Author Archives: Mark Love

About Mark Love

I am the Dean for the School of Theology and Ministry and Director for the Resource Center for Missional Leadership at Rochester College. Part of my job includes directing a master's degree in missional leadership, a distance learning degree. I have a son, Josh Love, who is a practicing new monastic in Abilene, TX.

The Hold Steady and Being Born Again

I found The Hold Steady much later than I should have. They’ve been making music since 2004 in the Bruce Springsteen mold. Rock and Roll and great stories. They even sound a little like the Boss. They’re from Minneapolis, which … Continue reading

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Hospitality and Christian Witness: competency #7

Most congregations I know feel stuck evangelistically. They know that the old ways of doing evangelism (door knocking, high pressure, guilt-inducing, proposition stringing) don’t fit anymore, but they’re not sure what else would count. I think this issue is particularly … Continue reading

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Hospitality as leadership: a different kind of grad program

I have the privilege of directing a unique graduate program in missional leadership. In addition to our great faculty, we have four features that make our program unique: 1. We insist that all of our students have ministry contexts in … Continue reading

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The Faithfulness of Risk Taking: Competency Six

I have two initial diagnostics I use when gauging a congregation’s capacity to innovate missionally. First, is their trust in the system. Second, is their tolerance for risk. These two things, of course, are often linked, though you can have … Continue reading

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Moving beyond the 20/80% rule: competency five, finding and empowering new leaders for mission

I say this all the time to congregations: “the 20% who do 80% of the work.” I have yet to meet resistance to this characterization of church life. Not a single person has expressed skepticism about this or insisted their … Continue reading

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Streaming Images: Our recent conference, Oct 9-11, No Fear, Only Love

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Practice hospitality in ways that convey the welcome of God much? Missional competence #4

I hear this story often. “We’re very friendly. Friendliest congregation I’ve ever been a part of. I don’t understand why we aren’t growing.” I have a hunch. Congregations that think they are friendly are often very inward oriented congregations. It’s … Continue reading

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Competency three: find and cultivate new partners in mission

Here’s the wrong distinction: missional vs. attractional. It’s trouble six different ways. Stop saying it. Phew, I feel better. So, how would I distinguish missional from other kinds of impulses? Let’s try this. Partner vs. paternal. Let’s go back to … Continue reading

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Competency two: discerning God’s calling in communal processes of discernment

I think the single biggest assumption that should inform the practice of ministry in congregations is this: God is living and active. Now you would think that this would be a no-brainer. After all, we all would say “Amen” to … Continue reading

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Competency one: developing a shared biblical imagination for mission

Communities of faith participating in the life of God in a new missional era have the capacity to develop a shared biblical imagination. The really big word in this sentence is “shared.”My sense is that there are few biblical texts … Continue reading

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