Mission the 'organising function' of churches

Mike Frost explained during his visit to the UK in 2008, worship has been the 'organising function' of churches under Christendom. An intentionally missional church will have mission as the 'organising function'. Many new and young churches are establishing themselves with mission as their organising function, but there are two major problems we still face. Firstly, changing the culture of a church from being pastorally centred to being missionally centred is almost impossible. Very few established churches have managed to make the change. Secondly, churches that have been recently founded as missional churches have very often rejected the valuable experience that para-church groups can offer. They often assume that if they have any contact with an organisation, it will take over and dominate them. There will always be an important and valuable role for specialist agencies in supporting, advising and serving the churches in mission.

Pastoral oriented leadership

In most UK churches today, the majority of effort, practice, rehearsal and leader's time goes into preparing the Sunday morning 'service'. And that 'service' is primarily for those that belong. We are making the 'in crowd' feel important, comfortable and accepted. Our experience each week shows us that the church is about the bums of the faithful on seats!

It is a pastoral model of church. A church leader's key task should be 'to prepare God's people for works of service' (Eph 4:12) but we call many of them 'pastors' and that indicates the way we think about church. Pastoral care is important, but it should be a management role in the church. Leadership should be missional.

Missional oriented leadership

The characteristics of an intentionally missional church