Multiplying Missional Leaders

Every pastor desires to raise up more leaders. Not just people who show up each week, but people who will take responsibility of an area, carry a vision, lead others, multiply themselves into others. Enter Mike Breen’s new book Multiplying Missional Leaders (kindle version).

I’ve long wanted a really great book on developing leaders within the church. I’ve read countless business books, but the leap of applicability is difficult as leaders within the church often have other jobs.

While Breen’s book is the best on the topic I’ve read, I feel like it lacked some things. Breen is an amazing thinker, but sometimes how smart he is seems to get in the way of being easily applicable to everyone.

First, the positives of the book.

Breen gives a fairly simple list of developing leaders in the church:

  • Recruit the team with whom you want to start a movement.
  • Train them on how to pioneer the missional frontier and disciple others to do the same.
  • Deploy your team to cut its teeth in the missional frontier.
  • Review with them once they’ve gone out to see what happened and what they learned and to give them practical coaching and spiritual support.

Fairly straight forward.

The one downside, if you aren’t doing missional communities, life on life discipleship, you will have some difficulty applying Breen’s book and his ideas. Now, the easy answer to that problem is simply start doing life on life discipleship, which is probably the biblical answer. I found a lot of great things in the book, but that is the one caveat I would make about it.

Here are a few other things I highlighted in the book:

  • Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you. -Dallas Willard
  • Missional leadership is not simply discipling individual people, but is leading larger groups that disciple and train leaders in a cohesive, organized way for God’s mission in the world.
  • Defining a disciple is fairly easy. The Greek word mathetes is the word that scripture uses for “disciple” and it means learner. In other words, disciples are people who LEARN to be like Jesus and learn to do what Jesus could do.
  • The fruit of our lives will reveal the root of our lives.
  • God did not design us to do kingdom mission outside the scope of intentional, biblical discipleship.
  • The truth about discipleship is that it’s never hip and never in style because it’s the call to come and die.
  • The impulse to “go deep” that people often believe shows their character is essentially spiritual boredom that comes from a stalled discipleship life.
  • The problem with Christians isn’t that they don’t understand what Jesus said. The problem with Christians is that they don’t do what Jesus said.
  • We need to look at the issue of identity, because it is the main battlefield when it comes to character.
  • Three areas – appetite, approval, and ambition – are temptations which the devil always returns, whether in an individual’s life, the life of a local church, or even the life of a culture.
  • A missional leader needs character, capacity, chemistry and calling.

One of the things I appreciated about Breen’s book was his emphasis on character. Too many leadership books simply pay lip service to this characteristic. If a person doesn’t have character, they will not make a strong leader in your church, at least not a leader worth following.

Overall, I’d recommend reading the book. As I said, to my knowledge, it is the best book I’ve read on developing leaders within the church.

Jesus is about Disciples, not Converts

The problem [with the American church] is that, at the end of the day, the only thing that Jesus is counting is disciples. That’s it. He doesn’t seem to care too much about converts, attendance, budgets, or buildings. It’s about disciples. And, by nature, disciples are producers, not consumers. –Mike BreenMultiplying Missional Leaders

Do you agree? Disagree? Why?

Links to Help You Get to Friday

  1. 12 words of encouragement for pastors. Great list. 
  2. Al Mohler on The goal of sex within marriage and how porn robs that. Love the idea that sex within marriage is the fulfillment of the rest of the marriage relationship. 
  3. How fear robs us. Great insights into what fear does in our lives. 
  4. Pete Wilson on How worry is killing us
  5. Mike Breen on Why the leadership movement is leaving your church leaderless
  6. 12 things a veteran church planter wished that he knew when he started. Great list for pastors and church planters. 
  7. The 5 mistakes CEO’s (and pastors) make when speaking
  8. To end with a great movie coming out:

Links of the Week

  1. Mike Breen on Keys to integrating mission & discipleship with your life. Great stuff.
  2. There’s no such thing as free porn.
  3. Brian Tracy on 3 easy habits to a healthy lifestyle.
  4. 5 reasons most people won’t become wealthy.
  5. Mike Anderson on How to start projects well.
  6. How Andy Stanley handled a heckler in his sermon.
  7. J.D. Greear on Does your church have what it takes to reach college students.
  8. The 6 types of people you meet in church planting.
  9.  Al Mohler on a major victory for Christian liberty, also see CNN’s Religion Blog’s take.
  10. Resources for discipling your children. Lots of helpful things here.
  11. Jared Wilson on Jesus was religious.

