins: FinJing Cod in lhe Piaces W" ~f{tlo,.,·(Si,rt:r"
Ore.: Multnomah, 2005), pp. 13 14.
2Ibid., p. 183.
1 cc A. J. Swoboda, Mmy: cs« Likó Tt Thlll Way (C rand Rapids: Krc;~c1, 20l2).
"David G. Benner, Soutfu! Sf'intuality: Becoming /Jlivt" and Deeplv Huma n (Grallll
Rapids: Brazos, 2011), p. 21.
-wn Hcr n.mdcz, Hrnri Nauuicn. ,I Sptrllu,Jlitv o{ [mp"r!;'ction (NC'w York- P.i\di,r.
2006), p. 27.
blbid., p. 32.
'Hcnri Nouwen, Donnld P. lVkKcill .i nd D"u~Lt, 1\ r,t,'rrisoll. (:t1I1lf',/j,1011 rl
R.j7,..-tif1n 071 Ih,' Cbristian L:li! (Ncw York: Douhledav, l<JRJl, p. 61.
"To lcarn more about cach of rhcse varrous kinds "I'l'col'lc, l.d...c "lI11C 11ll1L I.) I""k.u
rhis serres hosrcd by .••Vil I Iernnndcz, buscd IIn hi, bonk /J,'!l1I Noinur» "".! S'UI/
Care: )1'(,(;
"1 1cnri 'iot;WCIl, R(I,ching OI/I' Tio,· ·n",·,· ,1In'/"'I1/(lIt, '?/th~ Sf'lrtIIJd/ 1.1(,' (Nl"\v )'"rk:
Dnll bled 'IV. I CJ75). p. 117.
"'[ lcr uundc« I lcnr! NOllWClI. p. 3.
[],i.1 .• ".2,
I 'I fc:nn Nuuwcn, IV,I!; Bllrlllllg I 1,'11 rtv: A 1~/,''''lilllnl/ on tt: •.J:·IIIÍJiln.//( I.UI· \ 1\ Luyknoll.
N.Y : l )rhl~. 2UU.'), 1'. In.

'Lcnorc Ierr, I1L'l'onu' [ ..o';x ami Ir:oll~. JVIJr~ {liw'to\ /,/,:~,/ {ri /)/" r (>~...-...Y.)rI,,: ·;,-!l . Il~.

~tl1:1I1 llmwlI .,"d l'hnsl"l'hcr \'aughll. {'f"F Hou: tt Sh'//,~\ Ih,' [l1'litl. ()/"'I/. 11".·
IW<lgil/<ltioJ/ and lm!igortJtcs lhe Saul {Ncw 'ynrk' Pcn~lIin, 2011')). 1'1' 17 I K
'''e; regur}" L. J\Jnes, J·.mbo,{vwg FOIl.t<"'lIc.,, .• -1 Th,'"I,~t;/U/! .11I,tlr'" ( ;1.,", I I·:''1".1,:
Ecrdmans, 19')5), p. 164,
"For more ou lhis st"'y (or Ic;r;clld) scc "The S50 P,,"dll'," wWlv·'"I1I"',,<,,",/IIIvd

Chaprer 15: Tcachers

I] JISCOVl:rt,J rhese important words in I Iarold Wells, The Cbristic Center: Lifo-Giving
and Lifc:ra(lrlg (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2004).

1Sranlc;v Hauerw:ls. A Commumty ofCaaraaer: Touiard a Construaioe Christran Social

Etbic (Norre Darne, Ind.: Uníversíry of Norre Dame Press, 1981), p. 1.
JNàvl~tors is an intcrnational, imerdenominational ministry starred in 1933 by
Dawson Trotman.

•Leaio dtuina (Iiterally ..holy Iisreni ng") is a pa rricular way of reading and lisrening to
Scriprure rndividually or in a group. To learn more check our
Id -arr.html

SBoh F kb Iad, R ,·ading the Bible with the Da mned (Lou isville: Westm inster john Knox
Press, 2005), p. xiii.

