What is mPULSE?
mPULSE is a unique online assessment measuring the missional nature of your church or organization. It can be used as a stand-alone assessment; however, it is specifically designed to assist in applying concepts found in The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch’s seminal book on missional movements. Based squarely on the Apostolic Genius model (the six elements of mDNA
described in The Forgotten Ways), mPULSE provides an overview identifying the missional strengths and weaknesses of a church, church plant, missional movement or organization. mPULSE also provides the respondents with a report, and a suggested action plan to aid strategic planning and implementation.
mPULSE is designed to work with the very practical workbook, The Forgotten Ways Handbook. mPULSE can also be used to assist as a diagnostic to aid in transition from traditional church growth models of ministry to the more organic missional ministry style.Watch video
What is the minimum factor approach?
mPULSE is based on the six elements of mDNA that together comprise the 'Apostolic Genius'. In measuring the strongest and weakest of these elements, mPULSE identifies the two minimum factors in your missional fitness. By providing points of application for your minimum factors, mPULSE offers practical, strategic steps toward healthy, missional growth.
In engaging mPULSE it is critical to engage a systems-thinking approach. Apostolic Genius is a system. And a system is always made up of a series of interdependent and interrelating parts. So that, if you tinker with one element in the system, you will indirectly change the whole system - for good or bad. In a system it is not good enough to simply focus on one part as if it were a silver-bullet, a pre-packaged answer to all our problems. All elements, both individually and as a whole, have to be factored into our thinking.
In systems thinking, weaknesses will always tend to undermine the whole system. We need to lead within our strengths, and we definitely have to see the weaknesses in the system as a focus of strategic activity. Its the whole that counts. A good example of this is given to us by Christian Schwartz, founder of Natural Church Development (NCD), a church growth theory that helped us to factor systems thinking into church development. NCD talks about identifying the church's 'quality factors.' Furthermore, Schwarz believes that a church could only grow as far as its ‘minimum factor.' To illustrate this, he compared his (eight) quality factors principles with the individual pieces (staves) of wood that are combined to make a wooden barrel. As you can see from the graphic, in a barrel, if one piece is shorter than the rest, then the volume/capacity of the bucket to carry water is limited to the shortest stave. To increase the volume capacity of the barrel, one has to raise the level of the lowest stave.
What is mDNA?
Simply put, it means ‘missional DNA’. What DNA does for biological systems, mDNA does for missional systems. DNA in biological life:
- Is found in all living cells
- Codes genetic information for the transmission of inherited traits beyond that of the initiating organism
- Is self-replicating
- Carries vital information for healthy reproduction
mDNA does the same for the church as God has designed it. This is why the presence of a simple, intrinsic, reproducible, central guiding mechanism is necessary for the reproduction and sustainability of genuine missional movements. As an organism holds together, and each cell understands its function in relation to its DNA - so too does the church, in any given context, find its reference point in its built-in mDNA.
What is Apostolic Genius?
Apostolic Genius is a unique energy and force saturating phenomenal Jesus movements. The Apostolic Genius is made up of six elements. The first, core element around which the other elements pulse is Jesus is Lord - the core spirituality and theology of the Apostolic Genius. The remaining five elements are: disciple making, missional incarnational impulse, apostolic environment, organic systems, and communitas.
Apostolic Genius is the full combination of all the elements of mDNA that together form a constellation where each shed light on the other. The Apostolic Genius is latent, or embedded, into the very nature of God’s gospel people. When all elements of mDNA are present and in dynamic relationship with the other elements, and an adaptive challenge acts as a catalyst, then Apostolic Genius is activated.