Pastors Mark, Phil, and Ben along with Rebeka Cook and Jenny Vineyard went to Omaha this October to further explore discipleship, disciple formation, missional communities, and such. This trip was part of the Pastoral Leadership Institute (PLI) Discipleship to Missional Communities (D2MC) journey we have been part of for over a year now.  

The topic this October was developing missional leadership.  

What is a “missional leader?” A missional leader is someone who has a vision, intends to do that vision, and feels good about the tools or means to get there. More importantly, we ask what our mission is here at Trinity. That’s being a “Community Following Jesus.” Therefore, developing missional leaders will be about encouraging leadership in that mission’s direction. 

What do we do?  

We five are in this training process and experience that is providing helpful information. It’s also providing us something to imitate when it comes to discipling others where small pockets of people intend to follow Jesus and encourage one another on that journey. In time, we’ll innovate and make the process more of a Trinity thing than just something we’re imitating. We’ve already begun that process of innovation and molding as we’ve been working with others at Trinity on discipleship. A diagram for the process looks like this: 

Yet as I mentioned, this last event in October focused more on developing leaders. That’s a big goal: to develop leaders who in time receive disciple-oriented information, imitate a disciple-making process from us, and in turn innovate and make disciples who go out and make disciples.  

Getting there takes time and patience, but the journey is rich and full of depth. It sort of follows this diagram. Follow it from “D1 to D4.”

 Trinity is blessed with many leaders and disciples and disciple-makers. So we’re looking at the past and what has been done as well as looking toward new steps that would be good to make. We ourselves have been recipients of the discipling efforts of people at Trinity and beyond. We’re thankful and those experiences play a part in where we’re headed together.  

What does this look like in concrete terms?  

The five of us are praying through and discerning who we ought to work beside in disciple formation, who we will call beside us and explore an intentional pathway of discipleship together. Some of us have more clarity about who this should be than others. It’s coming together though.  

These groupings may also be known as huddles. It will be with these that we journey the pathway of intentional disciple information, imitation, and innovation. The outcome of what these individuals will do is in the hands of the Spirit of God. Our process and journey will be about listening to what God is saying, what God may be calling us toward. Then, in these huddles, we’ll engage the pathway of doing something about it. Being able to explore such a thing in a huddle gathering will be invaluable. We’re all excited about it! 

Many outcomes are anticipated to reflect back into Trinity and to support our ongoing efforts within the church as we know it. One, it’s a beautiful place with beautiful people and beautiful traditions. We anticipate some will feel the nudge of God to lead in new and needed ways within the congregation. 

Others may feel led to declare the presence of God’s kingdom beyond the church as we know it. And that’s the essence of what a missional community is. We cannot yet know what the exact details will be because we have not yet discerned in community what doors to try. But we anticipate there being calling and sending from God’s Spirit within us, within our community, to do or be something that reveals the hospitality or compassion of Jesus to people who need it.  

The conversation is great with this. The journey is also. Best of all is the life of prayer and discernment as we’ve been working together. We’re excited to see more and more among us who are eager to walk all the more intentionally as disciples of Jesus—disciples who feel competent and eager to make other disciples. All in all: we are a “Community Following Jesus.” Amen and Amen.  

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