LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

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LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:37 pm

Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Bethany Hutson on Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:01 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."


Missional Communities (MCs) exist to see God’s Kingdom come to their friends and neighbors. In addition, they relate to balancing the triangle of up (knowing God), in (community), and out (reaching out to others). An important aspect of MCs is to build a discipling culture. As we make disciples, Jesus builds his church. One of the most important concepts that Mike Breen talks about states, “Ultimately, MCs exist to draw people into life in Christ, so the end game of our evangelism is discipleship, not just conversion. In other words, the main goal is to foster a culture of discipleship and creating life long followers of Jesus so that they can continue to make disciples who then make disciples. Therefore, we have to be strategic in the way we do evangelism. We are not just about conversion, but a lifestyle change and incorporating Jesus into the everyday stuff of life. Mike Breen also talks about the four foundational principles of MCs. The first principle is that they are communities of discipleship. The second principle is that they are communities of good news. In other words the communities are proclaiming the Gospel. The third foundational principle is finding a person of peace and knowing where God is already at work. In this area, we are seeking out people who are open and receptive to the Gospel and who are willing to come into the community. The final principle is that MCs are both organized and organic. In other words, there are events that are organized as well as events that are spontaneous. It is important to know that for the leader, MCs must be rooted in vision for mission and a passion birthed in the heart of a leader through prayer.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by hstrelow on Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:03 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

Reading this book has been wildly convicting and and abundantly fruitful. It is amazing how reading this book has equipped me for both my missional community here at IU, but also for my time in Columbus after I get married. I can definitely see how this book is more geared to churches than college ministries, but there is much to glean about the vision for Missional Communities in both. I know that we have discussed the idea of developing family within our ministry year after year, but this book delivered the concept in a way that was much clearer to me. I wish I would have read this book when I was a leader! Maybe it would be beneficial to have our leaders read these books over the summer as a "warm up" for leader retreat? This book clearly states it takes more than one missional community leader (in my eyes, more than the resource team leader) to carry out these visions. Perhaps inviting leaders into this leadership would enhance their idea on how they can participate in cultivating a missional community.

Regardless, missional community has, unfortunately, not been something I have experienced since my freshman year of college. I loved the community I was a part of then, but when I became a leader, I feel like I lost that familial fellowship rhythm and replaced it with the "duties" of being a leader. I do attribute that mostly to my habit of separating work and pleasure, and my immaturity through early years of college, but I do wonder if there was a lack of vision painted for how this looks as a core group leader practically. Looking at my missional community this year, I can already see where we are lacking the familial component that is so crucial to a missional community. And it's difficult to cultivate that at this point in the year! I also feel like staying with our people of peace means leaving the North on some level. To stay with the people of peace in my resource team, I believe, looks more like focusing on majors or extracurriculars (parts of their rhythm already). Few of our people of peace have the North neighborhood as a part of their natural rhythm. If anything, most of my girls are in the south considering most of my leaders live in the South neighborhoods. So in sum, this book has been eye-opening and challenging. I regret this information not hitting my bones sooner, but I look forward to the transformation coming this year. I also look forward to seeking churches that have a high emphasis on missional communities and looking for people of peace in Ohio to see where he has already been moving. God has used this book to paint what missional life can look like in the marketplace. I look forward, no matter where I go or end up, to implementing these skills in my life.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Jacob Gulka on Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:09 pm

Upon reading I enjoyed the triangle depicted our daily rhythms as a community: Up/in/out. Up being our relationship and communion with the Lord; in being our relationship with other disciples of Christ; out being our relationships with those not yet knowing the Lord and involved in our MC. A disciple should have all three of these realms active in their life, however it is common error to revert to 2/3. Perhaps only UP & IN where we become a Christian bubble, or IN & OUT becoming a social club. It is vital to live in all these spheres so that we experience God’s blessings and expand His kingdom.
I also enjoyed the discussion concerning being an MC carrying the Good News and about the People of Peace. We must cast vision concerning why are MC exists and what our goals are. Such being how can the Gospel be applied to the needs of people we are reaching and how do we attend to that need. This helped me in understanding the importance of having outline the purpose of our MC, otherwise it might run into the ground and become a weak social club. While we understand what need the people we are reaching out to have we can provide Gospel based answers pointing the way to Jesus. Concerning People of Peace (POPs) I found the following helpful. Many of us are already doing life people and sharing rhythms. Such people that are open to us and likely understand that we are Christians are potential POPs.
A defining verse that really catches the purpose of the reading I believe is in the Gospel of John:

