The first three elments of apostolic genius, or missional DNA (mDNA), according to Alan Hirsch in his The Forgotten Ways, are: (1) centrality of Jesus, (2) disciple-making, and (3) a missional-incarnational impulse. Today we look at #4: an apostolic environment of leadership. The apostle was a custodian of mDNA and the gospel — and an apostolic, missional leader “imparts and embeds mDNA” (153).
What are the functions of apostolic leaders? What does it take to develop organically-growing, expanding, and multiplying ministries?
1. To embed mDNA through pioneering new ground for the gospel.
2. To guard mDNA through apostolic theology.
3. To create the environment in which other ministries emerge.
My question: There are two tendencies for leaders, both of which need to be avoided: some spend all their time only dreaming up new ideas (totally future shaped and highly flexible) and others spend all their time preserving the past (totally past shaped and inflexible). What are the ingredients of a leader who can lead churches into new ways of doing things and at the same time preserve the good of the past? I’m keen on hearing what pastoral leaders think on this. And I’m keen on what others would look for in their leaders so they could accomplish these two goals? Is it possible to be both these days?
Here are the major foci of an apostolic ministry (full chart on p. 170), and Hirsch of course advocates development for each area of ministry:
1. Apostolic: church planting, networking, strategy
2. Prophetic: advocacy, justice, prayer/intercession
3. Evangelistic: services, outreach, Alpha courses
4. Pastoral: cell groups, care, worship
5. Teaching: sermons, teaching, development