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Building a Church Movement of Gospel Centered Communities

I found the document posted below from years ago. It brought together a variety of resources and thoughts I and others have posted on leading Mission/Gospel Communities. It takes a lot of the writing/posts I did back in 2006-2008 on how Kaleo transitioned to Missional Communities. Some of these things looked great in theory, some worked and others are a work-in-progress.

It has been rewarding to hear of people over the years who have been influenced by some of these writings and the impact it has been to them. I have been blessed to hear some who were introduced to the MC-model through Goodmanson.com. I’m blessed to have been connected to people like David Fairchild, Jeff Vanderstelt, Caesar Kalinowski, Steve Timmis, Tim Chester, Mike Goheen and many others who shaped my thinking. Much of the thought has gone further than these ideas, and you can find them at the GCM Collective. The GCM Collective exists to promote, create and equip Gospel Communities on Mission. Today the GCM Collective is the largest organized community of missional leaders in the world.

For those who’d like to grab this pdf (see below), here’s an outline of some of what it covers:

OUTLINE
The Values of a Gospel-Centered Missional Community
Forms of Expressing the Church
– Triperspectival Ecclesiology
Elders
– Plurality of Elders & First Amongst Equals
– Leading a Decentralized Movement
– Missional Eldership
– Leading a Movement not an Institution
The Community
– The Gospel work in Community
– Missional Leaders in Community
– Leadership Development in Community
>> Missional Community Leaders
>> Deacons/Servants
>> Counselors
– Missional Community Leader Assessment Interview
Multiplying Missional Communities
Organic Movement – Reverse Church Planting

Download: (Sample of some of the pages, full pdf is 34 pages long)

Hope this is helpful! One day I wanted to take this, edit it, update it and create a e-book of sorts. Here’s a sample of a graphic from the pdf:

The Permanent Revolution: The Need

Alan Hirsch argues that the church is in need to return back to the state of a permanent revolution. Christianity has become a civil religion that has lost it’s vibrancy (p 26) and moved from the apostolic people-movement Jesus created. We are entering into a season where increasingly there is organizational doubt about how we organize. See image:

As Hirsch states, “We very much believe our message but we can’t seem to deliver it as effectively as we used to, and we feel bad about it.” Unless we address these doubts, Hirsch argues that the church will continue to move to increasing doubt beyond operations to the very message itself. The issue is one of needing new wine skins. Most churches will be unable to see this need because they are within the system and suffer from “paradigm blindness”. Yet, if we don’t change we will move into deeper organizational complacency (p 36) and settle into a civil religion. The argument presented is we need to rethink two major functions, first seeing the church as an apostolic movement and secondly, seeing the need for apostolic leadership to create missional movements, that is churches that express themselves in a local context, in a city, in a region and in the World.

Have we moved into a period of operational doubt? The ‘modern’ church has been under increasing attack of late. This is the church that has flourished in a time where programs, systems and attractional woo brought many into it’s doors, even baptizing them. The question may not be the right way to approach this. One of the things that we decided at Kaleo was, “What is the best way to see the gospel flourish in our community?” It was at this time we moved from a Sunday as the primary gathering mentality to seeing Missional Communities as the organizing principle within our church. Now, we made a lot of mistakes in leading our people through this process, which I can share plenty about. This need reminded me of a session I did at the GCA Church Planting Conference in 2007 on Communication in Our Post-Christian World, where I discussed three trends that increasingly will impact the church:

1. The Cultural Shift we are Experiencing will Change Paradigms. Gen X is over 40 years old now and in positions of power and change. The postmodern view is becoming more dominant and central as the generational shift occurs. Or one of my favorite quotes from Peter Drucker in The Post Capitalist Society, [1993; page 1] says: “Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation …. within a few short decades, society rearranges itself – its worldview, its basic values, its social and political structure, its arts, its key institutions. Fifty years later, there is a new world. And the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived, and into which their own parents were born. We are currently living through just such a transformation.”
2. Christendom is increasingly moving to the Fringes. Hirsch and the above quotes discuss this further.
3. More People in our Communities will have a Gospel Inoculation. People have heard enough about Jesus to think, I don’t know what God if any I believe in but I don’t believe in that god. Sadly, these people typically haven’t seen what it means to be a Christian.