"N. T \Vright. "HowCan the Bible Be Authoritative?" Laing Lecture (1989) and Griffith
Thomas Lecrure (1989):!WrighcBible_Authoritative.htm.
7Stan ley Grenz, The%gyJôr the Community of God (Grand Rapids: Eerclmans, 1994),

'George R. J !unsberger. "Proposals for a Misslonnl Herrneneutic: Mapping the

Conversanon," Cospe! and Our Culrure Nerwork, january 28, 2009, www.gocn
'Chrisrophe} Wrighr, Tbe Missson 0/ Go,{: U1l1oclúlIg th~ Bible's Cru"" Narratioe
(Downers Grovc,lll.: InrerVarsiry Prcss, 2006), p. 49.
uHunshcrgcr, "Proposals for a Missional HermcnclItlc."
110.11rcll L. GlIJ<;:I, "Biblkal Form.itíon und Disctpleship," in lreasures iTJ C/ay Jar!:
Patterns in ,\,/".,ion,,1 Faiihjitlness, cd. Lois Y. Barrete (Crand Rapids: Ecrdmans,
200 ..1), p, 70.

11) (unshcr~cr. "Prnp"<als tor;t .'vlission.,ll-icrmcncutic."


11;\11"1;t~1 B.III'.III1," 'Loc.uecl' ~csriuns fÚf ,I i'vltssiOrl,tl Hcrmencutlc:' Cospe! and

Our Lul[lIrc l\ctwork, Novcrnher I, 2006, www.go"
Inc ,1 tcd - que s t ion s-rru S "'Iorla l-hcr 1I1t."1tt"1I rlc
17I-!un,h<:rsCI, "l'lup,,,.d, fur J :'li"lOlI,tl TIcrmeneuríc."

'"T!tis SIO~.111W:IS.idoprcd by rhe Ausun lndcpcndcnr Busincs« Allian •.•: tu promore

srn.rll Ilu,inc"l" in Ausnn, Texas.

Clrapter 16: Thc C\lltural Wcb and the Ncighborhood Church

'w.u \l.lr1l'illi, CÓ/lI'(/) Uni'l"": lfo·UJ ,),Ji"iolltJ/ Leaders Cast Visian, Capture Çulturc,
(m,! Crml,- Mo«..vmcnt (San Fran.::isco:Joss~y-B,lss, 2008).
'Ihid., p. 6.
Notes 253

;Sec: Richard Haynes, Th« Moral Vi .•ion oflhe New Testament: Conununity. Cross. Neu:
Creation, A Contemporary lntroduction to New Testoment Etbics ~ew York: Harper-
"The seven virtues and dcadly ins are hurniliry or pridc, generosity or greed. rnod-
eration or glutrony, patience or anger, chastiry or lusr, love or envy, forrirude or
sloth fu lness.
'Henri Nouwen, Bread for th{ [oumey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (New York:
HarperOne, 1997), january 4 enrry.
6Char1es Van Engen, God's Missionary People: Rdhinkmg lhe Purpose of lhe Loca/
Chureh (Grnnd Rapids: Baker, 1991), P: 70.
lStanley Hauerwas, Against lhe Nations: Wtlr and Surviv(I/ in a Liberal Society (Norre
Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Darne Press, 1992), p. 118.
8Stephen E. Fowl and L. Gregory joncs, Reading. in Communion: Scripture and Etbics
in Christian Life (Grand Rapids: Eerdrnans, 1991). p. 78.
~Glen Srassen, D. :V!. Yeager and John Howard Yoder, /lutbrntic Transformation. ri
Neu: Vision ofCõrist and Culrure (Nashville: Abingdon, 1996). pp. 164 67.
IOlfyou want a dynamic .md living understanding orvisron, I recornrncnd Will Mun
cini's Church Uniqnc.
!'joscpn Myers, Clgf'fÚt Com», urt i,). C/LL~IiIl •.'( 11 ['/ •• 0.." H'bc.r,,' !!(.cp/,- i\~::;. c•.
.•. ·;"'-:~\:!

(Gr.lOU Rapids: Baker, 2007), p. 77.

