I have been rereading The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch. I would highly recommend this book to every pastor. Alan spends a great deal of time talking about the missional drive of the church. He gives us a stark reminder that if we don’t keep the main focus before us, we will quickly become an institution guided by rules and bylaws, rather than a movement driven by passion and vision. Hirsch’s description of a movement and an institution are worth sharing and considering. As you read these contrasting descriptions ask yourself where your church/organization fits and how you can make steps to change.
Has pioneering missional leadership as its central role.
Seeks to embody the way of the founder.
Based on internal operational principles.
Has a cause.
The mission is to change the future.
Tends to be mobile and dynamic.
Decentralized network built on relationships.
Appeals to the common person.
Inspirational/transformational leadership dominant; spiritual authority tends to be the primary basis of influence.
People of the way.
Avoids leadership based on personality and is often led by an “aristocratic class” who inherit leadership based on loyalty.
Represents a more codified belief system.
based on external legislating policies/governance.
Is the cause.
The missions shifts to preservation of the past.
Is the cause.
Tends to be more static and fixed.
Centralized organiztion built on loyalty.
Tends to be more elitist and exclusive.
Transactional leadership dominant; Institutional authority tends to be the primary basis of influence.
People of the “book”.
Which one are you?