Links of the Week

  1. Introverts in the church. I haven’t read this book yet, but as an introvert, I’m grateful people are talking about this.
  2. 7 negative effects of porn.
  3. Scott Thomas on What pastors can learn from the Penn State scandal.
  4. Is there a megachurch bubble?
  5. Mike Breen on what the American church will look like in 10 years.
  6. Gospel Coalition on importan female voices in the church.
  7. Andy Stanley on Creating a come and see culture.

Links of the Week

  1. 10 Questions to increase volunteer engagement.
  2. Luke Simmons on How to start family worship.
  3. Indications of a thriving supernatural church plant.
  4. Mike Breen on How do you make missional disciples.
  5. Is your church too cool?
  6. Scott McClellan on A different kind of pew research. This is a great insight for pastors.
  7. How can God possibly use brokenness in a pastor’s life.
  8. Al Mohler on Should the scriptures be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age?
  9. Why young Christians aren’t waiting anymore.
  10. Brad Lomenick on Leading millenials.
  11. Stream the new Phil Wickham album. So good.

Links of the Week

  1. Mike Breen on Why the missional movement will fail part 1 and part 2. Mike has been instrumental in our change to missional communities and this is a huge reason why churches fail in this area. Great insight.
  2. Joe Thorn and (Fake) angry Calvinists.
  3. Ed Stetzer on Denominations.
  4. 12 questions to confirm your calling to plant a church.
  5. Jen Smidt on What is beautiful part 1 and part 2.
  6. Can megachurches be missional?
  7. Trevin Wax on 5 ways to redeem your ride to work.
  8. 10 suggestions to raising Godly children.
  9. Mark Driscoll on Women & ministry.
  10. Top 5 reasons why people don’t give to your church.

Launching Missional Communities *A Field Guide*

Mike Breen’s book Launching Missional Communities came at just the right time for me. I chronicled the angst I felt over the last 18 months and what God was doing in my heart and the hearts of the leaders at Revolution in our recent vision night.

I love what Alan Hirsch said when he read this book, “For years I’ve written about what the future of the church might look like. Consider this one of the best books around at actually doing the real thing.”

This is a book, that regardless of how you do church, what you believe about mission and community, it will stretch your thinking. It will challenge you. Push you.

They start about clearing showing the need for a change within the American church. Too many churches and pastor’s are willing to do the same thing they were doing 10-20 years ago and hope to get results that are different than what they are getting.

The authors then clearly lay out how to start missional communities, how a church transitions to being oriented around missional communities. How to develop leaders, the criteria, how to multiply MC’s.

They then walk through the inner workings of MC’s. Handling kids, what the gatherings look like, etc.

The most helpful part of the book was all the case studies throughout the book and in part 5.

If I had one criticism about the book is that it has very little to do with the gospel. It has why the church should be designed this why from Scripture, but the gospel is what pushes us to be on mission as a community. Much of the talk about missional communities has more to do with being on mission and less about community and discipleship. While I appreciate that, I think there does need to be a balance.

All in all, if you are wrestling as I was with a sense that mission, community, and discipleship are not hitting on all cylinders, or thinking about making the transition to missional communities, this book needs to be on your list. If for nothing more than to push your thinking to a place it hasn’t been before.

Links of the Week

  1. Chuck Swindoll on The most important thing.
  2. Charles Stone on 5 non-negotiable decisions every leader must make.
  3. 25 ways to be missional in your neighborhood.
  4. Mike Breen on How culture has corrupted the American church.
  5. Jonathan Dodson on Is Pluralism more tolerant than Christianity?
  6. Motherhood is application.
  7. Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO.
  8. Jared Wilson & Tony Merida on Preaching Today.
  9. One of the main reasons students leave church after high school is their faith reflects the faith they’ve seen growing up.
  10. Bill Hybels on Preparation matters.
  11. 6 trends in church staffing.
  12. Carl Trueman on Teaching your kids the trinity.
  13. Scott Williams on Most leadership stress is self induced.