As fall arrives we see the coming of the change of seasons. The leaves are turning those amazing red, orange and yellows and what a sight it is. Although September was wonderfully warm you could tell that fall was right around the corner by the way it cools off so fast in the evenings. And, I’m sure you noticed how early in the evening it gets dark and how long it stays dark in the mornings.
Change is all around us. Have you thought about how words change meanings or are used differently over time? If you have had teenagers you likely noticed how they used words as a kind of code. History shows that teenage slang is continually producing new meanings for old words. It is tough to keep up with these changes.
Words used by the church also have changed over time. Two words have, shall we say, evolved in the recent past. Those two words are mission to missional and disciple to discipleship. This month I am thinking about mission and missional and next month I will address disciple and discipleship.
It was within the past six years that I was introduced to the evolution from mission to missional and disciple to discipleship. I was introduced to a pastor that used the word missional in many of our discussions and I had to admit to her that I did not understand what she was talking about. In my experience when a church talked about a mission it meant sending someone somewhere to do some service for another person or group of people.
My friend was talking about missional, as in being a missional church. I explained to her that we were a missional church because we did send many groups on mission trips. She and I went back and forth for some time until we came to an agreement that we were talking about different definitions of the word.
My understanding of what it means to be a missional church is not strong enough to confidently explain it to you so I need education. The churches that I know that have embraced being a missional church have found renewal by identifying their missional focus. I’ve seen the change in some churches and the renewal of their focus. This change has piqued my curiosity and I want to know more.
The Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is offering a session titled Breakthrough Workshop: Becoming a Missional Church.
The session brochure includes the following:
What does it mean to be a missional church? Author and consultant Reggie McNeal has defined the missional movement among churches that want to become more oriented toward the culture and community around them. Bring a group from your church, and join him for several in-depth conversations about our spiritual purpose and missional vitality. Together, attendees we will embrace the missional model and wrestle with these tough questions: Can you move from an internal to an external focus? Are you willing to develop the spiritual life of people? Will you engage with leadership from the community?
Reggie McNeal enjoys helping people, leaders, and Christian organizations pursue more intentional lives. He currently serves as the missional leadership specialist for Leadership Network, which aims to foster innovation within the church. His past experience involves more than a decade as a denominational executive and leadership development coach. He also served in local congregational leadership for more than 20 years, including being the founding pastor of a new church. McNeal has lectured or taught as adjunct faculty for multiple seminaries; served as a consultant to local church, denomination, and para-church leadership teams; and presented to thousands of church leaders across North America. His work also extends to the business sector, including The Gallup Organization.
The session is Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and there are two ways we could attend;
1. Bring a team to the meeting. This is the best way to experience the event and make the most of the material. Tuition is $25 per person or $100 per team of four or more; this includes hospitality and materials.
2. Participate through live streaming: Gather a group to watch and participate in the program from any location with moderately high-speed Internet access. Register in advance so that we can get you the access information and materials. Cost is $15 per location.
Are you interested in joining me for this session? I have heard Reggie McNeal speak and found him to be engaging and spirit-filled.
Just like the seasons change and word meanings evolve, the church also must change and evolve. Please prayerfully consider how our churches stay current in these changing times and join me at this session.
Breakthrough Workshop: Becoming a Missional Church.
October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
In His Amazing Grace,