Category Archives: Mike Breen

Come see us at Exponential

Are you coming to Exponential next week (April 23-26 in Orlando)? If so, we invite you to come and hang out with the Wayfarer/3DM team.  Our team will be leading several sessions on discipleship and mission and also hosting some special events.

Here’s a rundown of what our team is doing at Exponential:

Here are a few things about our time there:

 It really is ALL ACCESS to our team. Click here to register for the conference.
 Here are some of the workshops we’ll be doing.


  • How to release a Missional movement by Discipling people like Jesus did
  • How to launch Missional Communities
  • Launching Missional Communities with Teenagers
  • How to plant churches from scratch
  • Attractional and Missional. Is it both?
  • How to create regional centers of mission
  • Missional Moms

We look forward to seeing you there!


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What you need to know before recruiting young people to your leadership team

By Mike Breen

The following is a brief excerpt from Mike’s forthcoming book Multiplying Missional Leaders, which comes out at the beginning of May. 

One of the problems about Millennials (or Gen Y, the generation right after Gen X) is that people within the generation have, in general, been over-parented. This is a sociological reality that has been studied to death. People born after 1980 have, by and large, grown up in a culture of parenting where parental responsibilities have clutched tightly as a reaction to the absentee parents of the previous generation. The parents we’re talking about don’t want to force onto their children the wounds that they feel were inflicted by their home life, and so they over-parent their children, to the extent that their children have never been trained to take responsibility.

To back up this broad-brush analysis, simply Google “helicopter parent.” You’ll find this is a whole new sociological field of research. A helicopter parent is a parent who hovers very close to his or her child all the way into adulthood. Human resource departments are now training their staff to negotiate not only with their employees but also with the parents of their employees. A very common trait in the employment process in the corporate world is that a parent turns up to an interview with his or her child, even though that child is in his or her mid-twenties, to help to negotiate the package for that child. This is so common that HR departments now have to do whole training seminars to deal with this reality.

A person who has been over parented to that extent is, in general, not standing up to the mature adult responsibilities that normally would be associated with the years of development between 20 and 30. As a result, that kind of maturation now doesn’t take place until between 30 and 40.

So the development of character and capacity is a huge responsibility. If you are largely working with young adults, know that the vast majority of these adults, even though they may look mature, don’t know how to tie their shoelaces. This is such a widespread feature in our society now that it behooves us, whenever we are thinking of bringing someone into leadership, to think through how we can assess that person’s character, capacity, the chemistry we might have with them on a team, and through those things, identify and endorse their calling.

If a person is joining a team and does not yet have the necessary character and capacity, I would suggest that your leadership pipeline recognizes that fact and trains people on such issues.

Multiplying Missional Leaders provides much more guidance on how to develop a leadership pipeline. Go to for more information on how to order.

If you want to investigate more, here’s another excerpt from Mike’s blog

UPDATE: And another excerpt.

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Everyone has a cause – but do they have a clue?

By Robert Neely

We live in a world that loves its causes – whether you’re having a tea party or occupying something.

The longing for a cause is especially pronounced among the millennial generation – those under 30. This generation is constantly pushing for social justice. If you don’t believe it, hang around some millenials and see how long it takes you to spot a pair of Toms.

The passion for causes in this generation is a great opportunity for those of us who lead students and young adults. It’s natural to help Christ followers funnel the desire to have a cause into a missional lifestyle. Obviously, leading millennials toward Kingdom mission is a great thing to do.

But it is not enough – and therein lies the challenge of leading a cause-driven generation. The challenge arises because it’s possible to have a cause without having a clue.

This happens in the church when we separate mission from discipleship. Mike Breen of 3DM writes about the why it’s a problem to have a missional cause without having a clue.

“Mission is under the umbrella of discipleship. It is one of the many things that Jesus taught his disciples to do well. But it wasn’t done in a vacuum. It didn’t happen outside of knowing Jesus and being shaped by that relationship in which a constant refinement of their character happened alongside of their continued skill development (which included mission).”

After reading this, you may be patting yourself on the back, because you are a leader with a clue. If that’s the case, celebrate it – but make sure that you haven’t lost all causes in the process.

Let’s use a matrix to help us better understand what happens when you have a cause or a clue but not both.

Obviously, if you have no cause and no clue, then you have a huge problem. But we also need to consider the problems that come when you have either a cause or a clue but not both. Let’s use Mike Breen’s descriptions (from the upcoming book Multiplying Missional Leaders) to explain what happens in each quadrant.

Cause but no clue: High mission/low discipleship church cultures have issues with Biblical literacy, theological reflection and deficiencies in character and creed that, in the end, sabotage the very mission they’re about. Critics are rightly concerned that these kinds of churches are a hair’s breath away from heresy, with people largely not experiencing the depth and transformation of heart and mind into which Jesus invites us.

Clue but no cause: High discipleship/low mission church cultures lack the adventurous spirit and heart of compassion and Kingdom compulsion that so stirred the Father into action that he sent his only Son to a world he so loved. Their transformation isn’t leading to the place God is taking them. Critics are rightly concerned that these kinds of churches will turn into Christian ghettos, creating people who lob truth bombs and create an “us vs. them” mentality.

A cause and a clue: A true discipling culture (as Jesus envisioned it) must have both discipleship and mission. It cannot live in either ditch. It’s not either/or; it’s both/and. We should never choose between depth and breadth; instead, we must embrace the tension of having and shaping both discipleship and mission in our communities and in our leaders.

This year, as we lead, let’s seek to become leaders who disciple followers to have both a cause and a clue.

As we do, we will see a generation’s love of a cause leveraged for mission as they get a clue by following the King.

For more on the tension between having a cause and having a clue, check out the upcoming Multiplying Missional Leaders book by Mike Breen and Doug Paul. 3DM will release Multiplying Missional Leaders later this spring. You can go here to find out how to be on the list when the book is released.


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