CMA LogoTools & Trainings E-Newsletter
Issue 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" environment.

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 Luke 10.

2. Make Converts, instead of Disciples.

Most churches 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 consequences.

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.

3. Grow 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 age." (NIV)

By David L. Watson

Upcoming Trainings- Organic Greenhouse

Greenhouse Story 1Oslo, Norway
May 10-11
@ H°yskolen for Ledelse og Teologi
With Neil Cole & Dezi Baker
Details and Registration: Here
Check out:

Hamburg, Germany // Story 1
May 28-29
With Neil Cole & Dezi Baker
Details and Registration (in German): HERE
Greenhouse Story 2

Orlando, FL // Story 1
@ Northland Church
June 11-13
Early Bird Registration open now

Also a House2House Mini-Conference Friday June 11 with Tony & Felicity Dale!

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?

Other Organic Church Learning Opportunities

Tribal gathering in Bryne, Norway
May 12-16
A gathering of churches and friends with a decentralized structure.
More information here or contact: Thomas Rake

July 12-15, 2010

Ridgecrest 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...
Featured Resources

An Army of Ordinary PeopleAn Army of Ordinary People: Stories of Real-Life Men and Women Simply Being the Church | Updated Version
By Felicity Dale
An Army of Ordinary People contains the key to explosive, transformational, 21st century evangelism. Renowned church planter Felicity Dale shares stories of how God has always used-and is still using-ordinary believers to carry out his work in simple ways throughout the world.

UntamedUntamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship
By Alan and Debra Hirsch

Discipleship is costly. Are we willing to critique and even challenge much we've been taught for the sake of the kingdom? For this is the radical nature of the discipleship to which Jesus calls us. He did not allow the outside culture to hold him captive; instead he established the kingdom of God and turned the world on its head. Jesus was untamed, and he calls his church to be the same.

For the whole list of resources on Sale >> click HERE

Find us on Facebook                          Follow us on Twitter     @CMAResources

FREE Videos in the Articles Section of our website:

What is Simple Church? by Aaron Snow at SCPx (Student Church Planting Experience

The Great Commission

Search & Rescue Presentation by Neil Cole

Being Present with the City with Alan Hirsch, Shane Claiborne, & Neil Cole Video
(Workshop from Exponential with The!deaCamp)

What is a Church Planting Movement? by Jaeson Ma

Online Map of Organic Churches and Networks

Check it out here and add your group!

Featured Article The Dirt on Organic

The Dirt on Organic Church...
and a Response from Neil Cole

In the spring issue of  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 pastors.

"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.

Defending 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

E-newsletter Archives