Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Finding the Missional Path (and starting a movement in your church)

Barry Winders has a new book out entitled, Finding the Missional Path.


I have not read the book yet, but it looks interesting. Barry found my blog and let me know about his book.

This "word-of-mouth" type of advertising with people who are interested in the "product", also called viral advertising, is usually the most effective. It is much more effective than stand alone mass market campaigns.

The same thing applies to starting movements in a church. The best way to get a large group to buy into a ministry or practice is to find some key people, and share with them the ministry, idea, or practice. They will then spread this with their circle of friends--who may have more credibility with them than we do. The "public" advertising (from the pulpit, announcements, etc.) then help augment this word of mouth advertising, and becomes infinitely more effective.

A case in point--Barry's book has now found itself on my blog, with a much more personal plug than amazon can provide.


jerry said...

James, thanks for the comment you left. I have had a great deal of interest in the missional church for a number of years. I must confess, there are times while I sit on Sunday morning watching as we go through our routine that I want to grab my Bible, walk out and go to the Wal-Mart snack bar and invite anyone who would like to participate in a Bible study. We (here) tend to have the Attractional mindset and want people to "come" and discover who "we" are. I struggle with the leadership over this idea. I have always said I have absolutely no desire (even after 25 years of youth ministry) to become a pulpit guy - however, that might change if I get an opportunity to be a part of a church plant. Being from a small town is a huge reason your quote sunk in with me. Thank you for serving the Lord and I return often to see what is going on in your ministry.

Keep praying, seeking and serving. Jerry Falling

James said...


Good to hear from you. I hear your frustration. As our world becomes increasingly "unchurched," an attractional model becomes less and less effective in reaching the lost.

Of course, when we fail to go out on mission, we also fail to be shaped. In other words, mission is also crucial to our own discipleship.

Not everyone is called to preach, but however holds this role does have a great ability to help shape the direction of a church. So if you have a passion for reaching the lost, preaching in a church plant might be very fulfilling.

I do hope you will keep checking in and adding to the discussion. You mention praying, serving and seeking--those are pretty good missional practices. Keep it up!

Russell said...

I'm the school teacher that Barry interviewed in his blog. I believe I was recently told to stop church...stop church...I was leading worship. My wife and three children were enjoying church. I was having a blast. I'd been attending for some 14 years or so. Stop?? I argued for a time, but He made it so evident that it was Him speaking and that I had a choice to be obedient or keep doing church stuff...what can you say? I chose obedience. It was painful. I struggled most intensely with the impact on my family. He responded with, "Who cares the most for your family?" I trust Him. Since this took place some 5 months ago, I've discovered that the relationships with the brothers and sisters continues. My family and I have discovered that church isn't something we DO...it's who we are. I don't think we'll be forever absent from Sunday services, but I know my loving Father has His purposes in all things. I'd love to meet you some time. I already see you as a great friend and brother.

Russell Grammer

Russell said...

Sorry, I meant to say the one Barry Winders interviewed in his BOOK, not blog! I'm getting waaay too into this blogging thing.

James said...


Good to hear from you. Barry is sending me a copy of his book to review--I'll look for your story. I am sorry about the pain you have experienced. Hopefully, these forums can help with this healing as we share experiences and understandings.

Glad anything here has been helpful. Please keep sharing with us!