Minatrea and the Missional Church

I spent yesterday at one of the best conferences I have ever attended. The Metro Baptist Association brought in Milfred Minatrea of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. It was a small gathering of pastors, church planters, state convention workers, associational workers, religion professors, etc. The interaction was valuable and the content presented was informative.

Minatrea's lectures were on missional Christianity. He talked about some mechanics but spent most of the time discussing spirituality and values. He quoted Antoine de Saint-Exupery: If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

I want to know how you guys do this in your ministries? Do you teach missional yearning? How do you do it?

NOTE - I was given a copy of Minatrea's book, Shaped by God's Heart: The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches. I already have a copy and will gladly send it to the first person that asks for it in this comment thread.


Perry McCall said...

Kool! I love the quote. It expresses my basic philosophy towards inspiring mission work as well as the Christian life. the basic desiring God paradigm.

daddyx3 said...

I would love to read the book. How to get people inspired to do the work is something that we all need to know about.

Gary Snowden said...


I had the chance to sit down and chat with Milfred at the BGCT offices in Dallas back in December and received a copy of his book at that time. The leadership of the BGCT, BGAV, and BGCM met together for some vision sharing, etc. The book has been very enjoyable and challenging reading. That quote was one that jumped off the pages at me and I've shared that with several others since reading it.

Matt Snowden said...

Thanks for your comments guys. I appreciate it.

It's good to hear from you. How do you guys prompt missional longing in your church?

Gary Snowden said...


I'm not sure that we're doing a very good job of accomplishing that. We do have lots of folks who do participate in short-term missions projects each year. We've got a group of about 20 returning to Bay St. Louis to help in rebuilding efforts there. We took 3 different groups down there last year. Another group is heading for Baton Rouge as part of the Habitat for Humanity project there.

Something that we started doing last year is having a weekly piece in our Sunday worship guide and in our bi-monthly newsletter called "FBCLS on Mission." I write it and it focuses on either a missions partner that we are collaborating with or a missions opportunity that our folks can plug in to. In our foyer, we have a missions display case whose contents are changed every month or so and it also focuses on either missions activities in the recent past or upcoming events.

This summer we are focusing on what we're calling a "Summer of Service." We're still brainstorming ideas at this point and will have a think-tank type session in March involving as many members as possible to seek ways to get outside the 4 walls of the church and minister in our community.

Those are a few of the things we're doing. Again, the criticism that I would direct at even our own efforts sometimes is that it's more activity-oriented than what Minatrea's quote emphasizes--stirring up a passion in our hearts for the things of God.

Matt Snowden said...

Thanks for the very thoughtful comment. It seems like ya'll are doing a great job and you have given us some good ideas. Let me know if you need anything when you come down here.

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