- IICM values projects and processes that develop a missional learning community in a collaborative environment and enable evangelical believers to foster missional congregational development.
- We value participation and collaboration in the development of missional congregations who employ strategies to reach neotribal cultures in North America and beyond.
- We value opportunities for churches to network with other congregations who are reaching the same people groups, share ideas, and learn in a peer-to-peer learning community.
- We value missional participants who add their own learnings, discuss their learnings with others, and collaboratively edit and modify content, thereby contributing to our collective missional knowledge.
- We value missional coaching and training that seeks to develop volunteer and paid, lay and clergy, missionaries who reach people groups in culturally-appropriate ways.
All of our projects and processes are designed to empower missional believers in their God-given missional roles. These role are defined by Ephesians 4:11.
Apostolic Missional Role
Those who have an apostolic gifting are designed to be Intrapreneurial Apostles and/or Entrepreneurial Apostles -- those pioneers who are gifted in starting new ministries & congregations. Intrapreneurial Apostles begin new ministries, new missional teams, and new congregations by working within existing structures. The Intrapreneurial Apostle effects change within a church, denominational or mission agency by taking an entrepreneurial approach to developing new ministries and strategies, often appearing to buck the status quo in the process. Especially gifted in cultural awareness however, Intrapreneurial Apostles understand the organizational culture in which they minister and use this knowledge to help them serve as catalysts in developing new endeavors and gaining the internal support that is needed in order for the new efforts to take place.
Entrepreneurial Apostles begin new ministries, new missional teams, and new congregations by working outside existing structures. Because of their cultural awareness, Entrepreneurial Apostles are particularly "in tune" with the cultural and socio-religious groups in their community. Seeing needs and opportunities, the apostolic gifted person is compelled to undertake a new venture to meet those needs and to respond to those opportunities. As a result the Entrapreneurial Apostle steps out into the unknown in order to implement new ministries, new methods, and begin new missional teams and new congregations from scratch. The Apostle Paul refers to this gifting in Romans 15:20 when he writes: "And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man's foundation."
Prophetic Missional Role
The prophetic role in scripture reaches back to the beginnings of the Old Testament and continues into the New Testament. Based on the early church fathers this role continued well into the second and third centuries. The prophetic gift is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to discern current conditions in the congregation and community and to exhort and admonish believers to respond to both existing and future conditions. They “investigate” the internal and external conditions, and through the special illumination of the Spirit of God they are able to exhort and admonish the church regarding appropriate responses.
Evangelistic Missional Role
Today the term "Evangelist" conjures up the image of a preacher speaking behind a pulpit and before a large crowd; pressing the claims of the gospel in a series of "evangelistic meetings" or "revival meetings." However, this was not the function of the evangelist during the New Testament era. Matter of fact, it could be argued that there were no church buildings, pulpits, or revival meetings at this time. Instead, the role of the evangelist in the New Testament era primarily focused on personal proclamation and the equipping of believers for mobilization. The gift of evangelist is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to share the gospel effectively with nonbelievers, to incorporate them into the congregation, and to equip believers in the ministry of evangelism. Those with the evangelistic gift “persuade” nonbelievers, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to accept the gospel message and equip them to share their faith with others.
Pastoral Missional Role
Many people confuse the pastoral gifting with the institutional office of the pastor. However, long before there was a pastoral "office" in the organized church, many believers exercised the pastoral gift of nurturing and shepherding the faith of others. The pastoral gift is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to nurture the spiritual formation and development of a group of believers. They “relate” to believers, encouraging them in their spiritual walk and equipping them to shepherd others.
Teaching Missional Role
Quite possibly many people reading this will think that the "teaching" of Ephesians 4:11 refers to "preaching sermons" and "teaching Sunday School." However, while it could be applied in this way, to do so is anachronistic -- in other words, there were no pulpits, church buildings, or Sunday School classes in the first century -- so understanding scripture as meaning this imposes current practices upon the first century text. So the question remains, what was Teaching Missionality in the New Testament era? And how do we recapture teaching missionality for today? The gift of teaching in the New Testament is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to equip others through organizing biblical information in the context of ministry programming and communicating those truths in culturally relevant ways.
All IICM projects and processes are based upon some core missionary principles. In some way every project and process relates back to one or more of the following 10 missional principles:
Missionary congregations view God’s act of redemption as the “heart” of scripture and the mission of God to disciple all groups of people as the central mandate of the people of God.
