MOSIAC CHURCHES & How Millennial leadership grows mosaic churches by @BobWhitesel published by @BiblicalLeader Magazine.

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., Biblical Leadership Magazine, 3/20/19.

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Millennial leadership recognizes the need for cultural sensitivity, awareness and autonomy.  Though there is a healthy respect for different traditions, there is also a concern that the body of Christ not be splintered into smaller and less holistic factions. Millennial leaders see two types of church planting and increasingly utilize internal instead of external church plants.

External church plants

When modern leaders think of church planting, they usually think about launching a new and autonomous congregation to reach a new culture. However, many millennial leaders have seen their parents’ churches use a “church planting excuse” to push out a different culture. Whether it be a generational culture or an ethnic culture, these ”forced plants” often don’t survive. The millennial leader often wonders, why can’t the church just get along and stay together as a spiritual network?

Internal church plants (or network churches)

This is an increasingly popular strategy that plants new sub-congregations, but keeps them part of one inclusive and multicultural congregation. Called “network churches,” these can be multiple-site and multiple-venue churches, and as such, they are examples of internal church planting.

Advantages of internal church plants

Sharing finances: In the business world this is called an “economy of scale,” which means that a network of sub-congregations will have more financial resources together than if each were independent organizations. For example, if emergency funds are needed by one sub-congregation, the network can provide those funds more readily and smoothly because they are all part of one organizational system.

Sharing facilities: Internal church plants that employ a multi-site approach foster a sharing of facilities, technology and physical resources. This can help fulfill John M. Perkins’ goal of “redistribution.”

Sharing staff:  Network churches benefit from sharing support staff, allowing sub-congregations to avoid duplicating their workforces.

Culture sharing:  This is a strategic advantage. More cultural sharing will take place if multiple ethnicities are meeting in the same building and sharing the same budget, etc. than will take place if an emerging culture is forced to move down the street to an independent church plant.

Disadvantages of internalchurch plants 

They can become divisive:This is often cited as a main concern.  But, if they exit the church, it is divided anyway.  Division can be addressed by having different preachers at different venues/times share the same message and by holding regular unity events.

Marginalized cultures:Often the largest cultures will try, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes intentionally, to dominate the smaller culture.  Yet, this should not deter a congregation from practicing a ministry that reconciles different cultures in the same church.

One way to address this is to require proportional representation on decision-making committees.

If these caveats can be addressed, the end result is the mosaic church, where the glue of being one united organization unites different cultural expressions. A true image of a “mosaic” is created, where different colors and shades create a unified picture when viewed from a distance, but up close reveals a collage of different cultures working in unity and harmony.

This Millennial “graffiti” leadership is full of colorful layering and icons that when combined produce a new multifaceted, yet integrated image. This is the church.

Excerpted from Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, by Bob Whitesel (Abingdon Press). Used with permission.

Photo source: istock 

Read the original article here … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/blogs/how-millennial-leadership-grows-mosaic-churches/

MILLENNIAL LEADERSHIP & What Boomers & Xers must do differently to lead millennials

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., Church Revitalizer Magazine, Feb./Mar. 2019.

I find it refreshing to return full time to my passion of coaching churches on church health and revitalization, after two decades of teaching graduate school and seminary students. But my teaching and consulting worked well together for two important reasons:

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  1. I became especially attuned to how to lead millennials, because most of my students were in millennial generations (Generations Y & Z). 
  2. And, I became increasingly aware that older leaders (Boomers and Xers) must change their leadership styles radically to to lead millennials, which led to my book “ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church” (Abingdon Press).

You may ask, “Why must I learn to lead millennials, most of my congregants are older?” Though this may be true, you must lead millennial generations in order to create a new lifecycle in church revitalization. 

Here are 7 ways you must lead millennials differently.

Communication systems: In the millennial culture communication is increasingly electronic mediated. Twitter, Facebook, emails, instant messaging, Instagram, Snapchat are are all efficient ways for millennials to get their information. If you’re trying to make them aware of what your church is doing to reach out, you must communicate through their electronic mediums.

Rx: Cross-cultural communication usually begins with one-on-one communication. Have your organization’s leaders each find and begin to mentor a millennial mentee. Ask the millennial to help you communicate to their fellow millennials what you are doing. A standard missiological method is to ask someone from the indigenous culture to help translate your message. They may not actually agree with your message yet, as they translate it they will be learning about it.

7.2 systems yellowReconciliation systems: Millennials have grown up in an age of outrage and cultural fissures. At the same time many want to bridge those divides. The New Testament reminds us the Good News traveled from Jewish believers to Gentile oppressors in a similar time of division and outrage. The Letter to the Romans is an example of the Holy Spirit’s ability to create a unifying Messianic subculture filled with Good News. Among my client and student millennials, I’ve found they want leaders who do not polarize the church, but rather foster a community where dialogue is accompanied by biblical fidelity.

