From personal preference to missional thinking

A few weeks ago, there was a great piece in Leading Ideas by Ed Stetzer and David Putman. They write,

Being missional does not mean doing things the way we like them. It means to take the gospel into the context where we have been called … and, to some degree, to let the church take the best shape that it can in order to reach a specific culture. However, the problem is our preferences. You can’t be missional and pick what you like at the same time.

We prefer some forms of music. We desire certain church organizational structures. We would like specific outreach plans. Simply put, we have certain things that we like. That is not a problem when our preferences line up with the missional choices for our community. The problem occurs when they do not. That situation requires a change of heart and the willingness to set aside our preferences.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s easy for clergy to look at a congregation and see ways in which they won’t grow or change or… But the truth is that sometimes clergy get too full of themselves. Occasionally, someone in the church (or a clergy colleague) needs to say to a clergy leader, “IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!”

What do you think, dear readers? How can we make sure we are on track for mission and not focused on our own personal preferences?

By the way, if you are a lay or clergy leader in a church, I encourage you to subscribe to Leading Ideas, a weekly email newsletter with loads of helpful and thought-provoking material.

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