Are you feeling these changes? How is your church addressing the shift?

The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church

I’ve just begun The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church and to say I’m excited about it is an understatement. (The book is scheduled to be released February 28th, 2012, you can pre-order it now). There are a number of reasons why this book is timely and valuable for me:

(1) I’ve felt as we sought to sought to transition Kaleo Church (and for reference, I’m going to speak about Kaleo Church Linda Vista, not the other church plants that came from KLV) that there was something missing, a DNA that wasn’t being transferred to catalyze groups to mission. Further, I see many churches who are making the transition experience the same thing. They are starting small groups but giving them the name ‘missional community’ when in fact they are not.

(2) Secondly, I know a number of people who I see as apostolic (as defined by Hirsch). Often these people don’t feel connected to a local church because with its forms and functions they don’t know how they fit in. The existing church paradigm and church structures don’t know how to handle these people. So these apostolic leaders tend to pioneer relationships and begin to gather people. Unfortunately, because they are ‘mess-makers’ (my term) they can catalyze but without others they miss the fuller missional embodiment of the church to lost people.

(2) Lastly, in the last year or so my wife and I asked the question: What would it look like to pioneer a new work working under the submission of the local Kaleo elders? (In April 2011 I asked to be released from being an elder at Kaleo because I felt called to this endeavor.) We are early on but already we have seen God do amazing things and we hope to disciple Christians toward the mess this type of work brings. Thinking through what this looks like birthed out of the local church is something I’m excited to experience first hand.

So I hope to reflect, interact and challenge ideas from The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church in the weeks and months ahead. The book is nearly 450 pages so it may take some time to process. I’m almost done reading it for a first time but hope to circle back to a blog series on ideas that strike me so stay tuned!

GCM Conference Collective Experience

Are you attending the 2011 GCM Conference? If so, join us for the pre-conference Collective Experience:

Join other Missional Leaders from across the country to serve as a form of “advisory board” while at the conference. In this pre-conference you will experience peer-learning; what others are doing, what is working, what they are learning and how they have dealt with similar challenges you currently face.

What happens at the conference? Key to the Collectives success is the relationship between the people. At the conference you will attend a pre-conference reception to meet, greet, eat and begin to engage with a group of missional leaders. While you go through the conference we will encourage time for your Collective to connect and process learnings together.

What happens after the conference? Each Collective will be given a private group within the GCM Collective Community website for you to dig deeper with your peers and share best practices, successes and challenges going forward together. During the post-conference reception we will share suggestions and our recommendations, but ultimately you determine how you would like to interact after the conference.

The goal is for you to be able to share experiences, resources and support to assist you in the ongoing mission God has called you to in your city.

Gospel Communities on Mission Conference

Attend the annual Gospel Communities on Mission Conference in Huntsville, AL. September 14-16, 2011

The GCM Collective hosts our inaugural conference focused on the three vital components of effective ministry today: Gospel, Community and Mission.

You will get to hear from, meet and interact with leaders who are daily practitioners, living in gospel communities on mission in their cities. This is a unique experience that will present the why, what and how-to of starting, leading and multiplying missional communities. Interactive plenary sessions, breakouts and unique training experiences will fill our days both on-site and off.

Big church, small church, multi-site or neighborhood…this event is for every church that seeks to effectively expand the gospel in their context.

Speakers:, Steve Timmis, Jeff Vanderstelt, Caesar Kalinowski, David Fairchild, Drew Goodmanson and Jonathan Dodson.

