Tools & Trainings  for  Organic Church Movements  
Issue No. 21                                                                                          12.22.08 


We pray that you and yours have a delightful Christmas this year!  It is our privilege to walk along with such heroes of the faith. Men, women and children who are taking the Gospel and the Church to their pockets of people and seeing churches birth.

 Continue to empower people of purpose to walk forward into darkness bringing The Great Light. 

"the people living in darkness
      have seen a great light;
   on those living in the land of the shadow of death
      a light has dawned."
Matthew 4:16

 We are proud to be with you on this journey.  Thanks for all you are. 

May Jesus richly bless you as you grow in Him this season.

Church Multiplication Associates
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Memphis, TN  
//   Story 1
January 16-18, 2009
@ The Snowden House
Early Bird Ends Dec 28

Long Beach, CA   //  Story 1
February 19-21, 2009
As a Workshop Track at CMA's Organic Leadership Conference

Iowa City, IA  //  Story 1
March 6-8, 2009

Seattle, WA  //  Story 1
March 27-29, 2009

Trainings in the planning stages for 2009
  • Atlanta, GA // Story 1 
  • Dayton, OH // Story 1
  • Phoenix, AZ // Story 1 
  • San Diego, CA  //  Story 1
  • Mobile, AL // Story 1  
  • Chicago, IL // Story 2


February 19-21, 2009 Organic Leadership - CMA Conference 2009
Long Beach, CA @ The Grand >

NEW INFO on discounted lodging, speakers HERE

Student CPx

Student Church Planting Experience
Friday, January 16 - 7pm -- Monday, January 19 - 10am
University of Nevada - Las Vegas

Exponential Conference 09

Featured Resources

ReJesus coverReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church.
by Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch

Just Released!

"How has it come about that the development of Christianity and the church has given birth to a society, a civilization, a culture that are completely opposite to what we read in the Bible, to what is indisputably the text of the law, the prophets, Jesus and Paul?" So adduces Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch from the introduction of their newest book citing philosopher Jacques Ellul.

In ReJesus, Frost & Hirsch examine the practice of everyday Christian spirituality and ultimately ask if what we practice today is what Jesus passed down to his first century followers. The authors note that many institutionalized forms of Christianity have traded the radical way of Jesus for the stability of outward religious expression. Frost & Hirsch issue a call to the church, therefore, to refocus its spiritual practice upon the true Author and Foundation of our faith.

Way of JesusThe Way of Jesus: A Journey of Freedom for Pilgrims and Wanderers
by Jonathan and Jennifer Campbell

The Way of Jesus is written for those on a journey-from spiritual sojourners to religious refugees. With a focus on our yearning for the Spirit and spirituality, this book opens pathways for experiencing the powerful simplicity in the life and Way of Jesus. All journeys are spiritual by nature, even if we can't always see the full picture of where God is leading us or why He is leading us there.

>>To Order Click HERE

Exiles coverExiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture
by Michael Frost

Exiles presents a biblical, Christian worldview for the people who are not at home in the traditional church or in the secular world. As exiles of both, they must create their own worldview that integrates their Christian beliefs with the contemporary world. Exiles seeks to integrate all aspects of life and decision-making and to develop the characteristics of a Christian life lived intentionally within emerging (postmodern) culture. It presents a plea for a dynamic, life-affirming, robust Christian faith that can be lived successfully in the post-Christian world of twenty-first century Western society. This book will present a Christian lifestyle that can be lived in non-religious categories and be attractive to not-yet Christians.

>>To Order Click HERE

Meaning coverThe Meaning of Life
by James Rutz

Have you ever wondered what you are doing here on earth? Have you ever felt as if you were meant to fulfill great things, but never quite grasped what they were or how to accomplish them? Have you ever suspected that you were meant to live life on a grander scale than you do now? With more freedom? And far more power? Have you ever wished you could experience the actual presence of God from time to time?

The reason you are here is much bigger than you think and The Meaning of Life is designed to help you realize the awesome capabilities God has for you to become greater than you ever dreamed. However, if you keep pretending that the universe should be nice to you, you will never understand the meaning of life.

