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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…

8 Comments

  1. Spot on, Drew.
    BTW, you may want to correct the two links to “Leading a Transformational Community.”

  2. Thanks Rob, links fixed.

  3. How can I get my hands on that “Divine Design Gifts Assessment test?”

  4. I believe you need permission from Phil Douglass at Covenant Theological Seminary. David Fairchild may be able to connect you. Darrin Patrick @ the Journey in St. Louis uses it too.

  5. Michael,

    Found the Divine Design Assessment materials here: http://www.journeyon.net/divine-design/

  6. The link above for the Journey takes you to a good, modified and scaled down version of what Douglass has – which is really quite good in itself. If you want to go a bit deeper into the material (several diagnostics for personality, spiritual and natural gift testing, material to reflect on for “possible” ministry desires, etc…), then contact Douglass at Covenant Theological Seminary.

    On another note – excellent post. Its encouraging to hear these concepts being implemented. Can’t wait to see what God does through this for you guys.

  7. Drew, this is great, great stuff. We are preparing to plant in Austin in 2008 and the equipping that you are moving into is putting words to thoughts that I have had.

    I look forward to hearing how things work out.

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