1 'ToiJ., p. 75.
I 'Thid. p. n.
t·lIHd., p. so.
Chaprcr 17: Cultivating ,vlissional Env;ronmcnrs
'Bri;1I1 Mc l.arcn, F,ndmg Our Wuy /lgC/lfI: Tbc Return 0/")<'I1".i<'ll' Pm"i,,·.1 U'hsh
ville: I'hornas Nelson, 20(8), pp. 11-12.
2~ lirjorie T'hornpson, Soul F'·(/i/:.-lu lrnritut iou to 1/1.' I.'hrilli<lll S/'tnll/al '-rJ' (1.0""-
ville: \<V~srllliJ\>I~1juh" KII'" Pr •.". 11)')<;).1' 117
'~:lIl!;cne l'ctcrson. WIJrkin,'{ tl»: dngk,. 1'h,' Sh,,!,,' o) Pasroral 1I1f,:~'7'i,v « ;r.l"d \{"l"us:
Fcrdrnnns, ]lH17). 1'1' 72-71 (ClIlph.his .tudcu).
'S,·c.JR Woodwurd, ·Pr:1<'ti,·ing S"hh:\Ih,"IR Woodw.ird (bln!.!;). l\ll!.!;USC 12, 2()()i>,
h t Ip:lljrwond wa rei. t ,ct/2006108/ prncnci nh· subbur h.
c;:r lc.:~lli r\~JUW"':I1, 7"/)(' lV:,J' v)rlh('/Ic:,lrt' DCSt.7: Sph"!l!hlli/..,..l:.·,1 CC.t!!".,-.,Il'''' •./I-~' :1!il.':',~·-~'
(Ncw York: Harpcr Collms. 1UlH). l' 21,.
"Eddie Gibbs, iccture ar FullcrThcnl(»)!;il~ll Se 111 inarv, 1':ts:"kn.l.l·.ololIJTj,o.l. Fdlrll:lf\
7Johl Zizioulas, nt.~iJlgt.H Communio II, Slu";,'s In ''t'rwll!;o'Jt!,lnd tht..' (.'Ílurd, (l' fCo.,;,t woo.I,
.Y.: 'ir. Vladimir'~ 'll'minary I'rt·ss, 1<)~5). P: 155
"Fredcrick Bucchncr, 11:1ling Serrer, (Ncw York: l la rpcr Colliuv, l')')j).1'I'. 2-.1.

'IL. (;rel{ory joncs, Embodyillg Forgi'lJencss: A Theological Analysis (Grand Rapids:

Ecrdmans, 1995), p. 226.

"'Jean Vanier, Comm/Jnity anti Growth, 2nd ed. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1989),
pp, 120 2I.

11Lcarn more abour the Unconferenccs at "LA: 2010- The Speakers,"]R Woodward
(blog), October 12, 2010, hrtp:lljrwoodward.netl2010/1O/la-201O-the_speakers.
I.?yOU cun learn more .ibour the Ecclesíu 'ctwork at
"Ann;c Dillard, The Writing Lifo (New York: l IarperCollíns, 1990), p. 32,

Ch"ptcr l8: Cultivatingan Equipping Ethos

IG. K. Chesrerton, Orthodoxy (New York: Doubleday, 1959), p. 97.
2Alan I lirsch und Tirn Catchim, Tbe Permanesu Reootutio». Apostolir Imagination
anti Pma/ceJor Ib~ 21st Cmtury (Sao Francisco: jossey-Bass, 2012), pp, 21-23,
'MidLld Frosr und Alan Hirsch, Toe Shaping ojThings to Come (Peabody, Mass.:
fkodriLkson, 20(H), p. 170.

