Church 

How is a church on mission organised?

I’ve long been helped, inspired and encouraged by the teaching of Jeff Vanderstelt. I must have saved about 30 articles that I went through yesterday as I thought through being a church on mission. Although I’ve already collected a guide to missional communities (purpose, reasons, rhythms and marks) I think there is so much good material here worth considering. So here are some key questions and answers to this particular way of building and being church. What is a missional community? Missional communities are actually a response to a different question. What does it…

Read More
Church 

The art, not science, of multiplication

My friend Brad Watson has recently written a series of helpful articles on the craft of multiplication. It is a craft, it takes effort and work and is not an automatic or automated process. He begins with 5 ways to create a multiplying culture Start with thriving communities that make disciples Expect to participate & send globally Praying, worshipping & fasting is the fuel for sending Prepare & plan to send your best The community gives itself. It is never the same. Then he takes a look at the arithmetic of multiplication with…

Read More
Church 

The key to missional communities is the mission

The clue really is in the name. A Bible study is supposed to do just that – study the Bible. A prayer group is supposed to pray, a fellowship group is supposed to have fellowship and a missional community is supposed to have a mission. It might do all of the other things, study, pray, fellowship but it’s reason for being is the mission. In this brief video Rich Robinson of 3DM Europe outlines why this must be so. There are three main ways of trying to find your mission. A neighbourhood…

Read More
Reviews 

Book Review: Saturate

Making disciples has always been the mission of the church yet today it sometimes seems as if we have a discipleship crisis. A number of factors have given rise to this – churches that treat members as consumers or worse customers, Christians that seem unchanged by their conversion or overwhelmed by modern life and all this set against the backdrop of a dramatic loss of faith in traditionally Christian societies. By contrast in other parts of the world, the church is not only growing but positively booming as disciples make disciples in…

Read More
Church 

A brief guide to missional communities

As a church, we’re working on building the church through missional communities. They’re a bit like small groups, they’re a bit like house churches but aren’t really either. There’s already movements, networks, conferences, books about how to be missional and leading, starting and multiplying missional communities. So why have we decided on missional communities? There are three main reasons that have stuck with me: community, mission & discipleship. I believe that the primary image the scriptures give us for the church is family, the primary purpose of the church is to…

Read More

Book Review: Creating Community

North Point Community Church is, I’m told, a big church. I confess I know very little about them, what they believe or don’t believe.  However they do have a strong focus on small groups. Creating Community: 5 Keys to building a small group culture is their ‘how to do what we do’ book on small groups. And let me air this gripe right away, Andy Stanley’s name is not on this book because he wrote it but because his name is higher profile. This book is written by Bill Willits so it was a…

Read More
Church 

Discipleship, community and church

I have become convinced that leaders need a laser like focus on disciple making. Think about it, if you don’t have that focus on disciple-making who does? We live in a culture that is consistently and forcefully shaping men & women but not into the image of Christ, our people need us to be consistently encouraging them on in their discipleship. I have also become convinced that we need to discover ways of being church that are readily replicable, can be led by bi-vocational leaders, can foster community and can encourage people to…

Read More
Church 

Cell Church

Not so long ago I had the privilege of listening to the pastor of a very large church from south-east Asia. The first session, as he recounted tales of persecution, faith, miracles and enormous courage captivated his audience. The reaction to the second session was different. It soon became clear that the subject was cell church and you could visibly see pastors from the west switch off. ‘Been there, done that, not trying again’ would have filled the thought bubbles above their heads. Now there were certain cultural aspects to…

Read More