Mike and Sally Breen on Missional Failure

mike breenOne of the workshops I attended at Exponential 2013 was led Mike and Sally Breen of 3DM looking at reasons why the missional movement will fail. A good portion of the seminar was story-telling, but their conclusions were fascinating. Here are my notes from those sessions:

4 stories about ministry background

1) Brixton Hill:
– very poor, violent and difficult place
– difficult to consider going into but listened to The Lord
– providing cheap clothing to people through a shop/storefront
– set up a soup & salad bar to minister to people; providing healthy food
– managed about 4 years
– helped connect community health workers in the area, especially with pregnant mothers both before and afterwards
– strategy: “person of peace” – which is now quite familiar to people
– person accused of wrong – abuse of a young person by one of the staff
– we began to complain against God
– “what did the early church do?”
– see Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity – the church was very successful during times of persecution
– team: never going alone; always in pairs or teams
– time: recognizing the seasons when harvest is ready – “where is the harvest ready in your area?”
– target: the worthy person (Mt 10) or the person of peace (Lk 10) – evangelism is not about the group but about the gatekeeper of the group; stay with that household instead of finding another place or person; how do you identify the person of peace?
+ they like you
+ they listen to you
+ they serve you
– task: tell them the kingdom of God is near; heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead; making it real today: “God likes you – He wants to do good things for you – what would you like Him to do for you?”

2) Irish boy in the neighborhood
– annoying, rode his bicycle nearby – could he be the person of peace?
– guitar – wanted to serve in the neighborhood
– turned up the first Sunday and became a Christian, then brought family week by week
– father: Marxist, Socialist, member of IRA
– listening to God

3) Michelle
– took team of people to live with us and be part of the work together
– our house was open and it was exhausting
– tender heart toward the children
– young, bedraggled 13-year-old girl huddled by the heat vent of the church
– followed her around wherever Sally would go because she hadn’t observed ‘normal’ life before
– took us to hell and back; expert manipulator
– today she is the mother of six children and married to a wonderful man

We were utterly spent from that time – had some time – and now that work is utterly gone

The best that we could do was make disciples but we never made disciples that made disciples

If we don’t learn that mission and discipleship are co-terminus in the mind of Jesus, all of our glorious, courageous adventures of faith will be remembered but they will not lead to continuous change.

4) Sheffield
– now teaching disciples to make disciples
– about 5,000 people in huddles in and around Sheffield now

Q&A time:

Building a Discipling Culture, Mike Breen
Huddle Leaders Guide

Huddle: 6-12 people (personal space)
Discipling process: Information – Imitation – Innovation
Grid: Context & Content

Invitation and Challenge is a continuous process – this is how you disciple

Jesus is teaching people how to be learners (mathatai) – time is right; need for repentance and belief as we live into the kingdom

What about children and young people?
– needs to be appropriately calibrated at every stage of life
– children need challenging but very supportive and invitational environment
– youth need to continue the challenge with the youth higher

2 thoughts on “Mike and Sally Breen on Missional Failure

    • Thanks for passing your link along, Brian. I appreciate the way that your notes show Cole focusing on Jesus at the center instead of us as pastors or our churches.

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