Tools & Trainings E-NewsletterIssue 41 May 10, 2010
|Screwtape's 4 Easy Ways to Kill a Church Plant |
Ok, they are not from Screwtape, but they sure sound like they are.
1. Establish a "Come To" environment, instead of a "Go To"
Many church-starts begin by going to a new community, but
then set up a building for people "come to" in order to find God or Community or
... you fill in the blank. Going doesn't stop until we are staying in homes,
transforming individuals, families and communities. See Matthew 10, Luke 9, and
2. Make Converts, instead of Disciples.
are concerned with convincing people to believe like they do and adopt the
church's peculiar doctrine - making converts. A disciple is one who believes
like Jesus does and gives his or her life to be like Jesus and help others to
find Jesus and become like Him. Converts are about a brand of church or
denomination. Disciples are about obediently following the Master regardless of
No one wants our religion, or our style of worship, or our
doctrines. Almost everyone wants to be a follower of God, a disciple of Jesus
without the crud we have added in the modern church. Yes, there are some who
will come to our churches. What about the 80-90% who will never darken the door
of a traditional church? They will refuse to become converts. They may respond
to the becoming disciples of the Creator of the Universe.
Churches, instead of establishing new churches.
I am frequently asked to
consult with churches who are interested in starting new work. The first
question I ask is, "Are you interested in growing your church, or in reaching
your community for Christ?" Many people see these as the same. They are not.
Growing a church is about getting more people to come to the church. The reality
is that no single church appeals to even a miniscule part of society. Churches
have personalities, and these personalities click with only a few. So, if you
start out to simply grow a church, there is a limit to how many people can be
reached, simply because most people will have zero interest in the church.
On the other hand, if you start out to reach a community, regardless of
whether or not the new believers will come to any particular church, numerous
churches with just the right personalities for new believers will be initiated.
In the course of all these new groups being starting, the catalytic church or
churches will grow.
One can't reach a community by trying to grow a
church. But, if one reaches the community by all means available, the church
that does this will grow.
4. Teach stuff, instead of obedience to all
the commands of Christ.
One of the most misquoted and misunderstood
passages of the Bible is Matthew 28:18-20. Ask people, sometime, what this
passage tells us to teach. I think you will be surprised by the number of people
who will not say, "to obey." Most of our churches, and most of our doctrines,
are about teaching facts or knowledge about the Bible or theology or doctrine,
or our own particular brand of church.
We will not see significant
church planting until and unless we are willing to teach everyone to obey all
the commands of Christ, our Creator and God. How does one teach obedience? By
being consistently obedient in public and in private, in word and in thought.
Obedience is taught by an obedient life that supports daily life decisions from
the principles of God's Word regardless of the consequences. A faithful life is
an obedient life in all situations and circumstances regardless of the
consequences of being obedient.
The Great Commission is one commission
with four parts or commands. If any one of these commands is not obeyed, then
the commission is broken and will not produced the fruit that God intended -
obedient Disciples and Churches.
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples
went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they
saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and
said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go
and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I
have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the
By David L. Watson
|Upcoming Trainings- Organic Greenhouse |
@ H°yskolen for
Ledelse og Teologi
With Neil Cole & Dezi Baker
Details and Registration: Here
Check out: www.dawnnorge.no
Hamburg, Germany // Story 1
With Neil Cole & Dezi Baker
Details and Registration (in German): HERE
FL // Story 1
@ Northland Church
Early Bird Registration open now
Also a House2House Mini-Conference Friday June 11 with Tony & Felicity Dale!
Other Organic Church Learning Opportunities Click HERE for more Details and to Register
Trainings in the planning stages:
Dayton, OH // Story 1 & 2
Long Beach, CA // Story 1
Twin Cities, Minnesota// Story 1
Detroit, MI // Story 1
Canada, Kenya, maybe your city?
Tribal gathering in Bryne, Norway
A gathering of
churches and friends with a decentralized structure.
More information here or contact: Thomas Rake
July 12-15, 2010
Conference Center in Ridgecrest, NC
Neil Cole teaching a Lab on
Making Missional Disciples
Beginning the summer of 2010, Shapevine will be launching one of
the most unique training opportunities yet. The Missional Quest series
is a cohort based learning journey that will give you the opportunity to
join in a small group of like-minded sojourners with Deb Hirsch, Alan
Hirsch, Dan Kimball, Neil Cole, and others. More...
The Dirt on Organic Church...
and a Response from Neil Cole
In the spring
Leadership Journal, Brian Hofmeister
wrote an article titled "The Dirt on Organic." Hofmeister shared his experience
as the pastor of a network of small, minimally structured, churches. While he
celebrated the rich community and evangelistic vigor of his organic churches,
Hofmeister was also honest about the struggles he faced. In the end he left his
organic experiment for a more traditionally-structured church with paid fulltime
"I tried it; I started an organic church.
It began in my living room in 2005 with a small group of Milwaukee
20-somethings-most of whom wouldn't be caught dead in "church." Then I pitched
the idea of doing church where the rest of life happens: in living rooms,
kitchens, Starbucks bistros-anywhere solid conversations could take place. The
people grew, the group grew, the number of houses grew, and off I ventured into
the world of organic churches..."
Neil Cole, also a Leadership Journal contributor and author of Organic Church, has written a response to Hofmeister's
article which was posted on Leadership Journal's blog - "Out of Ur" today.
Organic Church (Part 1)
A diagnosis of Brian Hofmeister's problem with organic church.The issue Brian struggled with appears to be about finding qualified leaders
in a fast growing work with conversion growth. Every missionary must face this
and the solution is not to import seasoned leaders from other cultures into new
works and thus create an unhealthy dependency. This will result in the
establishing of a church culture rather than releasing a catalytic movement
within a culture. The solution is to grow leaders from within the soil itself.
Does this take time? Yes. It takes longer than a year. There are a few barriers
that often prevent us from raising these leaders, and Brian apparently hit these
barriers and chose not to continue.
Here is a diagnosis of the issues Hofmeister faced:
Recruitment of mature leaders. Recruitment of leaders for
ministry is an epidemic problem in the Western Church...Be part of the discussion about this article here