B.L.E.S.S. – How to Create a Missional Culture

2017 RightNow Conference Chicago


The mission of the Church is to make disciples of all nations. But what does it mean to live that mission out in everyday life? And how can church leaders motivate the local church to action? In this 38-minute session, Dave Ferguson outlines the principles of B.L.E.S.S. and gives seven ways church leaders can apply it in their contexts.

Dave Ferguson is the Lead Pastor of Community Christian Church, with 13 campuses in Chicago area; the founder of New Thing, a catalyst for movements of reproducing churches; and the president of Exponential, a community of leaders and a nationwide conference dedicated to accelerating church multiplication. He is also the author or co-author of three print books: The Big Idea, Exponential, and On the Verge, and two e-books: Keeping Score and Discover Your Mission Now



Dave began by sharing the story of his friend Michael. Michael felt like he was living two lives ever since a tragedy in grad school. Through his friendship with Dave, he met Jesus and experienced life change. 

How have you experienced the transformative power of Jesus in your life? How have you witnessed it in the lives of others?
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Dave walked through his church’s strategy for creating a missional movement. He said multiplying churches plus mobilizing people equals a missional movement. After evaluating each aspect of creating a missional movement, Dave and his church staff realized they needed to be better at mobilizing their people. 

How would you describe the mission of God? How do you work toward that mission on a daily basis?
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How does your church contribute to God’s mission? How would you say your church is doing in multiplying churches and mobilizing people? Why do you think that is?
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 Dave’s church saw that God chose to change the world through blessing. They came up with the acronym B.L.E.S.S. to equip their church members to bless others with the gospel.
  • Begin with prayer
  • Listen
  • Eat
  • Serve
  • Story

What parts of the B.L.E.S.S. approach are things you’re already doing? What could you incorporate into your life?
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What do you think would be the most challenging part about B.L.E.S.S. for you? Why?
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Dave then gave seven steps to incorporating B.L.E.S.S. into your church culture:
  1. Name it
  2. Brand it
  3. Do it
  4. Teach it
  5. Recognize it
  6. Annualize it
  7. Repeat it 

Even if B.L.E.S.S. isn’t something that could fit your church culture, the mission of the Church is still to make disciples—to mobilize people. What strategy do you have in place for mobilizing people for the mission of God? If you don’t have a strategy, what ideas do you have, based on Dave’s talk?
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Dave emphasized the importance of doing the work before asking others to follow in your steps. What’s difficult about putting something into practice for you? What are possible roadblocks in your way to living out these principles?
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What would it look like to teach through the principles of B.L.E.S.S. or something similar? 

How could mobilizing your people for the mission of God become an essential part of the culture of your church? How could you be involved in the process?
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What could you do to apply B.L.E.S.S. to your life this week?
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You, as a church leader, are a primary culture creator. You will reproduce who you are in your church. This week, take time to evaluate how your church is doing on reaching for the mission of God. Consider the B.L.E.S.S. principles as a way to live out the mission of God in your life. Pray for God’s guidance as you lead your church.


For more information about the RightNow Conference, or to find out how to attend next year’s event, visit rightnowconference.org