FAQ

Why engage Transforming Mission and the Missional GAP process?

Here are seven ways Transforming Mission and the Missional GAP process can help you and your congregation.

  1. You have a challenge and we are prepared to serve as your guide toward transformation. We believe in you and the local church. We believe the local church is the most important and effective way to make disciples of Jesus Christ and transform the world.
  2. You are frustrated with decline or status quo. We recognize there is a gap between personal preferences and missional effectiveness in the local church and desire to serve God by guiding leaders like you.
  3. You see roadblocks and we’re here to help you clear a path for transformational change so the church can fulfill its mission.
  4. You experience resistance and we’ve designed an invitational process. This process models four aspects of discipleship while addressing transformational change.
  5. You want buy-in from the congregation, but aren’t sure where to start. We’ve deigned a process to help you involve leaders, members, and constituents in gaining an understanding of one another, the congregation, and the church’s mission.
  6. You’re tired of special interests, personal interests, and/or lack of missional impact. We’ve designed a process to guide you and your leaders in identifying the difference between personal importance and congregational effectiveness as it relates to the mission.
  7. You will work together toward fulfilling God’s mission for the church in your local context.

 

If you are looking for a quick fix or prescriptive answers, we will frustrate you more than we will help you. If you are looking to fulfill the mission of God in your local context, have been in decline, or aren’t sure why “nothing has changed, but everything has changed” this process is for you.

 

How long will this process take?

If a congregation engages in the whole process, the shortest amount of time for Phase 1 is 6 months. The shortest amount of time for Phase 2 is 6 months. Plan for 12-18 month process.

Congregations eager and ready to embrace transformational ministry can have an impact within one year. Congregations with complexity, inability, or unwillingness to engage in honest, faithful conversations will take longer. Inability or unwillingness to address the issues brought about by nostalgia, empathy, and division will sidetrack the process. A reasonable plan would be to have a two-month window of flexibility. All congregations are different.

 

Why are there decision points?

The three decision points are present to create space for discernment and commitment. Learning can bring about changes in commitment and reveal aspects of the congregation that need to be cared for before the next steps can take place. For the greatest value to be demonstrated, there must be affirmation from God and commitment of leaders.

 

What if we don’t engage the whole process?

While we want every congregation to complete the entire process, not every congregation will be ready to do so. Any place you say no, will be the path of least resistance. Our experiences working with a variety of congregations in different contexts, the size, age, and personality of the congregation, are important variables to take into consideration.

What is an affinity group? Why are they needed in this process?

Affinity groups may be formal or informal groups in the congregation. These are the groups in your congregation who have similar interests, connection points, and/or ministry. Examples might include: Choir, Youth, UMW, Small Groups, Parents of Young Children (nursery), Parents of Preschoolers, etc.

Is this a prescription for transformation?

No. While we have outlined a process to follow, every congregation is in a unique context. The contextual realities are necessary and important to explore for true transformation to occur. We also recognize processes that are prescriptive often do not lead to transformational change.

What if we need to do something quick?

The pace of change is determined by readiness, not by mandate. Change cannot be mandated. Therefore, we have designed and tested a process that includes intentional discernment as well as individual and corporate commitments.

What will we need to have in place before this can begin?

Your first step is to identify a time frame for your leadership team to take the assessment and discuss the results of the assessment. Then, you will decide if you wish to take next step.

Here’s a sample of some of the things you’ll need to get on the calendar.

  • Gather Email list of all congregation and constituents.
  • Two week timeframe for leaders to take the Missional GAP Assessment
  • Dates for Leadership GAP Conversation
  • Dates for Missional GAP Assessment for the whole Congregation
  • Dates for two Affinity Group Retreats
  • Date for Commitment and Communication meeting.

How do we get started?

Email gap@transformingmission.org