Featured Article

Dan Kimball's Missional Misgivings and Ensuing Conversations
from Leadership Journal

In the last month, there has been a buzz around the cyberworld because of Dan Kimball's question, "Where's the fruit?" in the newest issue of Leadership Journal.  Incidentally, several of our folks get time in there--Neil Cole, Alan Hirsch and Kevin Rains--making it a pretty interesting issue.  At the end of the magazine, is Kimball's editorial "Missional Misgivings." Here's an excerpt:

I hope I am wrong. For the past few years, I have been observing, listening, and asking questions about the missional movement. I have a suspicion that the missional model has not yet proven itself beyond the level of theory. Again, I hope I am wrong.

We all agree with the theory of being a community of God that defines and organizes itself around the purpose of being an agent of God's mission in the world. But the missional conversation often goes a step further by dismissing the "attractional" model of church as ineffective. Some say that creating better programs, preaching, and worship services so people "come to us" isn't going to cut it anymore. But here's my dilemma - I see no evidence to verify this claim...
Click here to read the rest of Kimball's article, published on 11/26/08 on Out of Ur

There have been responses  from practitioners of organic church and we will list a few here:

Dr. Traver Dougherty in his Dec 8 TidBits for Organic Churches commented:

"On the one hand, I think it's a reasonable question. After all, I can't honestly say there's so many organic church expressions in my community there's too many to count. On the other hand, I think looking for fruit prematurely is a mistake, too. Although some organic church "networks" have blossomed, most are still buds, waiting to mature.

One of the things we have to admit as a movement is that "going gangbusters" probably wouldn't be the adjective of choice to describe our growth rate. If we're talking about the majority world (the new way to describe "third world countries"), then possibly. But in the U.S.? No, gangbusters is not the word. Words I'd use to describe the growth of our movement are these: slow-going, gaining momentum.
At the same time, if I were to pick adjectives to describe our fruit, I'd pick: faithful, pleasing to God, and highly reproducable.
I think this is something to remember: just because we're excited about what we're doing doesn't mean we have to oversell our "version" of church to conventional church practitioners. Do I think organic church is the way to go? Absolutely. But the whole thing's sort of like having a baby. The result is really good, but to suggest the delivery process is "fast" and "clean" would be lying.
Imagine saying to a woman who's been having contractions for an hour or so, "Where's the baby? I should see a baby by now." On second thought, don't do that.
Things take time to reach a "tipping point" and as far as I can tell the organic church movement in the U.S. is still being "delivered." It's a slow process and can be messy. In the mean time, let's metaphorically chew lots of ice and try not to say (or think) mean things to those who are looking for us to push harder. What's more, let's rejoice with those movements that have already delivered. Their success is a blessing and we can praise God for it.

One of Alan Hirsch's points in dialogue on the Out of Ur blog:

* If we persist with our standard measurements for mission, we will miss the point. The issue is what idea of church is more faithful to the Scriptures. Genuine fruitfulness, surely, cannot simply be measured by numbers but by 'making disciples.' How does one measure that? By all accounts, current churches are made up largely of admirers of Jesus but few genuine disciples/followers-this is not a biblical idea of fruitfulness!   
See the whole conversation here

Neil Cole responded with 6 articles on his blog

Dan asked several important questions about the missional church movement. He seemed to imply that house churches were missional churches. In the next few entries I intend to respond to Dan's remarks. This is just the first one...

Misguided Misgivings  1: A Response to Dan Kimball's Editorial Comments

Misguided Misgivings 2: The Walmart Effect

Misguided Misgivings 3: Bigger isn't Better

Misguided Misgivings 4: Do the math

Misguided Misgivings 5: A cost too high

Misguided Misgivings 6: Here is some fruit...

We wanted to communicate these things out to all you folks in the movement not to polarize or to take shots at those who might be critical, but to make you aware of the conversation and encourage you to look honestly and openly at the questions.   Be discerning and contribute to the conversation if the Lord prompts you in such a manner.

 Also we trust that you are encouraged by this conversation, that "fruitfulness" is the big question.  A worthy question for sure!  And we think that Neil's last post can be quite encouraging for those who are part of the CMA family.