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another,”
(John 13:35).
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Amanda Middleton on Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:44 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

A recognized a lot of the format and structure that was laid out in the book in Chi Alpha. We have Missional Communities that have a clearcut purpose of sharing the Gospel. I wasn't completely sure if we should compare the MC's in the book to our resource teams or core groups, but since I'm a resource team leader I chose to compare an MC to a resource team. My RT does a good job at the IN and UP but I think there's room for improvement in the OUT. Part of this problem is how IUXA functions... during Welcome Week we are really good at reaching out to everyone (believers and nonbelievers), then as the semester progresses, core group leaders focus on the girls in their core group (which primarily consists of believers) and they may stay connected with nonbelievers but eventually they disappear and leaders are so focused on their core group they aren't able to fight for the nonbelievers that have fallen away from the group. Mine and Jo's resource team host a game night once a week in Willkie to give our community a chance to hang out with the people that are connected with us but not interested in core groups. This works really well for the guys- they've had a lot of success in meeting nonbelievers and building relationships with them here- but it doesn't work so well for our girls and never really has. I haven't figured out if it's an "us"-thing, meaning we just aren't doing a good job of making sure everyone is invited and understands the importance of it, or if it's a "them" problem, meaning the girls that are connected to us just aren't interested in a game night and we need to do something different to hangout with them.  Unfortunately, reading this book didn't give me the answer but it did make me understand why we do a lot of the things we do in our RT/MCs that I never understood before.  I really wish this information had been presented to me as a core group leader because I think I would have understood Chi Alpha and our approach to evangelism a lot better.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Carson Bledsoe on Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:24 pm

This book, for me, was an incredibly great remind of how our missional communities are supposed to be families. Yes, missional communities are for The Kingdom but The Kingdom is about family. I can see in my own life where I have recognized the urgency and importance of the work my missional community is doing but, in some ways, have stopped putting emphasis on the family aspect. Through this book God has reminded me not just the importance of the family aspect of a missional community but the necessity of it as well. In order to engage with college students who have no interest in Jesus, we need to show them that he is not just a rule writer and judge. We need to show these students that accepting Jesus means being adopted into a literal family that in many way can be stronger than any earthly family one might have.

Before reading this book I don’t know that I had ever applied UP-IN-OUT to my own resource team. I believe our group does a good job with UP but IN and OUT have been a bit more tricky this year. For a while it seems our group may have struggled with IN but we have recently begun to hit an exciting stride where we are seeing people come together as a family to spend time with one another. Just like with IN, we struggled after welcome week with OUT. Recently we have started to see more new people enter our community and we are excited to bring these people into our family.
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Leadership Response: Katie Averitt

Post by Katie A on Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:22 pm

I really enjoyed Mike Breen’s book, “Leading Missionary Communities.” The ideas that he discusses are very true to what I have witnessed in Chi Alpha, from a student’s perspective. It’s cool to see the details and principles that go in to actually leading a missionary community and building a discipleship culture. From the very beginning of the book, Breen places a focus on family rather than simply a group of people that just meet up for Bible study. I think that this is so important because people who don’t know Jesus may not want the Bible at first, but everyone needs a family. The love that exists in the family of God is attractive--it’s powerful, and it’s the love of Jesus that will change the world. Breen puts it well when he quotes Margaret Mead who says, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed [people] can change the world. Indeed it’s thing that every has” (p.6). He layer goes into how we, in a discipling culture, as a family, practically live out a life that models Jesus in reaching and discipling the lost. To test whether or not we’re doing it right, we should be able to see that “every disciple of Jesus should eventually be capable of making more disciples of Jesus” (p.16). It’s been blessing to be a part of a Chi Alpha culture where we see disciples who makes disciples. The tools discussed in Breen’s book are very useful to have, whether one decides to work in ministry vocationally, or just chooses to be on mission even in the market place. There’s definitely a lot of content in the book that I will want to hold on to.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by ryanelliff on Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:28 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

