I am releasing a new third edition of Building a Discipling Culture. To celebrate this release, and to reveal more about why I thought it was time for a new edition, I have created a series of blog posts centered on the new content you’ll find in the third edition.
We have already connected the ideas of the Five Capitals and the Person of Peace and provided some reflection and discussion questions about the Three A’s—the temptations that Jesus faced and that we all face.
In this post, I want to focus on how the core idea of Family on Mission is an inextricable part of the life of discipleship. It is so important that we’ve include Family on Mission in chapter 1 of the new edition of Building a Discipling Culture.
If you’ve been to one of our Family on Mission workshops or read our Family on Mission book, you know that our culture is longing for this kind of reality. This is true of Christians and non-Christians alike.
When we get this right, we will notice people gravitating toward us. What an incredible opportunity for discipleship and evangelism!
But here’s the thing—those of us who are pioneers (I put myself in this category) sometimes struggle with cultivating the kind of atmosphere around us where a Family on Mission can grow. Pioneers thrive at creating new structure, but they aren’t always good at taking the time to carefully invest in the texture of the relationship.
That’s why Pioneers need Settlers (or Developers)—those who come behind them to till the soil and grow the fruit. I’m thankful that my wife Sally falls into the Developer category.
I talk about Pioneers and Developers in the “Personal Calling” chapter of Building a Discipling Culture. At the conclusion of that section, I write: “Without pioneers, we will never gain new territory for the Kingdom. Without developers, we will never keep the territory that was won. We need both.”
This applies to the larger movement of discipleship, and also to each and every Family on Mission. So it’s important to think through our missional communities from this perspective.
So here are a few questions to reflect on and discuss:
Are you better at pioneering structure or developing texture?
Who in your current Family on Mission leads the family as a pioneer? Who leads as a developer? Do you have the right mix of both in your family as it stands now?
One more thing: When Sally and I talk about Family on Mission, we discuss it as one of several alternatives.
Family OR Mission tries to keep clear boundaries and two tracks of life. Sometimes, developers will lean into this as an effort to protect the family. This instinct is noble, but ultimately, these kinds of boundaries leave us frustrated, because this compartmentalized kind of life seals off half of our life from the other. We need both halves working together if we are to acquire the resources needed for a whole and happy life.
Family AND Mission tries to have it all. This is often the pioneer’s tendency. The pioneer is so driven by the missional call that everything else must fall in line. Again, this is a noble instinct, but ultimately leads to exhaustion. Managing our lives in this way leaves no room for the rhythm of abiding and rest and burn out often rears its ugly head.
This is why it’s important to be a Family ON Mission. If we are to make disciples who make disciples, we will need this kind of texture to live sustainably over the long haul.
I invite you to reflect anew on the call to make disciples through the lens of Family on Mission. I pray that the new edition of Building a Discipling Culture will empower you to do just that.