Monday, April 25, 2011

154. MBTI and Ministry

Following up on the MBTI discussion, I thought I would reveal what I am according to MBTI. Actually, I have tested out different several times on the last four letters. Sometimes I test out as T, sometimes as an F. Sometimes I test out as P, sometimes as a J. I am told you sometimes test out differently based on the position you are in within an organization. Your responsibilities and the choices you have been making create a pattern and point of reference for how you answer the questions on the MBTI test.

So, right now, I am an ENTP, which means my tag line is "Life's Entrepreneur." We are also labeled as "inventors" in the book Please Understand Me II. I recently came across this picture on the Internet as I was searching for material on MBTI and my own personality type.

As an "inventor", we like creating proto-types and get off into weird and eccentric ideas. But we are not just idea people. We are bricoleurs and entrepreneurs. Which means an idea has to be tested and put into practice. We like to tinker, and play around with stuff. We are quite inquisitive and love a good problem to solve. We want to know if the idea will work or not, and we take great satisfaction when it does work. The obverse is true as well. We take great pains and experience deep angst when it turns out wrong or we experience failure. But typically, it is only for a short period. The next idea is just around the corner and we cant wait to explore it and innovate our way into another reality.

If you are an ENTP, you can pretty much locate yourself within the pioneer categories of the APEST ministries mentioned in Ephesians 4 (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher). The continuum looks something like this.

The pioneering modes of ministry mean you have an affinity for the edge, the frontier. You are looking to start or empower new things. Me myself, I am apostolic, so this explains my need to engage in entrepreneurial forms of ministry. In the next post, I will talk about how P's operate in leadership and how this shows up in the Pauline forms of apostolic ministry, making a few conjectures about the J's in contrast to P's when it comes to apostolic ministry.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

153. Understanding Team Dynamics using MBTI

I have been getting back into MBTI lately. I was really into it about 10 years ago, but drifted away from it. The 3DM crew integrate MBTI into their discipleship and leadership strategies, so hanging out with them has put it back on the radar for me. Check out this SlideShare Presentation:
Understanding Team Dynamics using MBTI

This is perhaps the most comprehensive, yet concise depiction of MBTI I have seen to date. The best part is towards the back where they make suggestions for teams and how to work with other teams and people who reflect a different orientation than yours. This is especially helpful when it comes to planting the gospel in team environments where most likely, people will be operating from different MBTI profiles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

152. Neighborhood Ministry

I recently came across this great article entitled The Good Guide to Better Neighborhoods: A Neighborhood Manifesto. The gist of the article is about how we need to reclaim our neighborhoods as a place where community can happen.

This article is particularly relevant to us as we are looking to move into another neighborhood across town with another family and somehow be a blessing to the people and organizations that live there. Some of the ideas in the article are great!.There are several links at the bottom of the articles that lead to entire articles on that one single idea. Short post for me, but great article(s) for anyone wanting to facilitate community in their neighborhoods.

Monday, April 18, 2011

151. Jay Lorenzen and The Language of Movement Building

I ran across this blog post on Jay Lorenzen's blog site and wanted to post in full here. His blog is entitled On Movements and is found here.

The Language of Movement Building: Think Pink!

by Jay Lorenzen on February 22, 2011
We spend several sessions discussing the “language of leadership” at our Gettysburg “If Properly Led” Conferences, arguing that the leader has a “palette” of words by which he paints visions in people’s minds. Our primary examples were Abraham Lincoln arguing for “new birth of freedom” at Gettysburg in 1863 and Martin Luther King, Jr arguing for “that dream of freedom was still unrealized” 100 years later. ”
Nancy Duartel, on her blog, analyzed MLK Jr’s “I have a dream” speech and found that the speech was “not only literarily brilliant, but its structure follows a presentation form perfectly.” A presentation form (as in the diagram below) traverses back and forth between what is and what could be, ending in MLK’s speech with an description of the new bliss of equality.

In a previous post, I commented on Lincoln’s similar eschatological flow:

Lincoln’s leadership (as well as his speeches) seemed structured by an historical/existential/eschatological flow. In other words, he led from a sense of “what was right and wrong” about the past, from “what could be true in the future” while retaining an unrelenting commitment to “act in the present.”

