The Challenge that will Transform the Church

28 06 2008

There is one simple challenge that a church can take that will once and for all

  • Shift the mission to disciple-making
  • Cause the church to be structured into small bodies (missional communities)
  • Release the 5-fold ministry to focus most of their energy on expansion

I’ve mentioned this challenge in several of my past posts especially here and here but I just discovered that it was posed by an episcopal priest named George Martin in the publication “Today’s Parish” where he wrote –

“Perhaps pastors should imagine that they are going to have three more years in their parish as pastor—and that there will be no replacement for them when they leave. If they acted as if this were going to happen, they would put the highest priority on selecting, motivating, and training lay leaders that could carry on as much as possible of the mission of the parish after they left. The results of three sustained years of such an approach would be quite significant. Even revolutionary.”

I want to work with ANY church leaders willing to serious consider taking this challenge. We need to STOP planting churches that are improperly structured requiring endless maintenance by full-time workers and the lack of serious discipleship and deep community that are their natural byproduct. It’s very simple. Structures that really make disciples, foster community and release the 5-fold are available if we’ll have the courage and fortitude to leave the familiar paths and take this ancient neglected path back to sustainable Kingdom expansion.

Please talk to me if you want to explore this.

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3 responses

9 07 2008
Growing a Church from the Inside Out « A Man Called Preach

[…] apply this directly to the problem of leadership in churches. Jeremy Pryor, at From Eden to Zion, offers this scenario: Perhaps pastors should imagine that they are going to have three more years in their parish as […]

25 08 2008
Transitioning Pastors from Paid Positions to Released Callings « From Eden to Zion

[…] church (in context church here = universal church) and they are not told to lead but to equip (read here and here for more on […]

27 08 2008
Transitioning Pastors from Paid Positions to Released Callings Part 3 (who’s going to take care of my flock?) « From Eden to Zion

[…] adopt this philosophy while seeking a replacement for your former position.  Your position must be dissolved.  But this requires radical restructuring.  So how is this done as part of your transition […]

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