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.