Values of Leaders and Churches that Break the Code (Chapter 6)
Ed and David list the values that are demonstrated by leaders and churches that are breaking the missional code in their communities. They are identified as:
Spiritual formation; Reaching the unreached; Evangelism; Community; Experience; Service; Culturally relevant expressions of church; Spiritual warfare. I want to highlight the first two values.
Effective leaders model these characteristics within their own spiritual formation:
Calling – these leaders throw themselves at the challenge of creating environments where the gospel can be planted and flourish. Leaders who break the code create opportunities, they either “find a way or make a way” (according to Mike Ditka).
Character – When a leader’s words and actions are aligned.
Competency – these leaders recognize that every context has its own unique challenges.
Comprehension – The most successful church planters make a point of reading everything on the subject – because it is the passion of their life. I would imagine that we could include collegiate missionaries in this equation as well.
Commitment – this requires hard work and requires an incredible amount of commitment.
Courage – high level of courage in regard to making tough decisions.
Discipleship – committed to making and multiplying disciples. Making and multiplying disciples involves three things:
1) Living like Jesus lived – he spent three years modeling the life that he intended
them to live.
2) Loving like Jesus loved
3) Leaving behind what Jesus left behind – he simply left behind people who
lived like him and loved like him.
Reaching the Unchurched/unreached
***Churches that are breaking the code are paying a high price for reaching the unchurched/unreached. They are discovering that churches that focus on reaching the unchurched/unreached often create a degree of discomfort among some churched/reached.***
Four questions –
1. Where are the unchurched/unreached?
2. Who are the unchurched/unreached?
3. Why are they unchurched/unreached? - Four barriers
a. The image barrier – relates to how people view Christianity. If we are going to develop relevant churches, it is important to identify through our research specific barriers and issues that answer this question of “why” a certain people group, population or those within a certain cultural environment as a whole are unchurched.
b. The cultural barrier – When secular people visit a church, it can be a culturally alienating experience. (Thus, what do we do about it when we invite someone into our community?)
c. The gospel barrier – the only legitimate barrier as far as we are concerned. We need to eliminate the other barriers but confront those who are seeking with this barrier.
d. The total commitment barrier – once a person crosses the gospel barrier, there is the call to total commitment.
We should do everything we can to remove all image and cultural barriers.
4. What is God already doing among the unchurched/unreached? – It is arrogant to assume that God is not already at work in most places. Let’s find out where he is working and join him.