About 15 years ago I had the opportunity to attend a training led by Jeff Vanderstelt through a process called SonLife (which has changed quite a bit since then). After that I was in a group of youth pastors he mentored for a season. I’ve always appreciated his missional heart and willingness to invest in leaders. Here are some of the insights he shared at the Austin PlantR MicroConference:
“The term ‘missional’ has often been used in various ways to mean various things.
Missional means living all of life as one saved by God for the purpose of being sent by God on His mission. Missional does not only include social justice, but because we are missional we should be known for caring for the needs of the oppressed.
A missional community is a family of missionary servants who are sent by God to make disciples who make disciples.
True biblical community is the greatest apologetic and hermeneutic for the world to know the gospel.
If your people aren’t established strongly in the gospel, then mission devolves into strategy.
If you’re not doing the work that the Spirit sent you to do, then don’t expect the power of the Spirit in your efforts. Most of what we call the church to do won’t require help from the Spirit of God. We need to challenge our church to do things only God can do.
If we truly live differently than everyone else, people will want to know why.
If we measure the same things we used to measure, we will get the same results we used to get. A new metric: how many people would call us when they are in need? how many people outside of our church did we share a meal with this week?
Every fall Soma Communities teaches through the same series on the basics (Gospel, the purposes of God, Servanthood, Family of God, Discipleship, and On Mission) and then each of the missional communities form their new or updated missional covenant for the new year. Then each person involved commits to serve with one of the missional communities for the next year.
Don’t add anything to your life! Just do what you are doing differently. Be missionaries where you already are!
We need to let the Scriptures shape our values rather than our cultural values shape our view of the Scriptures.”