I have really enjoyed reading Breen's books and this one is no exception! I remember Derek telling us about when he and Jeff Alexander went to Sam Houston XA and met with Eli Gautreaux. Jeff was geeking out over this book and Eli said: "It was like someone was watching us for the past 20(?) years and wrote a book about what we do!". I couldn't agree more! The Chi Alpha ministries that I have been a part of have embodied pretty much every aspect of what Breen writes about in Leading Missional Communities. Missional communities are key to having a healthy and growing discipleship movement and this book outlines several key parts of creating a good MC culture.

A few things that stood out to me were the focus of the UP, IN and OUT triangle model and specifically that he says that when starting a new MC to focus more on the OUT than IN and UP. This sets the tone from the outset that the MC has a missions vision and is not "just a bible study". Another thing that stood out to me was the way he broke down the phases of growth into "sowing, reaping and keeping". I feel like I have been doing this already, but seeing it written out, modeled and explained in such a way makes so much sense!

And finally, probably my biggest take away from this book was the part about kids. I have three kids and doing ministry with a family is especially challenging. I find myself often times choosing between my MC and my family. In the book, Breen suggests that kids should very much be a PART OF the MC! This is a bit more challenging when your MC consists primarily of university students, but it is not impossible! The quote that really impacted me was when he said "the question shouldn't be, "how are we going to deal with the kids?" It should be, "How are we going to disciple our kids well?"!!! Our kids are just as important, if not more so than the people we are ministering to. So, why should that get the back burner and not the highest priority? I have been challenged to be more intentional about including my kids in my MC and not trying to "deal with them".

I wish every person understood Christian life in this way. We are all called to fulfill the great commission and this book is a great tool to help understand how we can do it in "everyday life".
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Caleb Nally on Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:27 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

This book is a refreshing and challenging read. Being a part of Chi Alpha for six years now I have seen and experienced this book firsthand in my walks through different missional communities. It's refreshing now looking back and seeing everything we were doing and seeing how it lined up with what Breen was laying out in his book. It's also challenging because I think of the missional community I'm in now and I want to bring this book to life more in my MC. Chapters 2-4 really stood out as a way to check your MC and hold it accountable in a sense to see if the MC is really bringing forth fruit where it's at. Breen lays out that the MC should be communities of discipleship, communities of the Good News, and finding People of Peace. I believe that a MC should constantly be checking that these three needs are being met in their community. If they re seeing these three things being done then the MC can trust that they are heeding God's call but if one or more is lacking it will call the MC to seek God's counsel and move where God needs them to move in order to see these three principles brought to life.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Caleb Nally on Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:27 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

This book is a refreshing and challenging read. Being a part of Chi Alpha for six years now I have seen and experienced this book firsthand in my walks through different missional communities. It's refreshing now looking back and seeing everything we were doing and seeing how it lined up with what Breen was laying out in his book. It's also challenging because I think of the missional community I'm in now and I want to bring this book to life more in my MC. Chapters 2-4 really stood out as a way to check your MC and hold it accountable in a sense to see if the MC is really bringing forth fruit where it's at. Breen lays out that the MC should be communities of discipleship, communities of the Good News, and finding People of Peace. I believe that a MC should constantly be checking that these three needs are being met in their community. If they re seeing these three things being done then the MC can trust that they are heeding God's call but if one or more is lacking it will call the MC to seek God's counsel and move where God needs them to move in order to see these three principles brought to life.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Brenton Malnofski on Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:19 pm

Chapter 3 discusses how the Gospel is more than just the good news, and promise of eternal life. It also involves the covenantal agreement for us to be responsible and live our lives now as close to Christ as possible. I particularly like the bit about “vampire Christians”, or those who want Jesus just for His blood. In other words, only wanting Him to forgive them for wrongdoings and for Him to grant them gifts. More than a vampire, which is a fantastical creature, this bit makes me think of leeches, which possess a similar trait of blood sucking, I suppose. It makes me think that that kind of interest in Jesus is parasitic. Maybe it’s not necessarily parasitic to Jesus Himself, but to the church body. It misrepresents and distorts what a missional community is all about, and doesn’t challenge Christ followers to actually live like He did.

