Missional Intensity

by Bruce Wesley

How would you describe the level of your intensity for the mission of Jesus? Have you grown more or less intense over time? I look forward to addressing this issue at the Orlando Boot Camp in January. After years of coaching church planters, I remain both inspired and troubled. I’m inspired by the caliber of men that God is raising up to plant churches today.

Regularly, I sit across from gifted men who love Jesus, demonstrate theological clarity and possess a refreshing sense of authenticity. We are brothers and partners in a common mission of being disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus. But I confess that I am often troubled when I spend time with church planters.

I’m not troubled by the typical arrogance or impatience that often appears as the shadow side of entrepreneurial gifting. Rather, I am troubled by how frequently I notice a lack of intensity for mission. This surprises and alarms me. This generation of church planters champions the much-needed revival of mission in the American church, but the same group that has fought for missional intentionality struggles to maintain missional intensity.

The same group that has fought for missional intentionality struggles to maintain missional intensity.

So I have come to believe that the primary struggle concerning mission, in our tribe, is not a struggle for clarity; it’s a struggle for intensity. I believe the pastor sets the pace for missional intensity. For nineteen years, I have sought to keep my heart aflame for the mission of God in the church that God has called me to plant and shepherd. The church has not always helped me stoke the fires of my missional intensity.

To the contrary, the church (not just the church I pastor) is riddled with issues that threaten to quench a pastor’s missional intensity. So I’m trying to pay attention to this issue with the hope that I can burn hot without burning out, and so I can serve men with flagging intensity.

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Over the last ten years, Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to almost 300 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries. Scott Thomas serves as president and director of the network, which focuses on the gospel and advancing the mission of Jesus through obediently planting church-planting churches. Founders and contributors to the Acts 29 movement include Mars Hill teaching pastor Mark Driscoll and lead pastor of The Village Church Matt Chandler.