Early Bird rate ($59) for GCM Collective conference ends Thursday,June 30! Dont miss it!! http://j.mp/iuyGlf

Kaleo Church seeks a Preaching Elder in San Diego, CA

Kaleo Church seeks a preaching pastor/elder to join our team in San Diego, CA. We seek someone who is fluent in the gospel and understands how the gospel is more than the entry into the Christian faith but the very way we grow. Secondly, we seek someone who sees how the gospel forms a community. This person will participate throughout the week in the life of the community where we see being the church as more than an event on Sunday or mid-week. Lastly, we seek someone who has a heart for unbelievers and missional living. This person will agree with the shared values of a missional church community, posted here: http://www.goodmanson.com/church/shared-values-of-missional-church-communities/

The ideal preaching elder will be a gifted communicator of gospel-centered messages and desire shared leadership even though they would be the only paid elder. Further this person will have the ability to develop leaders throughout the community and disciple existing and future missional community leaders at Kaleo Linda Vista Church.

Kaleo is a church planting movement with three local churches in San Diego, CA and is part of Acts 29 Network as well as connected to Soma Communities in Tacoma, WA.

Interested applicants please fill this short form of interest out for the Preaching Elder role.

Hawaiian Islands Ministries Honolulu 2011 Conference

Hawaiian Islands Ministry Honolulu March 24-26, 2011 | Hawaii Convention Center –

Join me, I will be presenting 3 sessions:

A Look into the Near and Distant Future of Online Ministry
In this session leaders will learn how to develop web strategy to address a ministries’ needs. Learn what is on the horizon that will impact your ministry. This session is designed for strategic leaders regardless of their technological level of understanding. In this session participants will 1) learn how to plan for an effective ministry online strategy, 2) explore key emerging technologies that will impact their ministry and 3) hear how cutting edge organizations are implementing revolutionary practices today.

Websites/Social Media and Your Church
In this session you will get behind the scene access to the real world results of several church web strategies. We’ll look at the church website, social media involvement, mobile, content creation and more to see what is really happening. How effective are they? What are the best practices or common mistakes a church makes? This valuable session will equip you with practical insight, best practices & strategies that your church can implement whether you are an online expert or a beginner.

Forming Missional Communities
In this session you will learn how to build “Missional Communities.” We will discuss how churches have planted or transitioned to include living as a community of people who are united around a common, local mission. Also, how these communities are local expressions of Jesus and his church in the world, living out the gospel in all ways. Learn from one of the founders of the GCM Collective (Gospel Community Mission) about how these movements are changing cities and reaching the lost.

Mission: More than a Slogan

Join us for Mission: More than a Slogan

This conference is intended to help planters, pastors, and leaders better navigate through the minefield of competing missional ideas while remaining faithful to the rich story-line of the bible.

Over the last 20 years churches have shown a growing interest in God’s mission through his church. This encouraging trajectory is not without its challenges. As the church explores and adopts a more missional posture, there is a growing discomfort that these practices have become another pragmatic growth strategy. Sadly, the term “missional church” is more commonly used as a slogan to indicate a trendy way of doing ministry rather than a deeply understood narrative running through Genesis to Revelation.

How can the church encourage its missional identity in a biblically faithful way? What are the unique contemporary challenges the church must grapple with? What biblical and missional history can we glean from? What influence does the emergent church literature have in shaping our missional understanding and practice? What idols must we avoid and what truths can we turn to so that our practices are arrived at through deep biblical reflection? These questions and more will be the focus of our time together.

Schedule

Friday, March 11

9:10a: Greetings
9:15a: Worship
9:30a: S1-Our Missional God: His Church in the World
11:00a: R1-Reflection Questions & Discussion

12:00p: Lunch

1:30p: S2-Our Missional Movement: Gathered and Scattered
3:00p: R2-Reflection Questions & Discussion
4:30p: Worship

Saturday, March 12

9:15a: Worship
9:30a: S3-Our Missions: The Church’s Horizon
11:00a: R3-Reflection Questions & Discussion

12:00p: Lunch

1:30p: S4-Our Missionary Encounter: Culture
3:00p: R4-Reflection Questions & Discussion
4:30p: Worship and Wrap-up

More details here at ChurchBootcamp.

GCM Collective Update

It’s been great to see the online community of GCM Collective grow to over 1,500 missional thinkers and over 10,000 people signed up on the mailing list. For those of you not involved here is a taste of what is going on:

Instead of doing a National Conference, we held GCM Everyday Austin 2010 a local conference that gathered over 300 missional thinkers in Austin.  Our desire was  to not have people fly from around the country, pay for hotels and the like, when we can host these GCM Everday’s in cities near you.