Perhaps as we cast vision for movements everywhere, we need to adopt a similar form. We cast an “above the line” vision by traversing back and forth between “what is” and “what could be.” If you look at the speeches of leaders who have brought real change thru their words, you’ll almost always see this tension of “what is” and “what could be.”
For example, here’s what I trying out.
Today there are over 1600 community colleges where 60% of all colleges students in the US begin their college education. Right now, there are very few “transformational” movements on these 2 year campuses. The rapid turnover of students is most often blamed. What if, however, we tapped into the natural leadership potential and student orientation of the faculty teaching at these schools? What would happen if we found and encouraged faculty at these CCs to become missional team leaders? It’s happening already. Take a look at

Nancy Duarte, also analyzed MLK Jr’s “I have a dream” speech in terms of rhetorical devices, coloring each block of text between the crests and peaks of “what is and what could be.” She color-coded the blocks of text to highlight these rhetorical devices: blue stands for repetition; pink for metaphors; orange for political references and green for familiar literature and songs, from Scripture to “America”

You can see that there’s lots of blue and green here, especially at the end as he is riffing on “America.” But what’s really fascinating is how much pink you’ve got everywhere. We know that MLK was an expert at using words as a paintbrush…but seeing this speech in graphic form, you can see how often he resorted to “visual language” to hammer home his point. Leaders, in other words, when they speak, they “think pink” — metaphorically speaking.
As we discussed at Gettysburg, Aristotle once reminded us: “the greatest thing of all is to be master of metaphor.”
Think pink.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

150. Acts 1:8 and the Exponential Algorithm

I want to look at point number 2 now from the previous post. Jesus envisioned his movement in Acts 1:8 going from Jerusalem to Judea to the ends of the earth. Is it just me or is there a massive geographical and cultural leap between phase three (Samaria) and phase four (ends of the earth) ???

If we look at the first three phases of missional extension, they are in relatively close proximity to each other, both geographically and culturally. Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria are all in the same region. Jesus then says it will go form this incremental extension from one locale to the next, to a full blown global movement....huh? 

How does this work, and why did Jesus skip the progressive phases that would come after Samaria. Or, more importantly, why did he map out the trajectory of the movement in such incremental, iterative terms for three phases, in relatively homogeneous places and cultures? Why the micro to micro, and the to ful blown macro? Why not micro, to meta, to macro, or some other idea. Why not Judea, Asia Minor, Rome, and The world? Jesus jumps from a three phase process that evolved all in the same regional and cultural proximity, to a full blown global phase. Quite a skip hop and a jump! Why was Jesus vision of missional extension so disproportionate?
The only way to explain this missional trajectory is to use the word exponential. Jesus was plotting the course of the movement out of an exponential algorithm, one that took into the account the concept of multiplication, not just addition. To go from local, to regional, to global is an exponential algorithm. To make that kind of jump from regional expansion to a global expansion requires an exponential kind of growth.

Just like his own movement that spent 3 1/2 years discipling and multiplying his life into other people, Jesus now envisions the extension of that movement taking a slow start, working its way into the various pockets of the surrounding region, then moving into other cultural groups (Samaria) and then, as a result of multiplication, it explodes into a full blown, exponential movement to the ends of the earth. The only way you can explain this trajectory of mission and expansion is to use the word exponential, which carries with it the idea of multiplication, nut just addition. Jesus was working off of an exponential algorithm of growth and expansion. It was at the very core of his vision for the church.

Here is a cool video about the exponential capacity of making disciples and multiplication.


149. The prophetic moment of missional expansion in the book of Acts

I have been studying the book of Acts lately and I keep coming back to Acts 1:8 where Jesus says "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” I keep thinking about this progression from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Several things stick out to me.

1. It was a four phase process. It worked itself out progressively, from the center to the edge.
2. The first three phases are in close proximity to each other, both geographically and culturally. Then it jumps to a global mission focus. Big jump!
3. The Holy Spirit is the one who generates and empowers the church to move from one phase to the next. 

It is interesting to look at the transition points in the book of Acts when it begins to go from one phase of the process to the next. I want to focus on number one, specifically the transition from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria. 

The church stays in Jerusalem for 7 chapters of the book of Acts. Most people think it was persecution that caused them to leave. I would agree, but only partly. In chapters 4 and 5 they had already experienced persecution. So what was it that got them to breach the lines of Jerusalem and move out beyond the boundaries of the city? 

Well, it all points to Stephen on this one. Stephen presents a riveting interpretation of God's activity with most of Israel's heroes....and almost all of this activity happens outside the boundaries of the Holy Land. Even when they get to the Temple section of the their history, Stephen is quick to point out that God snuffed at the idea of being located in a Temple. The heaven is my throne, the earth is my footstool." Stephen is deconstructing what some today call Temple Theology. The longest sermon in the book of Acts is, ironically, not about the "gospel" per se, but about how God does his most important work away from, and is "located" outside of, the Holy Land and the Temple.  Stephen has taken on the establishment and literally the "holy cows" of his day. 

