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How to Lead a Missional Church that Expands God’s Kingdom


How should we lead the church? In this Pneuma Review conversation, Dr. Victor H. Cuartas describes how to expand the vision of the local church to reach the world.



God’s plans for His beloved Church are marvelous. One of the most important aspects in the life of the church is leadership. Leadership is about serving and influencing people to advance God’s kingdom. This article will focus on important principles to lead missional congregations. What are the characteristics of a missional church? This article will begin with a brief description of the importance of the Trinity in both global and local (glocal) missions. Then, the author will describe significant principles of a missional church. Next, we will look at some considerations in regards to the life of the missional leader. This paper will conclude with some practical recommendations to lead churches glocally.


The Importance of the Trinity in Mission

God has a Missional Plan

God loves the families and nations of the earth. He has a missional plan with His creation. That is the reason why He sent His only Son to die for us on the cross. His plan was about redemption and salvation. “He sent His Son for this purpose and He sends the Church into the world with the message of the gospel for the same purpose.”1

Jesus is our great example to follow in missional leadership.

His motivation was love (John 3:16). God created human beings so that we might have fellowship with Him and serve as faithful stewards of His creation (Gen 1-2). God was to be the King who reigned over heaven and earth, and we were to be his royal family, those through whom He would expand His kingdom.

Jesus’ Missional Leadership

Jesus is our great example to follow in missional leadership. “One of the challenges that we may face is to be driven by personal interest rather than kingdom principles.”2 There are several accounts in the Bible that describe Jesus’ urgency to meet the needs of the people. He always was willing to go and bless the needy regardless of the circumstances. Jesus went out and saw the needs of the people. Thus, every believer needs to follow Jesus’ example. “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matt 9:36, emphasis added).

Jesus called the disciples to fulfill His Father’s will. The verb “called” in the Greek is proskaleomai, which means (1) to call to, (2) to call to one’s self, or (3) to bid to come to one’s self.3 The NKJV translates the word as “called” (Mark 3:13; 6:7a). Jesus invited “those He Himself wanted” (Mark 3:13). The initiative lay not with the disciples but with the Master. Jesus chose and prepared normal people to change the world. Therefore, the disciples were called by Jesus for a specific purpose: “to preach the message of Christ and His love locally and globally.”

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2011

About the Author: Victor H. Cuartas, D.Min. (Regent University), has been involved in pastoral ministry and church planting for nearly twenty years. He is Assistant Professor of Practical Ministry and Global Missions at Regent University in Virginia. Victor serves as director of research for COMHINA, a missionary movement that mobilizes Hispanics in the United States and Canada for ministry to unreached people groups. He is the author of Empowering Hispanic Leaders: An Online Model (Church Starting Network, 2009) and Capacitando Líderes Hispanos: Un Modelo En Línea (Wipf & Stock, 2010). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Oxford, U.K. through Middlesex University & Oxford Center for Mission Studies.

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