What Does Preaching Look Like for a Missional Leader?

Tuesday is For Preaching

I want to redirect the conversation of what it means to be missional.  Over the last two days we have been trying to uncover some of the values and lifestyle choices of what it means to be a missional leader. A critical element to pastoral ministry is preaching. The statements below have been expanded. They form a rubric for a beginning understanding of what it means to live missionally as a leader in the emerging culture.

  1. Missional leaders lead God’s people on the mission of God, to the world of God, for the glory of God.
  2. Missional leaders model being on mission for those they are leading in the mission.
  3. Missional leaders live incarnationally among those they lead so those they lead can lead them to live incarnationally among those they hope to reach.
  4. Missional leaders practice “INTENTIONAL WITHNESS” in their discipleship process.
  5. Missional leaders delight in mobilizing leaders to the mission of God.
  6. Missional leaders are not deaconoi who used to be presbuteroi. (Matt Stephens)
  7. Missional leaders see ministry as primarily local rather than regional. (Matt Stephens)
  8. Missional leaders live light in every dark place they can find. (Christopher Stukenberg)

So here’s the redirect: With these eight statements as a rubric or background, how does preaching change for the missional leader?  What does preaching look like for the missional leader who wants to multiply missional leaders without further clergifying pastoral ministry?

7 thoughts on “What Does Preaching Look Like for a Missional Leader?

  1. Welcome tot he conversation Mike. #6 comes from Matt Stephens. I think his point is that missional leadership does not devalue or change the biblical role of an elder into that of deacon.

    Elders should still be devoting themselves to prayer and the preaching/teaching of the word. Does that help?


  2. Great standards….

    In particular I like the following:
    “Missional leaders live incarnationally among those they lead so those they lead can lead them to live incarnationally among those they hope to reach.”

    I think this is ideal for a missional church with leaders passionate about reaching the community they are housed in. Jesus incarnation was suggestive of him having made himself available to all men – Jesus was also the good shepherd… so shepherding pastors need to inculcate an incarnational attitude and lifestyle – this then transfers on to the people being shepherded.

    I think this is a fantastic idea…


  3. On #6, Marty gets it: elders/pastors still must devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word, along with oversight of the church(es). This is important to remember, lest the model of the missional pastor be construed primarily in terms of “doing ‘practical’ ministry” (i.e., acts of tangible service) and motivating/equipping others to do likewise.

    Moreover, the way the pastor develops potential elders is different (in some instances) than the way he leads the congregation as a whole. He is called to both. Some models of missional leadership (e.g., Cole) seem to reduce pastoral leadership development down to equipping others for “practical” ministry (material/social/emotional need-meeting) or to “cultivating imagination” for how to meet these (earthly) needs in the community (e.g., McNeil, Roxburgh). Of course, the pastor’s calling is not less than this (although some in the church—we may call them deacons—would be better equipped to do this and should be empowered to do so).

    Re: missional preaching, Amen to Marty’s thoughts. Missional preaching also continually contextualizes the Message to the mission of the church. It is shaped by the questions, Who is God calling us to be, and What is He calling us to do as individuals, clusters of individuals, and clusters of clusters?

    But again I would urge that we not limit the scope of preaching only to mission. The ultimate end of all mission is the true worship of God among all peoples for all eternity, so worship should be the conscious end of all preaching. Hence, not every sermon will be about “doing” or even “being,” but must be about God. As Matt Redman insightfully writes, worship is the fuel for mission’s flame—not only the end, but also an essential means.


  4. Here’s some of my thoughts:

    1. Missional leaders messages are saturated with both the word of God and the context and needs of their community.
    2. Missional leaders preaching is saturated with local texture.
    3. Missional leaders preaching is passionate about real rather than theoretical people.


  5. A couple of more;

    4. Missional leaders preaching is humble about experience and boldly confident in the truth.
    5. Missional leaders preaching is more conversational and less formal.

    Future Tuesday posts will begin to explore some of these threads as well as suggest resources for growth and development.


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