It is important to notice something about the nature of Stephens critique here though. Stephen does not negate the temple here. He is not delegitimizing the place of the temple in history. What Stephen is doing in his sermon is neutralizing the Temple by pointing to places and people that God did amazing work through outside the boundaries of the Temple. Negating and neutralizing are two different things. He is not saying "remove yourself from the Temple," but rather to "re-map the Temple in relation to God's history and present mission."

It is not until Acts 7 that anyone makes it out of Jerusalem with the gospel. It is interesting to note here, also, that the same word Luke uses in Luke 10:2 to say "send out" workers into the harvest field  is the same word Luke uses in Acts 7 to describe Stephen being thrust out/sent out of the city of Jerusalem. The word is ekballow, which has a violent, disruptive flavor to it. Stephen is the first to break the boundaries of the city in the Acts narrative, but only by violently being "sent out" by the authorities that he pisses off in his sermon. 

Stephen is obviously playing a prophetic role here in Acts 7 by calling out the gap in their theology and calling for a re-mapping of space in light of God's previous activity, and ultimately the ascension. It is not surprising Luke uses a disruptive/disequilibrium word here for "send out" then. Being dis-located is often a disruptive experience, no matter who you are, and it often requires some outside forces to create movement. (This is one reason why Jesus says the Holy Spirit will bring you power to move you across these boundaries.)

So what we have here is a prophet stimulating, provoking, and activating the missional forces of the church! Through Stephens prophetic ministry, the church is "ekballowed" out of the city into the harvest field...Judea and Samaria. Unfortunately like most prophets, they are marginalized by the establishment, "outside the city," and do not necessarily enact the thing that they envision. Oddly enough, it is at the death of this prophet that we are not only introduced to a new chapter in the churches missional journey, we are also introduced to an apostle who will help the church make the transition from Judea and Samaria to the utter most parts of the earth...the apostle Paul. once again, we see a connection between the prophetic and the apostolic, both in individuals, and in vocations. No wonder Paul says apostles and prophets are foundational ministries in the church, they are at the very forefront of the church breaking out of its closed systems and transitioning into new territories and phases of missional expansion.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

148. Missional Community Video for Ikon

Our network gathering was this past Sunday, a time when both of our house churches come together to worship, hang out, get all network-ey, and dabble in matters related to values and vision.

We presented this video to the larger community to introduce what is currently being labeled as The Cunningham Farms Missional Community (we will rename it with a more sexy title later). A group of at least 5 people will be living in this neighborhood and doing the incarnational ministry thing here. Basically, we are entering a second "church plant", but like some of the people on the team have said, we want it to be more than a "church" in the conventional sense of the term. We are starting a missional community, infused with a discipling culture, that will catalyze a movement of disciple making and missional communities, each with their own mission focus (neighborhood or network.)

Monday, April 04, 2011

147. Integrate then Innovate

There is a small group of people in our community right now who are looking to move out of their existing neighborhood and move into another neighborhood across town to take up residence and incarnate the gospel in that particular neighborhood.

We just got back from a retreat this weekend where we spent roughly two days scammin on how all of this should go down. It was a whiteboard, brain storm, strategizing session if you will, with some prayer and devotion mixed in through out. What we came away with was a 1 year plan  of how to proceed.

As we sat around and discussed what it would look lie for us to do incarnational ministry, we landed on a phrase which I think will become part of our discourse when it comes to neighborhood ministry. We basically said that incarnational ministry requires that you integrate before you innovate. In other words, you have to hang out with people, participate in the rhythms of that context, and get in touch with the needs of the community before you try to initiate programs, ministries or events to meet the needs of the neighborhood.

Choosing to immerse ourselves in the neighborhood before we start any new kind of ministry, do any kind of service project, or initiate any kind of programs will ensure that our innovations are on target and actually address a real need in that community.

Even more, it will allow us to respect the area, and avoid the stigma of outsiders coming in with their own plans to somehow "save" the neighborhood or the people who live in it. We want to listen to the people and the neighborhood before we develop intricate plans about how to impact the people and the neighborhood.

So how long should you integrate before you innovate? This is a good question. We asked this very thing. Our general impression, for our particular context, was to integrate for the first six months.  This would involve hanging out at the 3rd places, volunteering at local community center, riding the public bus that goes through that area etc. All the while, we will be intentionally observing and listening to the inner voice of the community.

At the end of 6 months, we are going to pull back as a team and share our observations, reflect on their meaning, and discuss what the implications are for entering into a phase of innovation where we look to initiate new ministries, events, or strategies to meet some tangible needs of the community. Approaching it this way will ensure the needs of the community set the agenda for how the process of innovation will take place, not our own premature assumptions about what needs to happen there.

I should say that this is not the only way to do innovative mission, but when moving into a neighborhood, it seems to us to be a good way to approach it.