Rx: Foster opportunities to dialogue, understand, forgive and reconcile people who have been polarized over differences. Paul said, “…we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong… Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:16–19).  To Paul reconciliation is a dual process: 

    1. “not evaluating people by what they have or how they look” (v. 16) and
    2. “anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! (v. 17). 

Supernatural system: The Hebrew word “worship” literally means to come close to God’s feet and kiss them in homage. This is how worship should be measured, not in flow, performance or excellence. And though millennials have many worship styles, most millennials are united in their uncomfortableness with their parents’ quest for worship “excellence.”

img_0632-3Rx: The solution is to take the focus away from styles and excellence of worship, and put the emphasis back upon the biblical “purpose of worship.” Worship should be evaluated by how well it brings attendees into what I have called, a “face-to-foot encounter.”

Regeneration system: The Good News is news of salvation and change. Most churches have a weak regeneration system. They often have seen few salvations and few changes in congregants’ attitudes. Because millennials have grown up in such an age of rage, they support organizations that help change people for the better. Millennials must find the chruch recapturing its rightful place as a place where people and communities are being changed for the better.

Rx: This requires praying for and allowing the Holy Spirit to work by liberating people from sins, addictions, abuse, bigotry etc. as well as changing the neighborhoods in which the congregants live. Programs that help people change their lives (e.g. divorce recovery, 12-step addiction recovery programs, grief recovery and most importantly the salvation experience) should be what a church is known for.  While researching John Wesley and the power behind his methods, I found a key method was a requirement that every small group regularly help the poor, and so fulfill Matt. 5:16: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

Involvement system: Millennials expect to experiment with volunteerism, even before they have expertise. Because millennials have experienced a world of knowledge on handheld devices since they can remember, they learn by experience more than by long training sessions or wordy manuals. 

Rx: Increase latitude on who gets to volunteer and what responsibilities they are given. This doesn’t mean giving people responsibility for which they’re not qualified or suitable, for example I’m not suggesting a non-believer distribute the sacraments, etc. But in other areas millennials can be given opportunities to volunteer, even early on in their spiritual journey.

Unified system: Raised in an enraged and divided world, millennials seek a spiritual community that has a higher degree of unity than they have experienced in the world. As Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Millennials don’t expect the church to be dissonance free, but they do expect it to be more harmonious than what they experience in the world. 

Rx: Millennials look for a church where conflicted parties sit down and discuss their differences. Conflict resolution theories suggest the first step is to get the divided parties talking directly to one another. The second step is to ensure the leader does not get in the middle. This takes the leader out of being a go-between (who can be blamed by both sides) and gets people connecting directly with one another to understand and grow through face-to-face discussion.

Competent system: On the one hand, millennials often focus their churches on a few signature programs that draw people from across a region. On the other hand, Boomers and Xer churches often saturate a narrowly defined community offering a wide variety of programs (often with mixed results). Studies have shown that healthy churches have a specialized ministry competency that is appreciated by the non-churchgoing community. Not surprisingly, millennials have come to expect churches to know what they’re good at doing and to focus their time, talent and treasures toward what God has empowered them to do.

Rx: Ask community leaders what your church is known for and which of your programs the community most appreciates. Then with millennial mentees assisting, begin to sketch out what God has uniquely empowered your church to do well and that the community appreciates. Ask your millennials to help you expand on these signature ministries by slowly allocating more time, talent and treasure toward your God-given ministry competency.

Find more ideas for church revitalization at www.7Systems.church 

Download the article here: ARTICLE ©Whitesel – What Boomers & Xers must do differently to lead millennials, Church Revitalizer Magazine, Feb. 2019

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ORGANIX & An Executive Summary of the Signs of Leadership In a Changing Church

by Jeff Lawson, Life Church, 5/12/16.

A few years ago my church sent me to Dallas, Texas to attend a Catalyst Church Conference. I remember thinking at the beginning of the week that I felt more like I was at a Spring Break party in Florida than I did at a church conference. Folks were texting all through the events. Beach Balls were bouncing around the room. Lots of interaction, even while the speakers were on the stage. I felt it was so sacrilegious.

By the end of the week my feelings had changed. I saw that these young people were worshiping Jesus in ways that were more comfortable for them. It was without a doubt genuine and I remember feeling that I wish I could understand more what I was experiencing.

I wish I had been able to read Dr Bob Whitesel’s book, Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press) prior to attending the event. If I had read this work, I am certain that my experience would have been much more complete.

