Earlier this week I began a 4 part conversation with Mike Breen, one of the most prominent leaders in the grouplife trend known as missional communities. If you missed part 1, you can read it right here.
Mark: I know you’ve written a field guide (with Alex Absalom). What can you tell us about this resource?
Mike: I’d say a couple of things. First, this isn’t really a book we wrote a year after we stumbled onto something. This is something we’ve worked on for 20 years and we’re just now getting around to writing about. So more than anything else, while there is some really strong theory and theology, this is a practical guide on how to launch, grow, multiply and disciple people in Missional Communities.
When it comes to the “missional” stuff, you can get a million books on the theory of missional church or missional communities. We wanted to devote a book to how you actually can do it. That seems to be the biggest question by every church leader we come across: I realize there’s a problem, but how can I do anything about it?
Mark: I’m looking forward to reviewing it myself in the next week or so. Here are some of the comments made by others who have had a chance to read the field guide:
For years I have written about what the church of the future might look like. Consider this book one of the best around at getting to actually do the real thing. —Alan Hirsh, author of The Forgotten Ways
I have read heaps of books on Missional Church and Communities, but his book is by far the most practical and helpful thing I have read. Filled with theological background, case studies, practical help, and proven results. I highly recommend this.–Jon Tyson, Trinity Grace Church, NYC
There’s a lot out there on the theory, but not a lot out there on the practice. This is a practical field guide. If you’re a leader and are looking to start, explore or experiment with Missional Communities, this book is for you.–Michael Stewart, VERGE Conference & The Austin Stone
Pastors today — and I get letters about this — want more than a theology of mission or a missional theology, though they want that too. What they are asking for is a handbook, a field guide, about missional community formation. And they want a field guide from someone who has done it (not just talked about it or written about it) and who has done it long enough to have wisdom about it, and done it well enough to be able to teach it in ways that are both adaptable to a local context but theological enough to be sustainable. This is that book. And the publishers are to be thanked for making it look like and feel like a Field Guide. This is a one-of-a-kind book that will be the standard for all those wanting to form missional communities.–Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed
Mark: I also know you’re going to be at Exponential and that there is a full track on Missional Communities. What will be included in that track?
Mike: We’ll actually be doing a pre-conference session and 5 different workshops for people at Exponential, these are the ones we’re doing:
- Pre-Conference 1, Missional Communities | Fad, Fact and Fiction: What are Missional Communities? Where did they come from? What makes MCs different than missional small groups? What works and what doesn’t? Learn the nuts and bolts from experts with over 15 years of experience in launching and multiplying MCs all over the world.
- Main Session 1, Moving from Attractional to Scattered and Gathered: Implementing Missional Communities without killing your church
- Main Session 3, Launching Missional Communities | A Practical How-To Guide: Insight and advice on how to practically launch, sustain and multiply MCs, from the authors of the new book, Launching Missional Communities– A Field Guide
- Main Session 4, Using APEST* Giftings to Start, Sustain and Multiply a MC: How does leadership gifting play out in the shaping of a missional community? This session will explore how your/ your teams APEST giftings can be both leveraged and predictive of an MCs trajectory and success. *Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher
- Main Session 5, Q&A with Missional Mavens – Mike Breen and 3DM Team: After launching a world-wide missional movement and pioneering the use of MCs in the Western church, the 3DM team is available to answer your most burning questions.