Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

How Do You Train Missional Community Leaders?

Developing and training leaders for missional communities begins with cultivating a discipleship ethos. We need to look at discipleship holistically, beginning with those who have yet to self-identify as Christians, and then all the way across the continuum to those who are serving the community from the overflow of their walk with God. Often the best leaders for missional communities are those who have yet to become Christ followers, the people of peace that God connects us with as we live our mission day to day.

Robert Webber in Journey to Jesus explores The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, which was penned around 215 A.D., as the church was connecting with a world unfamiliar with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. From this document, we learn the church developed a holistic approach to discipleship at every stage of development. They identified four specific phases of development from the seeker to the hearer to the kneeler to the faithful.

There discipleship began with those who had no faith – the seeker, and continued toward those who were using their gifts and talents to continue the mission – the faithful. When it comes to training and developing leaders, I have adapted this pre-modern paradigm to our postmodern, post-Christendom context, through the lens of the five equippers that the Apostle Paul mentions in his letter to Ephesus. Here is the basic discipleship continuum that we use.

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One Response to How Do You Train Missional Community Leaders?

  1. arlenerauen says:

    I love the comment…”that good missional leaders aren’t even saved yet” 🙂 I was thinking about your talks coming up this morning and thought a couple of things…the 5 equippers…, hum… have you considered that in a worldly sence we already see something similar in good businesses and perhaps even sports teams..Example:.on a given pro football team don’t they have a doctor on board all the time, and a PR person(the storyteller/evangelist), and the big picture guy and…. ok it was more clear in my mind this morning…but I was wondering..and then I was also wondering if as you travel and talk about the 5 if perhaps God would have you use differnt terminology for each equipper based on the people you are speaking to….it’s like saying Pop versus soda…so perhaps being all things to all men would be tweeking your terminology a bit. and then I was wondering if you would be willing to make up a network for everyone to use to be not reinventing the wheel in learning to be more effective in growing up within our gifting(sorry too wordy)….For example: here are good blogs, training, books, people to follow if you are gifted in ____ and for all 5 equipper …it could be updated as people get moving in doing business with/for God …I am mostly a lay counselor(in midwest terminology) who comes along side others and I eat up anything that helps me be better at what I do…I am working hard to bring some great training to LA for the leaders of our churches…goood stuff coming!! ….just some thought from today…congrads on the PHD program news by the way, it made me smile as I think you would enjoy digging deeper

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