Wisdom is demonstrated in not just knowing what to focus on, but also knowing what not to focus on. This kind of wisdom only comes from years of practice in one’s field. It takes experimentation, failure and a track record of success and fruitfulness to develop this kind of wisdom. Not many leaders have been willing to pay that price.
Mike Breen’s new book, Multiplying Missional Leaders: From half-hearted volunteers to a mobilized Kingdom force, offers us the rare opportunity to peer into the mind of a wise, seasoned missional leader. For the past 20 years, Mike has poured his life into developing Biblical tools and strategies that effectively train leaders to reproduce themselves while pioneering missional communities. The global movement of disciple making, leadership development and missional communities that he now leads is essentially the culmination of a lifetime of experimentation and unquestionable fruitfulness both in Europe and the U.S.
Reading his new book is like lifting up the hood of a car and seeing what the engine of a missional movement looks like. Concepts in the present day missional movement that tend to be stand alone topics are integrated and brought into meaningful relationship with one another. Topics like the fivefold giftings of APEST in Ephesians 4, the role of leaders in defining culture, the need for both discipleship and leadership, the criteria for selecting and training new leaders, the role of of an oikos(household) for leaders of leaders, the importance of developing both character(who leaders are) and competence(what leaders can do) in leaders, as well as an organizational process (pipeline) for training leaders, are all woven together in complimentary ways that show how each part plays a role in moving towards a leadership culture. Finding a book that brings all of this together is a rare find indeed.
While Mike gives us a broad view of the essential components for multiplying missional leaders, you can rest assured that the principles he lays out are not grounded in theory or trendy new speak. No, this book has been written by a seasoned leader who has extracted these principles from scripture and enacted them on the ground in the real context of a post-christian culture. Mike Breen has focused the wisdom and success of the last 20 years into a rich, yet profoundly simple, format that brings together both the principles of scripture and the wisdom of experience into an integrated, systemic, process oriented approach to leadership development.
All in all, this book will help bring clarity to areas of leadership that, up until now, have remained foggy, fragmented, and overly fixated on either or thinking. It brings a refreshing kind of wisdom that can only be found in seasoned practitioners who have walked the line and done the hard work of experimenting, learning from failure, and crafting their hard earned insights into useful principles that can serve the next generation of leaders. Save yourself some time, heart/head ache, and unnecessary failure and read this book. You, and those you lead, will be glad you did.