In my opinion, Organix paints a picture for the Modern Leader to better understand tomorrow’s Millennial Leader. I would highly recommend this book to be read by all pastors and then re-read together with their leadership team.

By using an acronym with the word Organic, Whitesel teaches the reader the difference between the modern leader and the millennial leader. Early on Whitesel explains his use of the ‘x’ in Organic instead of a ‘c’. He says, “There is a millennial propensity to alter the spelling of words to create distinction with like-sounding letters.” Whitesel intrinsically breaks down the differences in a very astute way each chapter. He also begins each chapter with a brief true to life story that helps the reader dig into the important differences (which was extremely helpful for me).

O stands for ‘Others’. Whitesel says, “Among tomorrow’s leaders there is a passion not for themselves or their own accomplishments but for helping those most in need.” This spoke loudly to me. My generation is quick to write a check to make a problem go away. Tomorrow’s leaders are more ready to roll up their sleeves to help to solve the problem long term. Whitesel says, “A key to knowing the needs of others is to experience life with them.”

R stands for the Rx in ‘Prescription’. Whitesel says, “An R with a slash through the right leg is a Latin abbreviation for ‘recipe,’ which has come to indicate a recipe or prescription for health.” This is a bit of a twist on the idea that healthy organizations produce healthy people to the idea that when you have healthy people, you will find a healthy organization. The shuffling of words is subtle, yet true. The first idea is true sometimes, but more times than not, the second option is more reliable. This chapter talks about small groups. Whitesel introduces the idea of MissionalNets which are a gathering of two to five small groups that can produce quicker and easier results when one small group tries to tackle a mission alone. It also encourages fellowship among the different small groups in a church.

G stands for ‘Graffiti’. Whitesel says, “While modern leadership often disciplines itself to keep colors and lines in their place, millennial leaders create a leadership collage of colors, symbols, and statements.” He opens the chapter early by a profound statement that I have found true, “Millennial leadership is not for the fainthearted or the small-minded.” I laughed out loud at the statement with my previous experience with the Catalyst Conference mentioned earlier. It doesn’t always make sense, but we must ask ourselves, does it always have to make sense? After all, God says, “Your thoughts and ways are not like my thoughts and ways.” We must get over ourselves and embrace the idea that we don’t always have to be in control of everything we experience.

A stands for ‘Recycle’ with their triangle symbol. This in my opinion was the most creative and thought provoking chapter. Whitesel helps the reader to see that we are not only to be concerned with recycling precious natural resources, we must also be mindful of people and that they are just as precious as a resource. Many people have been cast away as useless because of a past mistake, but with a quick glimpse of the Bible we can see that God regularly used murders, prostitutes, thieves, and adulterers, to name a few. This does not mean that we are to gloss over sin, but it does not show that sin means that you must be doomed to everlasting ministry purgatory.

N stands for ‘Networks’. With the popularity and growing use for the internet, networks are growing by the thousands. In my own life, I have dozens of people who are close friends who I have never met face-to-face, but because of our work together online, we have daily contact and interaction. 30 years ago prayer requests could take up to a week to go from the mission’sfield to the local church, now it happens instantly.

I stands for ‘Incarnate’. Whitesel describes it this way, “Incarnation describes how God sent His Son, Jesus to earth in the flesh and in person in lieu of sending a surrogate or just speaking through a prophet as He had done in Old Testament times.” This chapter shows the idea of tomorrow’s leaders as not depending on someone else to send, to teach, or to minister, but to take matters into your own hands and jump in and be involved. There is much power in being present and able to witness face-to-face.

X stands for ‘Measure’. Whitesel says that the ‘X’ is the Jerusalem cross and “Represents four types of measurement observed in Jerusalem which at their core point to Christ’s work on the cross.” This chapter helps the reader to better understand how tomorrow’s leaders measure spiritual growth and its relationship to effective leadership. It is not close to accurate to measure a church’s health by empty chairs on Sunday morning. There are so many other factors involved.

Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church answers so many questions. It is a book that I will refer to again and again. I am very thankful for the insight that I gained from reading it.

MANAGEMENT & 3 Management Styles That Belong In The Past

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Research cited in this article describes facts I utilized to write the book “ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church” (Abingdon Press). For more about how leaders must apply management differently today with younger people, see excerpts from “ORGANIX” on this .wiki after reading the article.

MANAGEMENT & These 3 Management Styles Belong In The Past

by Paolo Gallo, Forbes Magazine, 2/3/16.

What assumptions am I making, that I’m not aware I am making, that give me what I see?

This powerful question, taken from Benjamin Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility, has been stuck in my mind for a while. Traditional management thinking is based around three fundamental assumptions.

