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Archive for the ‘Church as a Movement’ Category

Earlier this week, I was part of the Velocity Conference in Atlanta – here are some notes from Alan Hirsch’s session on ‘Missional Velocity’:

  • Missional is not just another cute buzz word–it changes everything about how we do church.
  • All communication of the gospel in the west is cross-cultural. We have to become cross-cultural missionaries.
  • Attractional churches work well to reach people who are not too far removed (culturally). When people get further away–it doesn’t work as well. Why? Because we are asking the individual to do the cross-cultural translation to come into the church (rather than us going to them).
  • Huge survey in Australia on people’s perception of…
    • God = HIGH marks
    • Jesus = HIGH marks
    • Spirituality = HIGH marks
    • Church = VERY LOW marks
  • The good news is that people give VERY high marks on God, Jesus and Spirituality. That is good news for us.
  • What has to change? The CHURCH as the delivery mechanism for the gospel MUST CHANGE.
  • The problem–90%+ of churches are trying to follow the contemporary, church-growth, attractional model that…at best…will only reach 40% of Americans.
  • The problems of the church cannot be solved by doing the same thing that got us into those problems.
  • The church that Jesus designed was meant for advance and attack–not defense!
  • Keep doing attractional. It works for 40%. It’s not an either/or. It’s a both/and. I’m interested in finding the AND!
  • Mission precedes the church. You do mission. The church is something that happens out of mission.
  • You plant the gospel. You don’t plant churches.

HT: Tim Stevens

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Asking (most) people to come with us to church is an unrealistic expectation:

Church is where we feel safe and comfortable. Church is where non-Christians feel embarassed and awkward. We offer people the gospel, but on our terms and on our territory. Put like this, it becomes clear that we must take the gospel – and indeed the church – out of our ghetto and into the world around us.

Steve Timmis and Tim Chester, The Gospel-Centred Church, 24-25.

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From Ben Connelly – talking about the recent Verge conference:

Here’s the point: “missional community” is not a “model” at all. It’s not a church structure. If it is, then it’s just another program, which it was very clear nobody wanted at the conference. If it’s not a model of church, what is it? It’s deeper than that: it’s a lifestyle.

Living as a community on mission is not a weekly event; it’s an everyday activity. It doesn’t start from a pastor preaching it to his church; it starts as individuals start to live it out and others catch on. It doesn’t mean that a church has to “blow up” its small group program; it means that we train our leaders what it looks like to live on everyday mission, and to see disciples being made.

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Jeff Vanderstelt at this year’s Verge conference:

“At Soma we act upon the assumption that every saint is a full-time paid staff member to do the work of ministry. It doesn’t matter whether the check we receive has our church’s name in the upper left hand corner, or Microsoft, Boeing, etc. Wherever the check comes from, it is God’s channel of bringing his resources into your life to enable you to do your full time ministry as God’s sent one.

A critical question we must ask is, ‘Have we structured so that everybody becomes a ‘carrier’ of Jesus and see all of life as the ministry they are called to?’ The most effective carrier of discipleship is not an event. It is doing life together.

No one gets equipped in meetings. We may get informed, motivated, etc., but equipping requires us to be doing, not just hearing. We must live life together in community or we cannot equip each other. How do we know if a man is faithful? (2 Tim. 2:2) We know that only if we are doing life together.

We do not put on a lot of events that extract people from life…instead we equip for life with one another. Unless we call people to focus on mission, they will ultimately become internalized and segregated from the world. We must reorient our whole lives around reaching out to people. Do whatever it takes to be a missionary to a particular people group.

When we started Soma, it was not about a big launch service. We launched people and commissioned them to start their own groups. Each leader has an apprentice. Those who lead small flocks well are those who become entrusted elders of the congregation.”

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Lots of conversations going on in the blogging world about mission – these have been helpful to me this week:

Scott Thomas reminds us that we can easily turn the church into a religious cushion. Recognize any of these at Christ Church?

  1. Resembles a retreat center,
  2. Functionally operates as a fellowship-driven and not mission-driven church,
  3. Consumer congregants demanding worship as a separate dish ordered aside from the mandate of making disciples,
  4. Preacher lacks the courage to confront the missional apathy of the church, and
  5. The church only does missions in far away lands.

I get asked this one all the time – what counts as missional living?

At the heart of mission is a life that approaches everyday realities with gospel intentionality – what could that look like for you? Or maybe this?

Is my community group living on mission?

I should be more missional – why am I not more missional?

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…and no, it has nothing to do with childcare.

Mistake #1: Reducing your group to a weekly event.

Mistake #2: Failure to live on mission together.

Solution: Build life and mission around ordinary life lived in community empowered by the gospel.

For more on this, check out this post by Tim Chester.

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This is so ridiculously simple…from Steven Furtick:

We enable experiences and interactions that leave our people saying:
I love my church

So they’ll tell their friends:
You’ve got to come check out my church

The friends come.
We worship Jesus and preach the Gospel with excellence.

The friends leave saying:
I really like this church

Inspiring them to come back again and again until they say:
I love my church

And tell their friends:
You’ve got to come check out my church…

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