Missional Leaders Summit – March 28, 2006

The Missional Leaders Summit on March 28, 2006 was designed to be a forum to open discussion among practitioners and pastors regarding what it means to be missional and how we can more effectively initiate missional activity in our churches and ministries. The event was sponsored by the MCWD Church Multiplication Team and hosted at The Garden Christian Fellowship in Chatsworth, California. The format for the discussion included:

  • Learning In Community
  • Networking With Practitioners
  • Identifying Incarnational Behaviors
  • EvaluatingMissional Initiatives
  • Discussing Multiplication Strategies

Rules of engagement:

  • Your Input is Welcome and Desirable
  • No Bashing! (contrasting is okay)
  • Give lots of examples
  • Focus on practices (not models)
    • What do missional leaders do?

Three presenters were invited to present case studies on their leadership of missional activity in the following areas:

  • Experiencing Community – Chris Fukanaga
  • Engaging Culture – Jeremiah Zimmerman
  • Embracing the Cross – Dr. Paul Kaak

EXPERIENCING COMMUNITYChris Fukunaga ([email protected])

Chris explained that they are trying to create community where Christians and non-Christians come together. He described it like this: creating.un/churched.community. One of the tools they have used is http://www.meetup.com/ and created a Book Club that meets once each month. They read and discuss non-Christian books, do life together and hang out. Another activity that builds community is “The 44 Minute Long Beach Trash Pick Up” which happens one Saturday each month and anyone is welcome to join in. They have also participated in a Red Cross Blood Drive, sponsored a monthly booth at the Art Walk. The focus of their missional activities is to build friendships with people like you who are then willing to hang out. Chris shared that when opposing, false views are expressed, he’s interested in developing trust. When two girls came in and started recruiting/proselytizing to their group, they prayed and asked God to push back the darkness.

The biggest mistake they’ve made was trying to hold on to Christians and try to get them to be missional (trying to motivate unmotivated Christians). The best practice has been constantly holding up the value of being evangelistic because people will tend to drift away from that. Their young church is experiencing “community” without a weekly church service. KEYS:

1) With the same people over and over again.

2) Spiritual conversation as normal

3) Natural progression toward deeper commitment (casual, but not random)

They see that their role is to make things better for other kingdom work.

Chris works as a substitute teacher, which he says is the best job for a church planter because “I’m getting paid by the government to church plant.”

Participant Insights:

  • Who you choose to surround yourself with is very important.
  • We view our church in “seasons”
  • Summer = building relationships
  • Small groups are called “Summer Ventures”
  • Volleyball tournament where teams compete
  • Cake baking class
  • Star Wars and Twilight Zone marathon
  • Pool Parties – one each week
  • Seek to involve others in creating events
  • Cousins Wine Bar – Tuesday night wine-tasting, helped create ethos, it’s been going for the last two years, don’t yet want to invite them to “my church”
  • “It’s a red flag when I’m not being invited to stuff.”
  • When we do things with intentionality – “felt like we were creating an agenda.” Jesus was not only interested in people knowing who He was, but being a blessing to people. Being missional involves “being sent to be a blessing.”
  • “There are days I don’t sense God leading me to engage in conversation. There are other times God opens a door. We have to be open to what the Spirit is saying.”
  • We thought the idea was to get them to church and we got discouraged and gave up. “The mission of Jesus is an agenda to love and bless people. To get them to church is a ‘sucky’ agenda.”
  • “I don’t care if you buy what I’m selling – because I’m not selling anything.”
  • “It’s not ‘I’m going to be missional’ – it’s who I am.”
  • “There’s a reaction against hypocrisy in the church.”

ENGAGING CULTUREJeremiah Zimmerman ([email protected])

Jeremiah is pastoring San Diego Life Church which he started with his family. Their strategy for engaging the culture involves:

  • Find out what happens in the town on Friday and Saturday nights
  • Decide to be there
  • Meet those in charge
  • Offer to help
  • Be at the “center” of what’s happening
  • Contribute

Jeremiah and his brother, Josh, have targeted the Arts Community. His mom and dad (John and Paula) are relating to the Vegan Community. Jeremiah is working in a recording studio: “Since most bands break-up in the studio, we want to be there.”
He’s discovered that if you are willing to help, people will put you to work. Engaging the culture is about “servanthood – willing to be the least.”

He explained – “If you are looking for results from your efforts, you’ll be discouraged and run yourself into the ground. If you are looking for spiritual results, you’ll begin to see it. We are doing this because we are obeying God. A lot of times it gets worst before it gets better.”


1) Being open
2) Listening 10x more than you speak
3) Focus on loving one another as Christ has loved you.

“We are out more than we are in”

“Often God’s healing takes time.”

“When you aren’t threatened or offended or affected or changed – it puts them in a very awkward position. They are totally confused and that’s powerful.”

“They are used to being argued with ”

Participant Insights:

  • Be willing to pray for people – ask them, “How can I pray for you?”
  • It’s about how deeply you love people. It’s about helping release artistic expressions of people.
  • If you are doing it right – there is a collision!

EMBRACING THE CROSS (Spiritual Formation)Dr. Paul Kaak([email protected])

Paul encouraged us to practice hospitality. It’s important to know how to throw parties and be authentic in your own home. Also, be in their homes – that’s missional. Wherever you go, practice a “welcoming lifestyle.”

He talked about proximity – being close to people. Don’t become too busy for people as leaders. Hebrews 13:7 – “consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Mission should be a way of life for us.

Through cultivating spiritual intimacy with Jesus, Paul shared these learnings:

  • I learned how to OBEY you need to train to OBEY
  • I learned to listen to God’s voice. In Mark 1:35 Jesus went off to pray He received His agenda by listening to His Father. In Acts 16, God speaks to Paul while he was on mission.
  • I learned God’s heart for people. Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God FOR I will be exalted in all the nations.” Luke 10:2b – call out to the Lord of the Harvest
  • I learned courage – Acts 4
  • I learned about the nature of conversation
  • I learned that experiencing God’s grace in our lives is what sustains us!

KEY: “Life is busy. I say no to other things to say yes to my neighbors.”

Further discussion focused on trying to understand how to transition from an attractional model to an incarnational model of ministry, and to clarify “what does a missional leader do?”

Recommended Reading:

  1. The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
  2. The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson
  3. Emerging Churches by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger


Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
4 replies
  1. Zack
    Zack says:

    Thanks for posting this Dave. It is a great beginning to a discussion that hopefully will continue and help us all move into greater realms of understandng and effectiveness.

  2. Bob Carder
    Bob Carder says:

    Since you deleted my last post let me say it differently. Is Missional “program delivered” or are people in churches released to follow the Holy Spirit wherever He leads ? Do we only teach people to follow our prescribed outreaches or are we teaching our people to Go – Connect – Teach Others to Obey naturally through God opened doors relationally.

    I’m still looking for less control and less programming and the freeing release for everyone to be released to serve community in their own passions and giftings totally Holy Spirit led. I’m still hungry to see a disciple making movement where all believers are taught to obey in by reproducing other disciples.

    I’m glad you deleted my last post -maybe this one makes more sense.

    ZACK – I agree it is a great start. But only a start.

  3. Bob Carder
    Bob Carder says:

    I know you didn’t delete anything maybe the “devil” did it. He gets blamed for everything you know.

    Actually after I wrote and posted I had wished I could delete it. Thank God.

    For me Missional is not made driven but Holy Spirit led with freedom and with natural passions and giftings.

    Where is everyone else on this subject. Is anyone like me -tired of our formulas and hungry to follow God’s mandate, empowering and example for doing it?

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