By: Dave Rhodes If you have been following our blogs this past month, then you know that we have been talking a lot about the core element of mDNA (movement DNA) that we call Jesus is Lord. So much has been written over the last decade by Alan Hirsch, Neil Cole and others about how this simple mantra stood at the heart of the early church movement. It is a statement that centered their identity. It is a phrase that inspired their activity. As Alan has said many times, “It is an entire world view in just 3 words.” In fact, it’s a view of the world that shifted the ground under the feet of the entire Roman Empire. It’s a statement that challenged the status quo and created space for God’s preferred future to be realized.
Unfortunately, what we see so clearly in the early church movement, we rarely find in many of our “would be movements” (called churches) today. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of bumpers sticker slogans and slick graphics. In fact, if anything, we have far too many of them. But what we need more than clever phrases that sound good coming off the tongue and yet lack any real substance is substantive words to live by. These are the kind of words that focus our investments as leaders and in the end create the future we hope to see realized.
The truth is our words really do create worlds. And as leaders one of our primary jobs is to use words to do just that—words that within them carry the possibility to create a gospel-sized future. This is the competency that we at 100M are talking about when we talk about “Identity Declaring”. It’s the art of moving past a generic version of life and identity toward becoming the most true version of yourself and your church. And it happens initially by choosing the kind of words that contain with in them the power to usher the future into reality—creating your own Jesus is Lord language.
This is exactly the kind of thing you see so many great leaders doing throughout the Bible. It is no coincidence that Moses picks up the language of Eden to describe the Promised Land as he calls the people of Israel to leave Egypt and move into their God-sized destiny. In Luke 4, Jesus picks up the language of Isaiah (Isaiah 61) to describe the nature of his ministry when he says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, recovery of sight for the blind, to release those who are oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” The rest of Luke then is Jesus living out this declared identity.
So, how about you? How are you describing your church’s unique identity? How is your church describing itself at its core and how is that core framing everything you see and do? For the early Christians, Jesus is Lord did exactly that. It was a clear and bold statement that subverted the status quo and re-framed the future.
So this week we want to introduce you to a Master Tool that we at 100M believe will be of significant help to you as a leader if you want to use your words well. It’s called The Vision Frame and was developed by one of our 100M Design Team Leaders named Will Mancini. For over 10 years now, Will and his team at Auxano have been using The Vision Frame to help churches all over the country declare their identity in ways that empower their future. Each church that moves through his Visioneering Process, works together as a team to make their Jesus is Lord statements as they declare their Mission, their Core 4 Values, their Strategies and their Mission Measures. For more on the way Will Mancini describes this process click here at
The Vision Frame
If you want to see this tool in action, let Dave Rhodes walk you through the way he has seen the tool work in the video below:
To make more of this journey Identity Declaring core competency accessible to you, 100M would love to give you a free chapter of Will's book, Church Unique. In this chapter Will provides a deep dive for churches wanting to declare their mission Mandate. We trust you will gain as much from it as we have -- SO ENJOY!!
Take a moment to consider the way you and your church are answering the primary questions around your Jesus is Lord statements. Are you satisfied with what you hear? If not, you might want to consider joining our “Identity Declaring” track that is forming now in 100M’s Leap Year. Will Mancini and the 100M Team will be leading this dynamic process and you can be part of it without having to travel. CLICK HERE to find out more information on 100M and Leap Year.