Create a Mission Leaders’ Circle: This work is too important and difficult to do alone. After reading the book, as you consider ways to help shift the direction of your congregation’s engagement in mission, consider forming a Mission Leaders’ Circle in your congregation—or among leaders from several congregations in your area:
- Identify potential leaders in your congregation or area (deacons, elders, council/vestry members, women’s leaders, youth leaders, pastors, mission directors, mission committee members, former missionaries—anyone who longs to engage the congregation more deeply in mission);
- Invite the leaders to read Freeing Congregational Mission and to join you in a study group to discuss the book using the discussion questions at the end of each chapter and the book’s implications for your congregation.
- Plan a formational “liminal experience” (a short-term mission trip, a visit to a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter) for your leaders to help them experience mission and reflect on that engagement (see chapter 8 of the book).
- Follow-up the liminal experience and reflection by talking with the circle’s participants to ascertain the strengths/assets they bring to your congregation’s engagement in mission and their needs for continued formation in mission theology, cultural proficiency/humility, and development.