Unlocking Value for Entrepreneurs

Month: October 2007

A Day in the Life of a Church Planting Movement

I haven't posted in a while, but wanted to share some of what is going on:

 Total Church Conference – Monday, David and I leave to England to participate in this conference.  We will be joined by kindred-spirits from Acts 29, including Jeff at Soma Community in Tacoma and James and team at Providence in Dallas.  (All of us are doing multi-site, multi-congregational missional movements).  You can read more about the Crowded House Values that shaped the concept of Total Church.  Or here is a quick summary from one of the authors, Tim Chester:

Two key principles should shape church life: gospel and community. Christians are called to a dual fidelity: fidelity to the core content of the gospel and fidelity to the primary context of a believing community. Whether we are thinking about evangelism, social involvement, pastoral care, apologetics, discipleship or teaching, the content is consistently the Christian gospel and the context is consistently the Christian community. What we do is always defined by the gospel and the context is always our belonging in the church. Our identity as Christians is defined by the gospel and the community.

While we are there we will be staying in the homes of people in the community.  I may be able to bring back a handful of copies of the book since I don't know if it has been released in the US yet.

Global Church Advancement (GCA) invited me back to do a couple sessions at their North America Church Planting Conference in Orlando, FL: January 28 – February 1, 2008. The North America Church Planting Conference is an inter-denominational training event designed to equip church planters, coaches and supervisors to start, grow and multiply healthy, gospel-centered churches that result in the spiritual, social and cultural transformation of entire cities and regions. Christian leaders from more than 30 countries, representing over 100 denominations and mission agencies, have taken this church planter training.

National New Church Conference (NNCC) Todd Wilson informed me there will be sessions on city transformation.  City transformation is something I've been very excited about.  Don't just plant a church or start a movement, change a city.   Plus, I'd love to hear Keller & Hirsch who both are main speakers.

Bob Roberts (GlocalNet & Vision 360 ) is flying into San Diego and I will be picking him up on the 11/8.  I look forward to spending some time with him.  He is one of the nations leading church planters and I would like to learn more from his experience as he engages his city and plants churches.

David and I continue to meet with the team from Strategic Focused Cities.  The Southern Baptists have selected San Diego as next on the list.  In addition, we have met with the local Vision 360 guy, where they are beginning to raise funding and seek to support, asess and fund church planters.

It's been a busy season with the city transformation movement we are starting called Re:Novo City Group.  A big piece of this initially is our Tentmaker concept.  We've trained four classes of Tentmakers, with our fifth shaping to occur in early November. I'd estimate 50+ people will be trained by the end of this year.

Lastly, Monk Development continues to expand our Ekklesia 360 Church/Ministry CMS.  Monk is now opening an office in South Africa for international sales, support and development.  I hope to make a trip there next Fall to meet with our new team.  

The Church as Movement – Organizing Decentralization

church-as-movement.gif How do you lead a church as movement rather than a program-centered church? While most churches have a centralized program-oriented approach to ministry, we continue to explore how to be a decentralized church.  Why?  We want to transform our city and believe a centralized church is inadequate to address the challenge (read Leading a Transformational Community).  

How do we examine our ecclesiology and organize the church for decentralized movement?  We see the church as corporation, cause & community.  (You can read more about this at Leading a Transformational Community and Leading a Movement Not an Institution.)  Staff should be focused primarily on corporation issues.  We want ministry/outreach to come from and by the people of the church.  Here is how we plan to proceed:

equiping-for-movement.gif First, we are going to ask that people pray about their calling.  (Kaleo recently preached a 3-part series on calling Kingdom, Calling, Suffering, Transformissional Calling & Transformissional Calling Part II)  A sense of calling is a critical element to address the postmodern apathy of today.

Second we are asking people to learn more about their gifting.  For our church we will have people fill out a Divine Design Gifts Assessment test created by Phil Douglass at Covenant Theological Seminary.  David Fairchild took it recently and it's a pretty elaborate gifts assessment test primarily used by people in seminary. 

Lastly, we are creating an equipping/mentor development program.  Ministry and outreach should be driven by the people of the church.  Inasmuch as people are being transformed by the gospel they will engage in outreach & ministry. (We believe You Can’t Program the Gospel.)  At Kaleo as people come up with ideas, they will propose these.  We will evaluate the ministry idea and provide guidance to ensure it fits our gospel/city transformation vision.  In addition, we will gather information to help hold people accountable whether it is an ongoing ministry or one-time event.  We also will assess the person to help understand how to best equip them and pair them with a mentor. This mentor will help them with vision/theology (normative), gospel encouragement/motivation (existential) and/or practical wisdom/coaching/resourcing (situational) as necessary.  Our goal is to train many of our missional community leaders & deacons to provide this ongoing relationship.  Elders will assist but will primarily focus on discipling people in the area of their calling/ministry. 

This means most of our leaders should be externally focused.  The leaders of the church should either (1) coach people in the church who feel called to engage in a new ministry.  Or (2) lead people by calling them to participate in active ministry areas. 

Our goal is to launch this in November.  People at Kaleo who want to participate would pray about calling and fill out the gift assessment in the month of October.  In early November we would unpack the gift test and explain the process to start new ministries.  Also in November we would hold a training for the mentors.  More to come…

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