1. To help us plan where we host these, please put the city you are in under your Profile (if you haven’t already) so we can strategically plan these trainings. To edit your profile, click on profile on the sidebar under the “Hi, your name”.

2. To share some of these resources, we’ve created a new group called GCM Everyday Training.  Go to http://gcm.cobblestonecn.com/group/browse/ to find this group & join.  All the resources are an “open source” collection created by all of us in the www.gcmcollective.com. Feel free to take these resources and tweak them for personal use:

  • Gospel Fluency – Jeff Vanderstelt
  • 3 Marks of Gospel Community Formation
  • 3 Steps for Gospel Community Multiplication
  • Missional Community Leader Checklist

Lastly, join in the conversation.  Recent topics include:  [To participate you must sign-up at http://www.gcmcollective.com/community/ ]

and many more! Remember, to participate you must sign-up at http://www.gcmcollective.com/community/

Total Church 2.0 Conference Audio

The Total Church 2.0 Conference: I Will Build My Church audio is up. This was our second Total Church Conference and it took much of what we discussed in the first Total Church conference and tried to move it forward to see what it looks like to live in Jesus community on Jesus mission motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Kingdom.

Main Session 1: The Cross and the Missional Church (coming soon) Michael Goheen
The crucifixion has often been interpreted simply in terms of its benefits for individual people. While true, this is inadequate. When the cross is placed in the context of the literary structure of the gospels and in the context of the whole biblical story, the cross has cosmic and ecclesiological significance. This talk will unfold the cosmic scope, communal significance, and the transforming power of the cross, all of which produce a missional people.

Main Session 2: The Significance of the Cross and Resurrection for a Missional Church (Part 1) Michael Goheen
The crucifixion has often been interpreted simply in terms of its benefits for individual people. While true, this is inadequate. When the cross is placed in the context of the literary structure of the gospels and in the context of the whole biblical story, the cross has cosmic and ecclesiological significance. This talk unfolds the cosmic scope, communal significance, and the transforming power of the cross, all of which produce a missional people. Like the cross, the resurrection has often been shorn of its ecclesiological and missional implications. The resurrection stands at the centre of history with cosmic and communal significance, and this lecture also opens this up with an eye to its missional importance.

Main Session 3: The Significance of the Cross and Resurrection for a Missional Church (Part 2) Michael Goheen
The crucifixion has often been interpreted simply in terms of its benefits for individual people. While true, this is inadequate. When the cross is placed in the context of the literary structure of the gospels and in the context of the whole biblical story, the cross has cosmic and ecclesiological significance. This talk unfolds the cosmic scope, communal significance, and the transforming power of the cross, all of which produce a missional people. Like the cross, the resurrection has often been shorn of its ecclesiological and missional implications. The resurrection stands at the centre of history with cosmic and communal significance, and this lecture also opens this up with an eye to its missional importance.

Main Session 4: A Phenomenal Dependency Steve Timmis
The church wasn’t some idea that emerged out of Paul’s missionary journeys. Jesus came to create a new stand-out community that would model to the world what it actually looked like when Jesus ruled. When we read his manifesto known as the Sermon on the Mount, we see that it was (and is) something altogether phenomenal. In these sessions, we take a close look at just what it means to be the people of God.

Main Session 5 : The Commissioning of the Risen Christ: Defining Our Identity Michael Goheen
All the gospels end with a commissioning by the resurrected Lord. Often these commissions are interpreted as sending individuals to do evangelistic or mission work. Yet these are words that define the church in terms of its identity and its role in the biblical drama. This session opens up these comissions in terms of the way they define a missional community.

Main Session 6: A Phenomenal Obedience Steve Timmis
The church wasn’t some idea that emerged out of Paul’s missionary journeys. Jesus came to create a new stand-out community that would model to the world what it actually looked like when Jesus ruled. When we read his manifesto known as the Sermon on the Mount, we see that it was (and is) something altogether phenomenal. In these sessions, we take a close look at just what it means to be the people of God.

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