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Month: August 2008

A Community Centered Gospel (Total Church Session 1)

Total Church Conference
Speaker: Steve Timmis
Session 1: A Community Centered Gospel

Total Church Session 1


Church planters don’t need a new shtick or new things. What we need is the gospel.

What is the Gospel? (Col. 1:3-6) The gospel is the word of truth that works. What does it do? It is constantly bearing fruit. It is the good news, the arrival of the Kingdom because of the arrival of the King. The evangelical emphasis has been on the individual. But where we (evangelicals) miss it most is in view of community. The ultimate goal of the gospel is an exalted Christ with his people. Christ without his people is incomplete.

What is the Church? Communities of light in a dying decaying world. The prevailing view of church is an event. If you doubt this, how many people hours are invested in that meeting? (Planning, sermon prep, worship practice, etc.) We know what we believe by how we behave. It is a static view of church vs. a dynamic view. Most of the recent debates on church center around what happens in this meeting (worship wars, preaching styles).

The church is a life together under the reign of the King. It is this corporate life together as a redeemed people pointing to the future. By our life together we are telling people, “this is what the future will look like.” If the event is what is pointing to the future, “God help us!” We should reverse engineer the future and set things up to line up with that now.

There are 630 laws and 3 events given by God. God was more concerned with the nitty gritty of life together. (eg. to build a small wall around a flat roof, how to harvest). Our gospel needs to be community centered.


Launch Video of Q/A Session

Q: The Historical church has been defined by preaching, discipline & the Sacraments. Are you moving away from these positions? Small quote from Steve’s answer: The way the vast majority of Christians celebrate communion has no bearing at all on how the New Testament portrays it.
Q: How do we facilitate creating communities sent into the ‘city’ versus ‘small groups’?
Q: How do you view the tension of the focus on the community in the OT and the focus on the individual in the NT?

NOTE: These are the videos and the notes I took from the first sessions. The video recordings and q/a recordings for all the sessions and audio from the breakouts will be uploaded in the next couple weeks to Church Bootcamp.

Update on Total Church Session Recordings

Our team is working on the 12 videos (6 main sessions and 6 main breakouts) and 10 audio sessions (breakouts) from the Total Church Conference. In the next few days I should be posting the first two main sessions for people to enjoy.

Missional Leader Curriculum

This weekend David Fairchild, Tim Chester, Steve Timmis, Jeff Vanderstelt, Caesar Kalinowski & Mark Moore and I head out of town Friday – Sunday to work on the The Porterbrook Network Curriculum to develop missional leaders. Looking forward to spending some time with this international crew. selected as a Church Alltop Site

Alltop. I don't know how I got there either.Venture capitalist/entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki and friends launched Alltop, “a categorically organized aggregate of the greatest information sources from across the web.” Huh? Kawasaki explains it this way: ‚ÄúWe help you explore your passions by collecting stories from ‚Äòall the top‚Äô sites on the web.‚Äù Recently a church Alltop category was created and somehow snuck in to the Church aggregation page. Go check out the site, it has a couple dozen other blogs (eg, Church Marketing Sucks, Ed Stetzer, Tall Skinny Kiwi, etc.) many of whom I follow.

Total Church Conference – 5 Spots Left

There are only 5 spots left until the Total Church Conference is sold out. Register now if you plan on attending.


The Hype of Social Networking and the Church

Lately I’m running across a number of companies that are building social networking sites targeted to the church market. A number that have set their sights at being the ‘church Facebook’. Yet, most of what is called ‘social networking’ is meaningless. They often offer me-too features that don’t add real value. For example, I’ve joined church-targeted community sites that allow their members to blog and even with hundreds of members, one site had three blog posts total. Or how many sites do I need to continue to add friends to? I believe a lot of the problem stems from trying to be all things to all people (a new Facebook or MySpace) or the lack of creative and difficult thinking around building for a specific community.

Zack Hubert a pastor at Mars Hill put it well when he spoke about a community network for Mars Hill that is “geared to build up a community of people and not the community of one.” This is right on. He goes on to say:

A social network is centered around the individual…my friends, my media, my blog, my connections, my thoughts, my experiences, my pictures, etc…whereas a Community Network is centered around the Community, groupings of people, real relationships forge the bonds, not imaginary ties that have aspirations to reality. My becomes our and I think that’s a significant change…

Churches who seek social networking should use existing mainstream sites. You should be missional using these social networks, go join an existing one like Facebook. In fact, you can become my friend at Facebook and I’ll join you. But I do believe there is plenty an online community can do to help promote the very activities that are central to being the church. Serving, community, mercy all facilitated by tools created to these specific needs. And it is because of this we will soon seek churches to use our beta of a Community Network from the people who brought you Ekklesia 360.

What do you think a Church Community Network should be?

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