Missionary congregations are aware of specific groups of people in the community and actively take steps to develop disciples among them.
Missionary congregations understand that every person has a philosophy of life or LIFEVIEW which they use to make sense of their world around them – and they challenge non-Biblical lifeviews with the gospel
Missionary congregations believe that people from all cultural groups are enabled to become one “in Christ” through a common bond of knowing Christ as Savior.
Missionary congregations follow the example of Jesus by demonstrating Christlikeness within specific groups of people found in their community in culturally appropriate ways without compromising biblical truth.
Missionary congregations develop messages, methods, and ministries that consider the worldview, thought patterns, behavior, communication patterns, decision making processes, religious background, and historical background of specific groups of people.
Missionary congregations focus on multiplying believers, spiritual leaders and congregations through the intentional reproduction of disciples within specific groups of people.
Missionary congregations are aware of the missional gifts given to believers in their church and therefore equip and empower them to serve as God has called them.
Missionary congregations produce servant leaders within specific groups of people through intentional mentoring processes and lay leadership development.
Missionary congregations implement strategic plans that multiply believers, disciplemakers and servant leaders among specific groups of people.
Missionary congregations measure success on the basis of a biblical understanding of the mission of God, the role of the church, and the multiplication of disciples, disciplemakers, and servant leaders among all groups of people.
IICM projects seek to provide informational resources for missional ministry in some very distinct types of social environments in first world and urban settings. These social environments include:
Upscale Communities reflect the wealthiest households in the nation. An upscale social environment is created by high household incomes, significant home values and top educational achievements. Concentrated in exclusive suburban neighborhoods, these households are predominantly white, college educated and filled with Baby Boom parents and their children living in the metropolitan sprawl. Most of the adults work as executives and white-collar professionals, and their upscale incomes provide them with large homes and comfortable lifestyles. They like to spend their leisure time getting exercise—jogging, biking and swimming are popular—or shopping for the latest in-fashion and high-tech electronics. They are active in community affairs as members of business clubs, environmental groups and arts associations.
Mainstay Communities represent the established, median income households of small, low-density urban and second-city areas. Mainstay Communities consist of ethnically homogeneous enclaves of predominantly white, married and family-oriented, homeowner households and diverse enclaves of mixed marital status, ethnicity and age ranges. Commuting to careers in management, manufacturing, retail, sales and health care services provides them the means for a moderate to ample lifestyle. Those households who enjoy dual-median incomes are able to support the creature comforts they have come to expect and have worked hard to achieve.
Working Communities represent predominantly blue-collar workers in a mix of manufacturing, construction, health services, retail, wholesale trades, and food service occupations. Mostly high-school educated with some college experience, these homeowner households appear in diverse neighborhoods in densely populated regions and small-town suburbs – often living on the edge of metropolitan areas. Ethnically diverse, less than half are currently married. Enjoying lower middle incomes, their incomes provide a stable foundation for their personal and family pursuits in conventional type lifestyles.
Representing agricultural and mining areas, Country Communities represent middle-aged, mostly white family households living in single-family homes and mobile homes or trailers on country tracts and in rural neighborhoods. They work hard to provide the tranquil life to which their family has become accustomed through farming, agriculture, education, mining and other service industries. Education levels are low and, consequently, income levels are moderately low, falling in the lower middle income range. Driving domestic pick-up trucks, traditional family sedans or compact cars, more than two-thirds of these households do not have children living at home.
This resoundingly diverse ethnic group represents the up-and-coming of American society. Living within easy reach of or within major metropolitan areas, this group enjoys careers in information, sales, administration, education, health and other service professions. As many as 60% of Aspiring Contemporaries are renting singles, many are career builders enjoying a middle income way in mid-tier management positions. Many others live the unique lifestyles offered by military and university dorm life. However, this group is also four times more likely to be unemployed. Ethnicity is extremely diverse, and a majority fall within the ages of 18 to 34 years.
The Urban Community features a diverse range of residents who reside within major metropolitan cities and towns, often in what is sometimes called “inner city.” Predominantly African-American and Hispanic, many are single, younger adults (including some single parents). With below-average incomes and above-average household size, this group supports their lifestyles at employment within food and health services, education, retail, and arts and entertainment industries. At the same time, in many places, the Urban Community has double the national average for unemployment. Many single-parent households must balance priorities and budgets. The majority of this segment enjoys apartment living, and those who own vehicles opt for a diverse selection of economy, import, and domestic cars and light trucks.