Austin Stone has been at this missional thing for a while. And they have a lot of good resources. And, while we don’t have a group going now (yeah, I know…) I find I learn a lot from their stuff. So, I’m eager to share their model for leadership in missional communities here:
The missional community leader’s job is not to execute the practices. Their job is to ensure that the group has clarity in its mission. Their primary job is not necessarily communicator, shepherd, or pastor. It’s mission-centered. We want them to be the one who is leading out and saying, “This is who we are, and this is what we’re going to do.”
The life transformation groups are designed to be leaderless groups. They come having read the Bible reading plan for the week, share what God has taught, and how they obeyed it. It’s a pretty easy template to follow. It doesn’t really require a leader. It requires good modeling—people have to see it and practice—but it’s designed to be something that is simple, reproducible, and transferrable.
We really want the family meal to be centered around a meal. So if you know how to cook or how to facilitate a meal for 12 people, you’re qualified to lead that portion.
For Third Place, the leader of the group has to determine where to gather and how to invite lost people to be part of it.
I like the notion of “the missional community leader’s job is not to execute the practices.” So often we look to our leaders to do our work for us. But that’s one of the very models of congregational life that the missional movement is trying to combat. So it’s important to have it in the group…which is the very DNA of the missional movement.