Matt, Heather, Jones & Macrae:

ChurchVenture  HOME PAGE

Our passion is to build communities that are loyal to Jesus.

Please ...

  1. Watch our video
  2. Subscribe to our blog
  3. Consider supporting us. Follow the green button ...
Watch Video Full Screen

Friday, October 17, 2008

Breaking The Missional Code by Ed Stetzer & David Putman

I recently read Breaking The Missional Code by Ed Stetzer & David Putman. This book is a great way for me to jump straight back into a missional church planting learning mode after having been a little silent on my blog for a while -- here we go -- kappow

The main message of the book is pretty simple. The church is the primary vehicle for God to reach the world and local churches cannot simply copy methods, styles or techniques to be effective, but must discern their local cultures in order to be fruitful yet remain faithful. 

Breaking the Missional Code does not present a secret formula to suit everyone. It presents a principle for church life: to study and observe the surrounding culture in each community and adjust the methods/forms of the church in order to best connect people with the message of the gospel. On page 228 it says of code breaking churches that "... the mission of the church to fulfill the Great Commission does not get relegated to a program of evangelism, but it becomes intricately woven through the entire fabric of the local church." Everyone is on the mission!

The book talks about the sin of preference. Page 50 says "You can't be missional and pick what you like at the same time ... That is not a problem when our preferences line up with the missional choices for our community. The problem occurs when they do not. That situation requires a change of heart." This is a conundrum for many because everyone holds certain styles to be best, effective, right or even biblical. For example, I prefer a type of worship because I have grown up with it and find that I often experience the presence of God in that worship style. 

However, the book is challenging me to rethink that preference. The community we live in might have a different musical form that would more effectively allow them to hear the message of the gospel. The question is: am I good with that? Am I willing to do whatever it takes to connect with the unchurched and not just assume that the vibe of contemporary Christian worship is best for our community? I often preach 45 minutes to an hour at our yearly youth conferences. But, what if people just can't connect with that? Shoot! Dying to these preferences is going to be hard but essential if the lost are important. 

Some other key themes in the book are contextualizing discipleship, emerging church strategies and the characteristics of missional leaders. This book would be very helpful for church planters and church leaders alike as it raises a call to bring effective mission back into the church where it truly belongs. Christian community is the best place for mission. Our core identity and core calling should never be divorced. The church should be what she is -- an effective code breaking missional family.

Here are some highlights from the book:
  1. For too many, they love their preferences and their strategies more than they love the people whom God has called them to reach. Page 7
  2. America is the most diverse nation in the world. Page 14
  3. [Some] are convinced if you just "preach the gospel" and perhaps "love people" that your church will reach people. They are wrong, and their ideas hurt the mission of the church. Page 14
  4. Jesus' command to "go to all nations," we think countries. But when Jesus spoke those words, there were no countries as we understand them today. Jesus' instructions mean we must go to all people groups in the world. Page 34
  5. We have become fascinated with the very things that Jesus said not to worry about. Page 40
  6. It seems that every pastor really wants to get into mission -- if his church was just a little bigger. They do not want to give themselves away until there is enough to share. That is not the way God does things. God calls us to give ourselves away and trust him. Page 70
  7. Mission is an intrinsically translational task. Page 73
  8. Leaders who break the code create opportunities. They throw themselves at the challenge of creating environments where the gospel can be planted and flourish. Page 74
  9. Redemptive analogies are twenty-first-century parables. Page 97
  10. Code-breaking churches teach their members to invest and invite. Page 145
  11. ... we learn our way forward and therefore we must build time into our process to evaluate what we are learning. When this happens, we build a culture where team members are willing to take risks and come up with new ideas. When we evaluate everything on a pass/fail basis, it is not unusual for a culture to be created that is suspicious and lacking in trust. Page 196-197
  12. Vision is something people produce; revelation is something people receive. Leaders can dream up a vision, but they cannot discover God's will. God must reveal it. Page 205
  13. Pray that God might reveal what keeps local people from trusting in Jesus Christ, and then ask the Holy Spirit to break those barriers. Page 219

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Good review. Challenging perspectives. Thanks for sharing.