Abductive Columns

Monday, August 28, 2006

Missional Culture Building

The following question came over a discussions of Peter Walker's Church Survey

What would be your expectations on paying an unbeliever to do a church survey?

To ask what "are the expectations" is the wrong question. Personally, I have no expectations? This is about building a culture of missional believers. It's possible some might consider consistently informing the faith community about these paid visitors and their comments after their “church” experience as an expectation. But this is culture building. If that’s an expectation it would be my only expectation. And I won’t apologize for that because it is an important one.

I have to admit I'm not very excited because most church leadership suffers from a “missional instinct deficit” and that makes culture building very difficult in the traditional church setting. Yet at the same time, if the pulpit man has missional instincts he could make a big, big difference.

Leadership can’t be talked into or coerced to live passionately for a process that, although time intensive, is worthy of their 'intentionally-dedicated-attention.' Creating a missional culture demands a tremendous amount of energy, time, and resources focused in the direction of those outside our campuses (from my perspective churches gives most of their time and resources to crafting the Sunday morning 'worship'). Nothing wrong with that, but for missional culture building to mature the same importance must be given to missional instincts. Otherwise it's impossible to develop. The man who has the pulpit—he's the one who must believe enough to intentionally influence the assembly in order to create culture. It may take 12 months, maybe 24 months to arrive at the place where the congregation begins believing, expressing interest and then finally involvement!

A church survey, like the one Peter Walker and Jim Henderson have on the Off-the-Map web site, plays a very, very small role in the building of culture. But it is part of it. Yet without the commitment on the part of leadership it's impossible for the community to see the importance of becoming missional.

If you don't talk about it…
how can it be important?

If there's no missional fruit…
how will anyone believe leadership thinks it's important.

The last step in building a missional culture is teaching the ordinariness of missional. Jim Henderson does this well with his Ordinary Attempts.


At 12:42 PM, Blogger TCS said...

couldn't agree more with what you've said. We visited a church recently and were paid with a coffee mug if we would tell them our impressions. I probably went overboard, but it has turned into an ongoing conversation with one of their elders who I would not have known otherwise.

At 1:04 PM, Blogger john alan turner said...

Missional Instinct Deficit. MID -- midway, midpoint, middle of the road. Half and half. Lukewarm.

No wonder so many churches make outsiders want to vomit.

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Jim Henderson said...

I admire your patience although I have to go with historian Barbara Tuchman who said...
In the scaled of history, inertia always outweighs that of change

And another wise person who said
passivity masks itself as wisdom

Jim Henderson
Off the Map
You Say You Want a Revolution Conference

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Fred Peatross said...

John Alan...

What I wouldn't give to spend time with you.

I'm coming to Atlanta September 1. Unfortunatley all my time is consumed with a marriage and then I fly out of Hartsfield to Italy on the 3rd. It ain't going to happen this trip but some day, somehow, sometime we need to sharpen iron.

This post was a rant. These people we solict are completely informed and know what they are being asked to do.


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