In recent weeks I’ve been thinking about the importance of creating extended families on mission (that is, Missional Communities of 20-50 people) and in the midst of that time I’ve been doing workshops talking about similar things.
Two things have stuck out to me in interacting with pastors about Missional Communities:
1. So many pastors are looking for the Silver Bullet. They are looking for the one thing that can save the day and keep their church (and the church in general) from the precipitous decline they are facing.
2. They are hoping to master whatever this Silver Bullet is, whatever it may be, and hoping they can do so almost overnight. As if you could stick their church in a microwave, and two minutes later…DING!…”it’s ready!”
First, I do believe there is a Silver Bullet for the church and it’s discipleship. However, the issue is that discipleship is something that is simple, but hard, not complex and easy. It takes a while. And because we’ve been about building churches first and foremost (hoping it would grow as quickly as possible) and rather whimsically hoping we get disciples out of it, we’re not accustomed to the amount of time and energy it takes to make even one disciple.
More and more I see this phenomenon happening with Missional Communities (MC’s) as well. I meet pastors who are looking for a quick fix to their seemingly unfixable problems. They assume that learning how to start, grow, disciple people and multiply MC’s is as simple as doing a 40 Days of Purpose sermon series. But it’s just not. It takes a long time to learn it.