Ed Stetzer spoke recently at the Transformational Leadership event hosted by Newlife Uniting Church. Along with a whole lot of interesting input around leadership and becoming churches in which transformation happens, Ed walked through the ways in which a church needs to change to become revitalised, to ‘go missional’.

Here’s an outline of his comments:

1. Reconsideration of leadership

  • From superman to everyone; making participation in ministry and mission accessible to everyone, not just the employed clergy
  • From church to kingdom; shifting the focus from our local church to the kingdom of God
  • From me to we; it’s not about me and what I do/think, it’s about how we live and act together
  • From personal power to people empowerment.

2. Rejection of ‘Clergification’

  • From three tiers (lay, clergy, missionaries) to one people in one mission
  • From called to ‘the ministry’ to ‘called to ministry’; Stetzer says all are called to mission and ministry; it is just the who, where, when and how that differ
  • ‘Called to missions’ to ‘sent on mission’; knowing God as a sending God (Stetzer says that in the gospel according to John, Jesus refers to being sent more than 40 times, and then of course says ‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you’)
  • From exceptional to ordinary; when joining in God’s mission is an everyday activity, not a once-a-week-on-Sunday or a special occasions kind of thing
  • From priests to a priesthood of believers; the priestly role of intervening with God on behalf of the people has no place in a new testament church. The veil is torn. We are all priests together.

“When pastors do for people what the people are called to do themselves, everybody is hurt.” Ed Stetzer

3. Renewed focus on mission

  • From full service to simple mission
  • From ‘pay, pray, get out of the way’ to ‘join God in God’s mission’ – no spectators here!
  • From decision-ism to disciple making; seeing evangelism and discipleship as one and the same
  • From ‘mission statement’ to ‘Jesus’ mission’– embodied both in Luke 4 and Luke 19:10 – where both have to live alongside one another.

4. Realignment of priorities

  • God is a missionary God: understanding this nature of God and its impact on us
  • I personally join God in mission: modelling
  • I lead others to join God in mission: leadership
  • I equip others: multiplication.

If you’d like to encounter more of Stetzer’s thinking about revitalising congregations, check his blog here, or try his book Comeback Churches (or lots of Ed’s other books here).