Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Making Disciples | L2/D2

You’ve cast a vision to start something in a ‘new’ neighbourhood. A few others have joined you – some because they are attracted to you, some because they are attracted to the vision – and a core team has begun to coalesce. One couple committed to join you for two years; that time is up, and they are moving on. About the same time, another family had to move on due to redeployment at work. Good things have been going on, but whatever growth you had hoped for – deepening relationships with neighbours, say – has been slower than the team might have hoped. Now it seems like you’ve taken a collective hit; a backward step from some ‘critical mass’ in momentum. Morale heads south. What are you going to do?

Quite early into Jesus’ public ministry, we see him working hard – and not entirely successfully – to get away from the crowds in order to spend a significant amount of time with his disciples, who have come to the realisation that they have given up their means of providing food and clothing for themselves and their families, to follow a visionary who might be out of his mind, and is certainly starting to attract hostile attention from influential enemies…

Followers at D2 need leaders operating at L2: and this level of encouragement requires prioritising significant amounts of contact time. Naturally pioneering leaders – the kind of leaders we often see in emerging missional churches – will find this requirement frustrating, because you will find yourself spending more time with your team behind closed doors than ‘out there’ engaging with the community. But if you fail to bite the bullet on this one, you will end up as a chaplain to a de-motivated group of people, until the day you have had enough of that and quit…

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