Missional Leader

Characteristics of Missional Leadership...

I have been working on an essay for my Master's in Missional Leadership about the nature and shape of missional leadership. I spent some time this week writing down some characteristics of missional leadership that I thought were important. I also forced myself to share them on Twitter so that they would be succinct and straightforward. Many of these are not included in my essay that I am finishing up because the essay is more reflective of the course materials, but if asked to describe missional leadership these are some of the things that I would point to. What else would you add that is important to the nature and shape of missional leadership?


Quality #1 - Missional leaders bring the narratives of individuals, communities of faith, and the biblical narrative into conversation.

Quality #2 - Missional leaders operate out of a Trinitarian framework. The nature of God shapes the nature and mission of their context.

Quality #3 - Missional leaders help people to shape their communal identity around a healthy eschatological posture in their context.

Quality #4 - Missional leaders are reliant upon the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit and help others to become the same way.

Quality #5 - Missional leaders are concerned about the Kingdom of God and the formation of people over programs and facilities.

Quality #6 - Missional leaders don't lead over others. They lead and live alongside a community that is discerning the work of God in them.

The Covenant Prayer of John Wesley

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

Alan Roxburgh on Change versus Transition

...change is what happens to us from forces outside ourselves over which we have no control. Most of us deal fairly well with continuous change, which is ongoing, gradual, and expected. ... But discontinuous change is much more disturbing and difficult. Unlike the continuous form, it creates a situation that requires something different from and more potent than the normal habits and skills that were so useful during a stable period of continuous change. ... Besides continuous and discontinuous change, there is also transition, which is our inner response to change coming from outside ourselves. This inner response can be powerful. ... In a congregation stuggling with discontinuous change, it isn't the changes that will defeat the leader but the transitions. As the congregation enters the crisis and confusion of discontinuous change, the reflexive response of leaders is to come up with a change plan to fix the crisis and return the organization to its normal experience of effectiveness and success. The problem with this response is that the plans focus on change; they ignore transition. Unless an organization learns to address its transition issues, it will never create an effective change process.(pgs. 57-58)