Go ahead. Send the emails now. I recognize from the outset the danger of using the term "mythology" in this post because most of us equate the word "myth" with "a story that is not true." In the proper understanding of the word, however, a myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form. It is a story that gives meaning, perspective, and understanding to spiritual truths.
I'm finding more and more that mythology can often be a more powerful tool than methodology. Five years ago, when people asked me about our vision and goals for Ebenezers Coffeehouse, I would talk about evangelism and theology and how the coffeehouse model fit into our ecclesiology. Now, I just talk about the guy who came into the coffeehouse to get a drink, went downstairs to investigate the splashing noises he heard, witnessed his first ever baptism service, got plugged into NCC, and then found himself getting dunked at the next opportunity.
Five years ago, when people asked about our free market small group philosophy, I gave long detailed theological proofs for why that particular model fit our discipleship goals and cultural demographics. Today, I just share about how Mary Evans and Dennis Bourne gave kids free art classes that resulted in a benefit performance that raised money for an entire community...and brought families into our church.
One of the most important roles of the small group pastor is to be a keeper of the myths.
Don't get me wrong, the theology and the methodology are important. They are the foundation. But the mythology fuels the passions. The myth brings color and texture and context to the method. Don't underestimate the power of the myth. It may be the most important method you employ.