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January 2016
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March 2016

Insight 060: Become a FaithSoaring Church By Understanding the Difference Between Missional and Missio Dei

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRCurrently popular is for congregations to transform by a focus on being missional. To focus on missional--the sent action where congregations cross barriers to identify with and minister in a world context as proactive participants in God’s mission--can become just another program. It is in many settings the “in” thing.

Any time even the best of foci become the “in” thing they risk being watered down by people who want to be a part of it. Congregations truly transforming choose to focus on that perspective on the mission of God or Missio Dei to which God has uniquely called them.


Insight 059: Become a FaithSoaring Church by Always Seeking God’s Will

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRWhat should be the goal of congregations seeking to transform? Should it be to become successful, growing, vital, vibrant, purposeful, missional, healthy, faithful, unique, natural, etc? Yes and no. No specific fad or trend is right for every congregation. Some may not be right for any congregation. Yet congregations are often looking for the “right” answer found in the latest book, speaker, conference, or program.

All of these may be short-term--even immature--fixes. Long-term mature solutions are found in always seeking God’s will for congregation. What is God calling your congregation to be and do? That is the key to transformation.


Insight 058: Become a FaithSoaring Church by Starting in the Center

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRMany congregations are stuck in a pattern from the 1950s of pushing hard on promotional efforts to make their congregations successful. They start of the edges trying to get an increasing number of visitors, and then take them through a modified sales funnel. This is not all bad, but can be fruitless if the congregation doesn’t know “why”.

The starting place is at the center of the congregation among the people with the greatest passion for the mission of God through congregational expressions. When these people are a spiritual and strategic movement clearly led by God then transforming is beginning.


Insight 057: Become a FaithSoaring Church by Prayerful Dialogue with Other Congregations

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRMany congregations who need to transform are myopic and defensive about their situation. They are stuck in the “ain’t it awful” zone. They are primarily talking to themselves about their situation. When they talk to people in their family and friends network these people say to them “why have your let your congregation fail like that?”

Such congregations need to escape their figurative shell. They need to be in dialogue with other congregations who are on a journey towards transformation. They should engage in dialogue with congregations who are two to three years ahead of them in their transformation journey.


Insight 056: Become a FaithSoaring Church by Having Consistent Doctrine and Practice

FaithSoaring Churches 100CLRMany congregations are part of denominations and other networks of congregations who have strong doctrinal positions that focus on the missional nature of congregations. Such a focus may help congregations develop and sustain continual relevance to their context. However, many congregations who need to transform dilute or ignore the prophetic edge of these doctrinal convictions.

Pragmatism may take over that moves in one or two directions. One is to do whatever is necessary for the congregation to experience short-term numerical growth. The other is to figuratively “circle the wagons” and declare themselves faithful, which too often implies ineffective and non-innovative.