Monday, August 14, 2006

Where does the Institution Fit Now?

I grapple with the question of how to implement both organic & organizational realities in our communal practice of faith while avoiding the control-based hierarchical models that oppose Christ's vision. Here's an idea I'm kicking around & could use some feedback on...

The INSTITUTION's at the bottom, not the top. It's primary task is to serve the team with leadership (vision-casting, championing core values, etc.) & support (resources, encouragement, accountability, etc.).

The TEAM relies on the institution but operates far beyond it. The team is the "Sunday morning" crowd. They are the congregation, the faithful worshipers, fellow soldiers on the journey toward receiving & sharing Christ's life.

The MISSIONAL MINISTRY flows from the team, not the institution. Ministry possibilities are only limited by the number of team members & the direction of their passion. Every missional ministry has two central aims: love & truth. 1) Love is about building family-style relationships; 2) truth is about leading people to Christ & His gospel.

The whole model is about building the team. While there are Christ followers still receiving "missional ministry", the goal is for them to take responsibility for their own growth & the transformation of others, thus effectively joining the team.

Waddayathink? How does this differ from what we see now?

Thread: Structure


Mike said...


I like the idea but maybe show the sturcture with circles. Core is the smallest in the middle and is made up of the 5 APEPT roles outlined on page 169 of "Shaping" The five roles are:

1. Apostolic Function
2. Prophetic Function
3. Evangelistic Function
4. Pastoral Function
5. Teacing Function

The next circle out would be the Team and be a bit larger.

Next maybe even one more circle that is the community.

The circles would mostly represent #'s of people more than anything else.

Then all of these circles in one large one that is say, "the World"

On a side note which one of the five functions best suits your personality and giftings?

Mike said...

I was just thinking that doing away with the up down view of the structure helps the institution be more organic than hierarchical.

Also in my last post I said Core instead of institution but you get the idea.

John Lynch said...

Yes! I too was thinking of the five offices/responsibilities in Eph 4 as making up "Institution"...

1. Apostle (motivational, people-starter, vision-planter)
2. Prophet (discerning God's hand & the signs of the times)
3. Evangelist (harvester of souls)
4. Pastoral (care-giver, soul-waterer, need-meeting organizer, discpler)
5. Teaching Function (truth agent, mind-waterer)

My paranthetical notes are my short-summary understandings of the roles for now. I see myself primarily as serving an apostolic function... a motivational, people-starting, vision-planter.

Great question, Mike. How about you? Which do you see yourself as?

Mike said...

As I look at your definitions and read in "Shaping" as well as study for myself I see myself primarily as serving a Prophet (discerning God's hand & the signs of the times)

My gifting is Leadership, Discernment, and Teaching. Tell me what you think after listening to my last two sermons. They are mostly Prophetic in nature.