Sunday, January 17, 2010

In The Trenches

I've been asked more than one time, "what's it been like for you to not be on a staff at a church for the last two years?"

One word. Enlightening.

I'm currently reading a book called, "Transformissional Coaching" by Steve Ogne and Tim Roehl.
I would love to put some of my highlighted notes on here for you to enjoy, but the truth is, I'd probably get sued for plagiarism; it's got so much in it that there are literally some pages that only a couple of sentences are NOT highlighted.

For me, the book is valadating why I feel and think the way I do. I've often felt like a rebel or felt hindered in sharing my views for feeling they were "too out there."

As a real quick point of reference and to explain the word transformissional, here is a little breakdown.
Keep this in mind while I share; Times are changing! My kids (4 & 6 years old) will most likely never know what an audio tape was. Much like I never experienced the 8 track. Likewise, young people today view churches like: Willow Creek and Saddleback as "traditional!" That's mind blowing!
It begins with the three major paradigms.

The Traditional Church (1900-1980)
  • Modern with a rational worldview.
  • They are pastor-and program-centered.
  • Worship style is traditional.
  • Spirituality is determined by attendance, adherence to rules, and position in the church.
  • Most visible religious figure is Billy Graham.
  • Missions was always viewed as an "over seas" endeavor. Some would go, others would pay and more would pray.
The Pragmatic Church (1980-2000)
  • Includes the church-growth and seeker-church movements.
  • Huge use of media, technology, and innovation.
  • Worship style is contemporary and performance oriented.
  • They tend to be ahistorical and minimize religious symbols and architecture.
  • Market driven and success oriented.
  • Evangelism focused mostly on reaching the "seeker" and "getting back" the once churched. And they did, thousands returned because now church was relevant for them and their children.
  • The most visible religious figures are Bill Hybles and Rick Warren.
The Transformissional Leaders (2000 to present)
  • They are prone to deconstruct and reconstruct ministry.
  • Have an aversion to performance and programs in the church.
  • Prefer to emphasize the development of authentic Christian community.
  • Love to blend the ancient with the contemporary in their worship and environments, such as presenting stained glass on video screens.
  • Church is viewed as a small part of something larger that God is doing, not as the center of spiritual activity.
  • They hold to an entirely different view of evangelism. Recognizing that most people with a postmodern worldview have had no experience with a church.
  • We seek to engage the culture by caring and relating to individuals on their own turf.
(and that was the abbreviate version!)

I agree when they write that neither seminary nor seminar will prepare us to do ministry in the postmodern future.
Equipping will be just in time to keep pace with the rapid changes in culture and ministry
Equipping will be on the job; skill formation and spiritual formation will take place in the midst of ministry.
Equipping in Bible and theology will take place on the Internet, where knowledge is easily and immediately accessible.
For economic and other practical reason the church will regain it's place as the center of ministry training rather than the seminary.
Most training, however, will take place in the trenches of culture. Culture and cocommunities won't be transformed unless a new approach for equipping leaders emerges.

I personally believe it's going to have to be relational. We will continue to need coaches, mentors, teachers, and pastors; we will also need to see an increase in spiritual fathers.

As I travel the globe and see a wide spectrum of churches, one thing remains the same; young transformissional leaders who want and desire spiritual fathers.

Malachi 4:6


  1. glad to see your time out of traditional ministry has been good. been a year now and it has been a journey, but overall i am at a point now that i would consider it transformational. it definitely has helped me grow. i think we will always need coaches and mentors...

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  3. Pastor David GibsonJanuary 22, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    I really enjoyed the blog. I have live, and still living in the stream of transition. It seems to never stop. One thing I really connect to is the comment about "equipping being just in time". I think this is a return to the Book of Acts method. In that day I can imagine that they learned and did things on the fly. There were no seminaries, or seminars that we know of.
    One thing is very certain to me, and that is this is an exciting time to be involved in the Kingdom of God.
    Be Blessed Friend.


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