Survival Lesson #6: IDEAL PROTECTION = TIGHT CLOTHES, SHORT HAIR.
“Remember; no matter how desperate the situation seems, time spent thinking clearly is never time wasted.” – Brooks (p.87)
When facing a zombie apocalypse, having a well thought out survival strategy is your best bet to make sure you face another tomorrow. Decisions made in haste rarely work out. For instance, in an impulsive moment you think it is a good idea to light the zombies on fire to slow their pursuit. But then quickly realize that you still have zombies after you, only now they are flaming zombies. Earlier, we mentioned the Ten Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack, these are a good starting point. Follow them carefully if you want to experience any modicum of success. Deviate from it and there’s no telling how brief your existence will become. Consistency is key to longevity.
Likewise for the church, consistency is needed in the wake of our changing world. This shifting paradigm can either be met with excitement or fear. To alleviate that fear, it is helpful to have a few rules to live by as we begin our new journey. Becoming a transformative and missional church doesn’t simply happen. It must be cultivated. Samuel Escobar, in his book The New Global Mission, asserts that mission starts in the heart of God. If this is true, then all we must do is faithfully respond to God’s mission as a people who are sent into the world. To respond to God’s mission, Escobar offers us six simple truths that will act as marching orders into the future of our church. They are in harmony with our aforementioned post-Christian and globalized reality blended with the discussion about the key attributes of a transformational and missional church. They are as follows:
- The faith of the powerful is irrelevant, and mission has to be characterized by servanthood.
- The gospel is a source of liberating power.
- Faith is a spiritual combat.
- The Western interpretation of Scripture is not the final word.
- God is experienced as an awe-inspiriting divine mystery.
- The power of the faith community is in the laity.
(from The New Global Mission p. 164)
There are many places we can begin in our road map towards a missional and transformative church, but the surest starting point, if we are hoping to effect change, must begin with the role of leader. If mission begins with God and manifests itself with his people, the leader is the spiritual middle man in this equation. The heart of the leader is the key place to begin our journey towards renovation of the church.
The following sections will give a brief overview of three key changes that leaders must embrace if they are to cultivate missional and transformational churches in the 21st century. These key changes will also guide me as I begin this new church plant. Rethinking diversity, hierarchy and spirituality at the leadership level will act as the epicenter for a catalytic move towards change…