ILe%lic Newbigin, Toe Cospe! In a Plurulis: Saciet} (Gram] Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989),

51by Holkke, ./1 Thcologyas Big as th,. City (Dowoers Grove, 111.: r nrcrVu<ity Press,
['.Il}7), pp. so-s 1.
"When it come' to h:\Ving:1 clear picrurc of the nuturc and miniHry of cach of the five
equlppcrs, r.iblcs A 1.1-1.5 offer one pal{c descriptions ofcach equipper rhar y"u can
reler ro 1I11tílyour undcrsrandlng nf cuch cquíppcr is crystal clear,
-llyou a rc new to undcrst.JnJín~ 111<'n.uurc ofmis<iol1al \"Ilmmunltte., I cnct)lIr~gc
V,IU to I'I~kI.Ip .\rlikc Brccn anti Alex Absalonú book LlIllllclJing /IIliJJiona/ Commu-
nüie«, Bcsldcs giving ,lrf~lIm"nts telr tlw m;'<;on'll powcr of mid-sized conul1unicies,
rhcy sll:lrt: ni nc stcP" to lallJldlin,l{ Illlssi"nal communitics. lve rcvicwcd this booku
J I~ \V",,,lw;ml, "r<lIIlJ,hlllg 'vh,rtOIl,JI C:omm!ll7l/lt'S hy l'v!Jk~ Hrecn .md Alcx Ab-
,~I(\111-,\ Hl'view," JR \VooJw:lrd (blop;), .\pril 6, 2001. htll';/ljrwolJJward
IIcr/2011 /()-I/I~l1'h:hillg-ln1SSio!l:d-("ml11unlt,es-bv_mikc' hrccn-and-'llcx. .ibsalorn-
.t-rrv 'cw-parr-2-,,/- 2.

"1',,, I 1'1."111:1>, "T'lC l'! I'rojL'(I," :\hr.:h 1-1,2002. p.;), I',,,j -h.ircd li" work on riu,
wu h 111~

"/:'IIII/,/,<'I ~llIid (Cllllilll)l"l(Y was dcvdopl"d ar Irn 19o 1),,, In l{'chmond, Virp;irlÍa.

CIl.lprcr \9; l'olyccnlric LcaJcT~hjl' .I( \Vu,k .•

'''1),lil,'' i" l~JulI" 111I .k );2:)-2-1.

'I{oland 1\llcn, 1~lillioll"'l' \lâhQJ,: St 1',1111', sr Ours? (Grand Rapid" r-:erd,"an.,

1%), 1'. 14X.

lJ{"L.lld ,\ llcn, Th" S/,oll!rl1lL'OI/\ r.Xpilllllf/fl ~/tllI' CllJlrrh an.! !!,~

CilIlU.' M'!rirb J Itnder
It(EIl,l!;CII/', o-e. Wipf&.Srock, 1'.197), I' 7.

SRoland Allen, Mission Activities Considered in Relation to th~ Aloll!jÍ!.<tlllion oI lhe

Spirit (London: World Dominion Press, 1927), p. 30.
"Allen, Múswl1ary Methods, p. 149.
7Sec an ovcrview of Parrick Lencioni's Tb« Fi't'I' Dysfunaions 0/ 11 7~"", ar JR
Woodward, "The Fivc Dysfunctions ora Tearn," JI{ Woodward (blog), ;l..1>l~·11,
2008. http://j rwoodward.nct/2008/05/the-five-dysfu nction s-of .irc.un.
~Rjchard J. Wood,
"Chrisr Has Come to Tench His Pcople Hirnself," in l"ratlitiQIlJ"
in Leadersbip: How Faitl: Traditions Shap,· lh_ Way W( Lca.l, cd. Richard J.\.lOl1\V anel
Eric O. J"cobsen (Pasadena, CaLJf.: De Pree Lcadership Ccnrcr, 2006), p. 214.
"Kurr FrcdricKson, "Fire in rhe Church: Or~:\nic Srrucrures for rhe l\.-1,sSltlual Con-
gregation: course paper wrirren fi,r !VIPSOO Turorial in Postmodern Culru,.~, Fulh-r
S~min"ry, Pasadena, California, 2007, p. 10.
IIIKeslcr Brewin, Sigm 0/ t:mergolc,·: fi Vrsíon J~J" Chanb '!'IM/i, (Jrg,'IU'. /V,·f·(L·'Jrkú/.
Decenrralized, Bottom-up, Commtmal, Flrxibl«, /1/WdJ' }':volvinx (Crund R.lpids.
Bakcr, 2(07), p. 77.
1'[biJ., p. 78.
l.!Srcven johnsun, Emerg~n{l!. 7/J(;, C'Oll!l(/(!,·d I.Jv(J 1j)'.·Jllh. Hr.uns, Cit),». an.! ..)'O/I';':)lO"I'
(Ncw York- Scribnr-r, 2(01), 1'. 74
. 'Allcn, SPUfJÚllit'Uln l:AjJU.rlJUJlI v.{/ht t..:t.,. i~. p. '7
I·Patriarch lgnartus, c ircd in :Yli<:h.,clllupt:r, "\!Virh o r \Vilh,,,,r rhc l lol , "1"lil,"
Orthodox Rcscan ..h I nstiturc, \.VWW,lu·t1 "li,>" rl'.;e;\rl'h i fI~ riruu- .01':'; r t i.: h·-,/
dogmarics/hurper holv _ 'piri m.
I<'["!ti, I" ~-'t:r i, .1J.'pt..,,1 (rum .rn unknown sourcc.