Though this idleness might remain, this chapter also illustrates how Jesus has already taken care of that, too. His substitution for and victory over sin covered even the leeches and vampires. It’s essential that we as believers recognize not only what we’ve been saved from, but also appreciate what we’ve been saved into. Before we are granted eternal life, we must strive to live a Christ-centered life. He doesn’t just want us to just be complacent in receiving the eternal gift whenever that comes. But rather, He also wants us to lead our best lives in Him while we’re here on Earth.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Marie Hugershoff on Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:34 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

Most of the information I read in this book was very familiar because of how Chi Alpha missional communities function. There wasn't anything that I read that stood out as new information or anything that was surprising or convicting. It was all a good reminder of how Chi Alpha does missional community well and it was encouraging to know that I have been taught well by my community. One section that I really liked was the section about finding a person of peace. Thats not something I normally think about when I am trying to grow my community, but this chapter felt relevant because that is how God created my community this year. Reading this chapter helped me really see how God was working during welcome week and how he placed a person of peace in my path, that welcomed me into what God was already doing in their life. While welcome week was happening it felt like i had failed because i didn't see anything happen until I met someone who opened up new connections for me. It felt like that person was doing God's work and I was just along for the ride. Reading this helped me realize that meeting the person of peace was a way that God used me and that God's work is God's work; it doesn't matter whether I am doing the hard stuff or just along for the ride, it is all amazing and I should be grateful for wherever God has me.
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Leading Missional Communities

Post by Alicia.O. on Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:06 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."


Reading Leading Missional Communities here was a lot to be gained and to be reminded of as I am in the position of being a Resource Team Leader which means I lead an MC. This book allowed to me to be analytical of my MC in a healthy way. Chapters 3 & 9 impacted me the most because it put clear words and reasons behind the convictions I’ve been feeling. Chapter 3 focuses on having Christ-centered missional communities and while the MC in my life has an amazing community, I think it can threaten the missional part. This chapter made me question how well we are remembering the transformation of Christ we hope to see in others. I want to be honest that I see how my MC does well in inviting others into our lives, but I don’t know that it’s before the priority of having fun.

My next thought with this is connected to chapter 9 which discusses why MCs fail. Point 9 of why MCs fail is because they don’t do evangelism. While God gives us the opportunity to share the gospel with those naturally in our lives, there’s also something beautiful to be gained by going out to share the gospel with strangers. I don’t want students in Chi Alpha to graduate from Indiana University feeling unequipped in this area. The realization that people in my MC may be lacking in this area has encouraged me to make more intentional opportunities for the MC to be out sharing the gospel with others in a more proactive (as opposed to reactive) way.

The 10th point made on why MCs fail is because the MC doesn’t engage with the supernatural. This concern is stemmed from my first two concerns (being more of a social club and not evangelizing intentionally) because when we don’t have an outward focused mind of not looking to our own comforts but loving our neighbors as ourselves, we are listening to the Holy Spirit and therefore experiencing the supernatural. A question that I want to meditate more on is: How are we grieving the Holy Spirit in our MC? I plan to start next semester strongly focusing on ‘out’ and seeing our MCs strengths and weaknesses in this area more clearly.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by ZachAmick on Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:10 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

Leading Missional Communities is very insightful and helpful. I think it does a great job at laying a basic understanding for why and how to create a culture of people that function together as a family living together on mission. The notion of oikos is very attractive to all people, but especially to this generation that is marked by increasing loneliness, depression, and lack of support through community. Not only does the book speak in ideas and principles but also provides very practical instructions and steps for forming this community. In particular, I found the teaching on having a different focus depending on the season helpful. I think I would see more success if I were to adjust the focus of activities and relationships depending on the time of year and what needed to be accomplished at the moment instead of trying to do everything all at once.
The triangle of Up, Out, and In has become a common theme on probably every Chi Alpha campus. This is really cool because it is so simple, yet profoundly important and impactful. The first time I heard this idea I had just read The Measure of a Man by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In this written sermon, Dr. King talks about the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven with measurements that are equal in three-dimensions. He assigned these dimensions in a way that I immediately connected to this teaching. He says, length is “inward concern for one's own welfare”, breadth is “outward concern for others”, and height is the “upward reach for God.” Seeing essentially the same teaching from two very different sources confirmed for me that this is indeed a Kingdom principle that I must diligently seek to apply to our my own life.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Marlou Peters on Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:00 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