  1. First, that organizations need a top-down approach to strategy and objective setting;
  2. Second, that the role of management and human resources is to measure/control what is being done to achieve objectives and to provide the corresponding incentives for performance or non-performance; and
  3. Third, that monetary incentives motivate people.

Accepting these assumptions, grounded in a dogmatic approach,

  1. means that CEOs and executives decide on behalf of people,
  2. managers control and HR professionals develop complex systems to measure performance,
  3. incentives and consequences.

Sounds like the same old story of carrot and sticks.

Beyond Carrots And Sticks

Yet scientific evidence has proven that what motivates knowledge workers is not longer carrots and sticks.

Take for example Daniel H. Pink’s book, Drive, which makes the case that autonomy, a sense of purpose and mastery are the real motivating factors, in addition – in my view – to a sense of fairness and trust.

Despite such breakthroughs in understanding human behavior, most organizations have still not changed their management systems or thinking accordingly. The problem is that we are using the management tools of the first industrial revolution, while we are entering the fourth industrial revolution. It’s the equivalent of still using a gramophone to listen to music. I suppose it is easier to change a smart phone than a mental model.

Even the fabled “20% time” granted by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other Silicon Valley giants – originally designed to give knowledge workers greater job satisfaction, allowing them to use company time to tinker around with new ideas – is only change at the margins. In Google’s case it is now being discontinued, with others possibly following suite.

Overwhelmingly, even in the most innovative industries with the most “knowledge workers,” we tend to manage using the same methods that were put in place to keep tabs on factory workers during the industrial revolution.

Overcoming Resistance To Change

I would like to share a story which illustrates how we can move beyond our old, hopelessly out-of-date assumptions.

In 2012, when Professor Klaus Schwab, who founded the World Economic Forum some 41 years earlier, had the idea of disrupting his organization with a new model of community management, better suited for the Millennial generation, he met the same reaction from management that every leader faces when implementing change: resistance.

Like others who walked the road of change management before him, he set up a “skunk works,” an isolated team under his leadership, to make change happen.

Professor Schwab’s premise was simple: with half of the world’s population under the age of 27, we need a new and different way of engaging young people with decision-makers to shape their common future.

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/worldeconomicforum/2016/02/03/these-3-management-styles-belong-in-the-past/#d2b49913707b

GENERATIONS & An Online Test To Help You Discover With Which Generation You Identify

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  “I am one of those people who feel a sense of call to minister to Gen. X and Millennials (I even wrote a book on Millennial Leadership called ORGANIX.)

In fact I took this online test to see which generation I identified.  And, I identified almost equally with Generation X and the Millennials.

Check out the survey here:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2174636/Which-Gen-Am-I-When-I-Work-copy

INCARNATIONAL vs. ATTRACTIONAL & What Is the Difference? #ORGANIXbook

by Bob Whitesel (excerpted from ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, Abingdon Press, 2011, pp. 121-137)

I is for “Incarnation”

Latin: in (into)- + carn- (flesh) + -ation (to become, to transform)[i]

Incarnation describes how God sent his Son Jesus to earth “in the flesh” or “in person” (John 1:14, Col. 2:9) in lieu of sending a surrogate (such as an angel) or just speaking through a prophet as he had done in Old Testament times. Scholar N. T. Wright says that this incarnation “…implies that God wants to make his presence felt around the place, and he may well want to do so especially where people are trying to run things their own way and making a mess of it.”[ii]

The incarnation is an important subject for it reminds us that God is a “missionary God,”[iii] coming to humanity to restore fellowship between himself and his offspring. Though there are many attributes to God’s incarnation there are four aspects on which we shall focus:

  1. God went himself to earth. He did not send a surrogate. (John 1:14, Msg.).

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son .

  1. God in the form of Jesus came to explain himself to us in a personal manner, with face-to-face dialogue (John 14:6-7, Msg.)

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”

  1. God wishes the result of this encounter to be a reconnection of people to God (2 Cor. 5:18-19, Msg.)

All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.

  1. God wishes his followers to participate in his mission and tell others about his offer of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20, Msg.)

God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

The following sections compare how modern and millennial leaders differ in their approaches to telling others about God’s mission.

3 Perils of Modern Leadership Regarding: “Incarnation”

Modern Leadership Millennial Leadership
Send others. Go in person.
Teaching is one-sided and directive. Teach and be taught.
Gathering is an “attractional” event. Gathering is a supernatural encounter.

DOWNLOAD the chapter here >>> ORGANIX Chpt. 7 INCARNATION Pg121-138

[i] Carlton T. Lewis, Latin Dictionary (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 112.

[ii] N. T. Wright, Incarnation and Establishment, sermon, (Durham, UK: Cathedral Church of Christ, Dec. 25, 2008).

[iii] David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in the Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 19910, p. 390.