I recently read through a review copy of Mike Breen and Alex Absalom‘s Launching Missional Communities: A Field Guide. Because the book is extremely practical workbook-style “field guide,” I thought it would be interesting to pose some questions that came up as I read through the book rather than just offering a standard review. And, whaddyaknow, I was able to get some answers to those questions from Mike Breen, who offered some great insights on culture, church, seminaries, pastors, and (naturally) missional communities.
Here’s a sampling:
On why small groups are not “enough”
Small groups are quite the conundrum for North American churches. Most churches would say that small groups exist either to disciple people or for evangelization purposes. The problem is that small groups don’t tend to do either of those well! We see people often becoming nicer in small groups or perhaps knowing the Bible better, but you don’t often see people whose lives and spirits look more like Jesus, which is what discipleship should do.
On busyness in Christian communities
Having an over-scheduled community is a discipleship problem. There’s really no other way of putting it.
On seminary training and missional leadership
I still think seminaries, by and large, are training pastors for a world that no longer exists. Christendom has all but crumbled, save a few places like the Bible belt. What seminaries did for so long is teach pastors to run the organization of the church and to build the church. So we have all of these well-run, shrinking churches because most church leaders have never been trained to think, act or behave like a missionary and they certainly don’t know how to disciple people to do the same.
For more thoughts from Mike on small groups, kids and families, leadership, discipleship, seminaries, etc., check out the review and interview posted over at The Burner Blog.