Creating a Missional Culture
Creating a Missional Culture expresses the leadership philosophy of the Ecclesia Network, “a relational network of churches, leaders, and movements that seek to equip, partner, and multiply missional churches and movements.” I found I was left with mixed reactions to the book, to be honest. There were some things I really liked and some that I questioned.
I really liked and agreed with the overall emphasis on culture. I have long believed that “culture trumps strategy,” and that we spend way too little time focusing on the culture of our churches or organizations, as opposed to our strategies.
Likewise, the recognition that the way we approach leadership significantly shapes our culture is key. Spiritual life in the church flows like a river, from the top down. The culture that is exemplified and lived by the leadership will eventually shape the culture of the whole church, for better or worse.
At the same time, I struggled with the emphasis that Woodward puts on polycentric leadership as the way to go. I have seen group leadership attempted a couple times, and while there are some positives—it does share the load—there are also some negatives. The biggest one I have seen is that there is usually a real leader who isn’t being recognized, which ultimately limits the effectiveness of the whole team.
I did find the idea intriguing and worthy of more thought that our culture is influencing how people look at leadership. It seems true to me that the younger generations are more skeptical of top-down leadership and possibly of other approaches to leadership with which the church operates. It’s worth thinking about.
I’m interested in your thoughts! Let me know what you think.