Limit Your Limitations – 3 Essentials for Creating a Movement

In this fourth post on Take Seth Godin to Church I want to focus on Tribal Movement. Consider using the questions in these posts for staff or volunteer meetings in the month of December. Use the Advent season to see Jesus as the coming founder of a redemptive tribe called The Church. The previous two posts dealt with tribal passion and tribal leadership.

In Tribes, Godin references Senator Bill Bradley who unpacks the anatomy of a movement with three essentials:

  1. A narrative that tells a story about who we are and the future we are trying to build.
  2. A connection between and among the leader and the tribe
  3. Something to do- the fewer limits the better

Here are some questions for each essential:

Future-building Narratives

  • Every church has a creation story. How clear and developed is yours? Can your team cast a shared, compelling vision based on your creation story?
  • What is your most important priority right now as a church? What are one or two signature stories that help people understand and own that priority?

Note: Creation stories and signature stories are discussed further in Church Unique.

Leader-Follower Connections

  • Where are lines of communication being blocked right now? Who is suffering the most from broken lines of communication?
  • Is our greater barrier right now about tools and supports systems or about our attitudes as leaders? How would our volunteers answer this question?
  • Are we leaning into social media, or creating excuses and making jokes about why we don’t engage it more?

Doing Without Limits

  • What limits have we created that are unnecessary for connecting and releasing our people?
  • Where have limits have been imposed or created that where never intended?
  • Where does our desire for control, lead to limits that really aren’t necessary?

Missed the first parts of this series? Read them here: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3. Read Part 5 here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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