Arrendi-< 1: E'I"irpCTs and Thcir Role,

'l\lJrkus lhrrh, "fbl'</,'II<: /1;III.<I"/JOI/ ,111.1(:çm'''''I/:'''Y 01/ (:/"//""",.1 " (-':"\\ ) I., k
D{)ubkJ_l~. 1%0), p. 4.37.
"Five; otrhc qlll"'itll,ns Hl rhe ('qllIjIJWI lIVC"rVIl'W 1l1l~ •.•IIIII. Ih'lIl, 111\..11 .•• !l1I11i. .•il\

.ind cílcct \ 't.:r·,·dn.:'t:1nrwrl hv P'lVl 'l"hrllr1:1!'t .uul "'" I 1\0 l'l'f111i~!'iI(l11. 1'11(· :111"õW{·l.
to the q" es ,iolls .ire nune. S"" I';,.i '1'1""";,,. "'TIl\' ,,·1 I'",j", I." \1.".-11 11.21)/)2.
1'1'· )-1 •.

f'rrcnr!i'( 2: F'l"ipPl·r (":lndidacc I{dcn:tl<:c Furoll

1i\ \101,·, "Thcolol'"Y ;1\1 ',I \V:1V ." I. li c." 111 /",llll.tll_ lil, :,Ih,:':\! /.',1 J .", I
Pract i,,» in C/'JJi.1tlll/,l.ijt. c•.l. .\tir'J",I,I<. ',', :r.HI.! !)(,r .••~I"1 C. It: I t.'" '" .I·
1·:erdlll.lIb. 20(2), 1" 217

2Gr,lhJ.m 'rDlnlin. Sl'lnllltll Fi/III'H: CJ.lrJ\IIJ1n ('/10'-,11"1," /1) 1I (,"JI/IIIIIIO l 1I11'f} (:\l'\\"

York: Continuurn Intcrn.rrionn], 100(,). 1'. .j ,.

"TIn; S [I \.I'.\:: .. 1Lrunyll1ls rr'>I11 R"k \V.lrn;lI, Fi> .: f'1ir/" •.,· /)''"1'/1 (·/,,, .•·./.I.' ;,,",1
Rapids: Zoml-rvan, 1<)1)'i), 1'1' 1i1-71
'K.1r1 Bnrrh, ChuI".h fJl1,l{/IIlllin·1.3.2, "l"h,' l Ioa rinc 'f R,·, ,,1/, ;/i.III'''' (Llllllllll)'1t: I &T
C'brk, 1<J(2). I'. lO-I.

'Lc,slic Ncwbigin, in Lesslie Newbigtn: i\llissionary Th"!J/ogian:.d R"ader, ed. Paul

Wcsron (Grand Rapíds: Eerdmans. 2006), pp. 130-42.

AppenJix 3: Equipper Candidate lnterview

I~even "f rhese words come from David Fitch's blog: fairh, discernment, presenee,
parrence, resourcefulness, humility and love. Thl,; qu<:sdons are mine. You can find
grear deflnitions for these words at David '5 blog: "The Seven Jndispen5able Virtues
of J Missional Leader," Reclaiming lhe Missio», Www.reclaimingthemission