This book has been very helpful for me. It explains what a missional community is very well. I liked the way the author was talking about a discipling culture. It said: “ A disciplining culture is about encouraging and cultivating the development of a missional lifestyle ( faith at the center of everything we do) rather than missional events (faith at the center of events we organize). It is so important to not bring people just from event to event but to build relationship with them and talk to them about Jesus. Events are great but they don’t bring people closer to God. Later on it talks about that when we think about an MC, we need to think about a lifestyle and not events. It is so important to live life together. Eat together, pray together, study together and a lot of other things. That is life on life. That is what Jesus did with His people. He didn’t bring people just to events.

The book also talks about the UP/IN/OUT rhythm. We have talked about this before and it is just so important for every MC to be in the balance of all three. If there is one part missing it becomes unhealthy. My group needs to be more out. They slowly start to like each other and there is community growing but at the moment no one is bringing people in. We need to start casting the vision more so other students can see what Chi Alpha is all about!
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Breen Response - Stephen Averitt

Post by S.h.ave on Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:27 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

In many ways, this was an easy read for me. Although some of the lingo is different, the represented many ideas that we incorporate at IUXA. We emphasize a family atmosphere, where a Missional Community Leader takes charge in us reaching more people for the sake of the gospel. The MC Leader at IU pursues the family atmosphere in our community as a way of bringing more people into our resource team.
As I mentioned on the last Breen response, I like his concept of the Person of Peace. He says that there is always someone that God is working on, and we can bring that person into the community; the Person of Peace should be our main priority among the people we are reaching. I like the intentionality in his approach, that God has someone that we can be pouring into, whose heart is being made ready by God. When there are not any more People of Peace, we move on to a different neighborhood or network.
The main difference between our ministry and what Breen describes is that I noticed a lack of focus on the small group setting in this book. Although we highly emphasize the resource team, we cannot see the RT without seeing the core groups. I didn’t see that in Breen’s writings. He discussed a Bible study, but it almost seemed as if the MC Leader is in charge of the Bible study, and he/she invites those who are willing to join the study. It seems to place much more work on the shoulders of the MC Leader. Additionally, in order for this to work, it seems that there would be more nonbelievers than believers in the MC. This is different than our typical model, I think, where the norm is majority Christian. In our context, it seems to me easier to maintain a culture of reaching OUT from a Christian perspective. Would it not be more challenging to invite nonbelievers to know Jesus when there are less Christians than non-Christians in the group?
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Jessica Rodriguez on Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:49 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Leading Missional Communities."

I strongly agree with the vision being cast well at the beginning as vital. I have been a part of groups where the vision wasn’t cast well and I gone through meetings where I didn’t feel like anyone really benefitted or understood what was happening. Casting vision and the mission is what gives us all purpose for the missional community. On page 16 it talked about how Paul told his disciples to imitate him and to recreate what they have seen him do. I know that is the ideal for all of us to multiply and make disciples who makes disciples, but is it a good idea to explicitly tell our people to imitate us, since we are imperfect and still learning how to disciple well? While reading, I realized that a part of the discipleship process that I am missing when discipling my girls is challenging them to understand the covenant relationship they have with the Father. I have seen the substitution aspect heavily neglected in the previous church history of many of the girls in mine and Jelly’s core group. It is a big issue and teaching them about the wrath they we deserve and our sin nature that Jesus as radically saved us from has been an on-going process this year. There have been some difficult and frustrating times, but we are starting to see our girls see the grace of God differently and greater than they had before already. I am really glad that this book expanded on people of peace, how to recognize them, and how they should really be the ones who help us decide the mission field. These were questions I had from last time.
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