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Archive for the ‘Church – DNA’ Category

A reminder…

Our church – people like you – is here for a reason.

You could put it this way: we’re here in ________ for __________.

Those blanks are important because they follow you wherever you go.

Your neighborhood. Your workplace. Your campus. Your favorite place to hang out.

Go ahead – put those places and the people in those places in those blanks.

God has put you in those places for those places.

In for. N4.

Got it? Good. Now go and be N4.

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If you’re a member of Christ Church, I need your help with something.

First of all, I want you to understand that being a member means that you are an inventor…a creator…someone who spreads ideas like a virus. You didn’t join Christ Church to consume goods and services or to be dragged around by the decisions of other people. You got into this to add value and to help other people follow Jesus.

While we were getting feedback from other people who are part of Christ Church, we ran into several common problems that will keep people from showing up on Sundays at 5pm. Here’s where I need your help – as an inventor, I’m giving you a free pass to create new ideas to help people who can’t show up at 5pm for our gathering become people who can show up at 5pm for our gathering.

Here are the problems I need you to solve with your ideas:

  • ‘I work at 5:00’
  • ‘My little girl is still taking a nap at 5:00’
  • ‘Our kids have soccer games on Sunday afternoons’
  • ‘I have other things I need to do on campus (study group, intramurals, campus ministries)’
  • ‘This messes up our community group’

You can help by a) picking one of the problems above and b) creating a solution and sharing it below in the comments section. I can’t wait to see what you come up with – who knows, you might be changing someone’s life.

So maybe you’ve never thought of yourself as an inventor…a creator of great ideas. And the temptation is to not start now because you’re pretty sure your idea won’t be a good idea. Can I give you permission to create bad ideas? Because you’ll never create great ideas without a few duds along the way.

Now jump on this thing and create because this is what we do – we help other people figure out how to follow Jesus.

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‘This is the mark of an immature church: it’s all about me and not about [those who don’t know Jesus].’ – Mark Driscoll

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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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