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The Missional Leader

How does a leader prepare to redirect a church toward its mission in the world?

In his role as super spy Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise portrays an agent willing to face incredible odds and unbelievable danger in order to accomplish a "mission: impossible." Church leaders face assignments just as tough: to lead congregations to serve Christ in a changing and sometimes hostile world.

The word for this ministry challenge is missional. How does a church become missional? And for leaders, is moving a consumer church to become missional, in itself, a mission: impossible?

If you are preparing to lead your congregation to become more missional, here are four things you'll need.

1. Anticipate and work through conflict.

As with any transition, the shift to being more missional will be felt as a loss by those who are accustomed to traditional "the staff is here to meet my needs" assumptions. Churches that have long been self-focused have well-formed habits and attitudes that are tough to overcome.

Mike Breen of Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Arizona, says that many members resisted ...

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