Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Breaking the Missional Code: New Paradigms for Partnerships (ch. 12)

Churches on mission are doing things differently. Networks are becoming more significant than denominations. Affinity is ruling the day, but this does not mean denominations are irrelevant. Rather, it means they need to work for the churches to maximize the missional impulse that forms these networks like Acts 29 and others. How? It starts, according to Stetzer, with denominations dealing with four core issues:
* How they define the basis for cooperation.
* How effective will they be at staying out of the headlines for things that do not matter?
* How effective are they at developing meaningful partnership with churches, networks, and parachurch organizations?
* How effective are they at adding value to the mission of the church?

To answer these key questions there are some prescriptions that they should be careful to do the following:

* Cast a vision for a new tomorrow by using their unique vantage point of the big picture.
* Lift up apostolic heroes.
* Conduct relevant research.
* Supplement the local church in equipping apostolic leaders.
* Network learning communities and reporting results (like Leadership Network does so well).
* Provide financial resources for apostolic leaders.
* Help leaders move beyond their own ethnic, economic model or other ghetto.

Breaking the Code Challenge
1. What challenges you the most about emerging networks and new paradigms of partnerships?
2. With whom could you partner to break the code?
3. What can you do to help your denomination remain viable in our emerging missional context?

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