Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Inside Out Church, part two; the hows

Notes on Church Planting Movements: Organic, Incarnationa, Mission Ancient/Present Way Rev. Ron Robinson, Turley, OK, at the Christian Universalist Association, Oklahoma City

Just some of the notes I made for myself for my talk and conversation.

Background:
What You Would See Today At ‘Church’ in Turley: one year after we began in new place/new way: ALL OF THESE DID NOT EXIST BEFORE A YEAR AGO
One thing is that while I was in OKC, the church was busy hosting students working on a community project, hosting the local school reunion planning group gathering, and providing a space for the Juneteenth rodeo riders to come by during the parade, plus the usual goings on at the community center as listed below. Important note: I don't think this past Saturday that anyof our core church leaders were present for any of it, fully incarnated in the partners and participants we have, permission giving and trust building in a part of the world where trust and hope are hard to come by.

In the one year after we started free library, partnered for free health clinic, free internet center, giveaway center, meetingspace, community garden and animal help projects, OU Social Work grad. partnership, resource center, lending tool library, cable tv, wifi, foodbank and feeding daily, recovery addiction center; coordinated community renewal projects; Sunday morning worship with sister church in north Tulsa with racial justice focus, and others, Wednesday evening common meal, conversation, prayer and communion time for refreshing the soul for our serving God….

And important fact, we have done it with some 8 church leaders, 5 other regular financial supporters locally; some 20 community partners, and about 200 participants monthly. No paid staff. All money raised goes into the operation itself of transforming the area and the lives in it. No insurance for any of the contents; the landlord has on the building itself but for our part we don't pay for the insurance industry (see Shane Claiborne and The Simple Way in The Irresistible Revolution about their approach like this to insurance). Everything that we have in the center/church has been given to us; if we were to lose it all, as the Simple Way did in their fire last year for example, we believe that our mission staying the same would result in the same giving, from others to us, and from us to others. 100 percent of funds received go into mission of one kind or another doing or promoting doing our ministry.

More notes
Church serving Parish; Parish supporting Church. Something any dedicated small group of Christians can do. (flip-flopping small group—main church dynamics).
Turley in the poorest area of the Tulsa area; unincorporated; within two mile radius of our center 66percent African American, growing Hispanic, historic American Indian, and blue collar Caucasian. Doing church the typical way, the modern way, would prevent the kinds of interactions across demographic lines that we experience everyday this way, living in and with rather than trying to attract from to...
Response to wider Cultural Movements:
Christendom/Churched to Post/Un/Christendom-Churched World---relationship of people to church and church to world has changed evocative of change in “telephone”; when communication medium changes, worldviews change, when worldviews change culture changes; when culture changes, organisms change or die (9 out of 10 people decide to die rather than change).
Changes in Christendom to Post-Christendom, Modern to Quantum Society Changes (multi-manifestations of church); Default Mode of “Church” based in large measure in generational culture changes (before 1945, 1946-1963, 1964-1975, 1976-1990, 1990-). Organic church focus on unchurched, de-churched, burned out church. Going tribal, deeper, small as the next big thing.
Church as non-profit religious organization giving way to “body of people who make Jesus visible in the world.”
Attractional giving way to Incarnational.
New Evangelism is creating new and deeper disciples who follow the Jesus Way regardless of church membership and of profession of faith; Jesus way is relational not propositional, communal not individualistic. New Monasticism. Focus on 1.) Jesus Story; 2.) eliminating sacred/secular divide; 3.) community/communitas.
Trends: Transformation permission-giving, multi; emergent/ EPIC worship; incarnational-organic-simple. What I tried to get at here is that there are lots of new ways of doing church or renewing church; organic is just one of those ways and all are needed; trends I think are that there will be more of all kinds described here by these terms.

My Experiences of Evolving Church
1. Tahlequah Church in 1990s: Organizational, Attractional, Worship-Oriented, Single Church Oriented, Building-Oriented, Resources & Culture & Media of Small College Town, Grassroots, Lay-Start---Pre-Internet Age, Visitors Knowledge based not on beliefs and research, but witnessing action, and news stories/columns; belonging before believing.
2. Owasso Epiphany 2003; fast growing suburban culture trumps theology; leadership; resources to culture disparity; parachute drop guarantee of struggle and failures; worship launch, emergent worship development, space-oriented.
3. Turley Epiphany 2004; stressing universalism, centering the cross; multi-site vision, matching resources, extended field of family and friends and deep roots; still worship focused; sending out into community with projects , working backwards to undo and relaunch Natural Church Development Model—personal relationships, sharing spiritual passions, small group(s), servant evangelism, worship, structures, reproduce. Three years without bylaws and budget; then ignore bylaws and budget.
4. Turley Living Room version 1 2006; changing name reflect culture; Sunday evening shift, beginning community service (graffiti removal, events inside the building), matching worship style to size
5. A Third Place Community Center/The Living Room/?--2007: creation of service center for community in which the church gathers, under the radar, focused on mission first with worship to support mission; meeting people in mission first, becoming partners, growing leaders, intentional small, monastic orientation, 6 spiritual discipline requirements (daily prayer, weekly worship, monthly support group, annual retreat, lifetime pilgrimage, daily openness to random acts of kindness). Church at same time community center is open; multiple events at same time; church without walls; community foundation birth, worshipping with sister church in North Tulsa and others on Sunday mornings.
On the horizon….vision…become model to inspire other sites to partner with rather than trying to go in solo and plant; blend back in some attractional methods now; also intentional prayer/worship/spiritual presence amidst mission service.

Biblical/Theological Elements
Inspired by Paul and especially Paul or pre-Pauline great hymn in Philippians 2 of counter-Empire values of incarnation and servitude and resurrection of all; Great Commission Intertwined with Great Commandment/”Good Samaritan” Parable; and universalist good news and tradition—look what God has done through Christ for the world and you, demonstrating God’s love that unifies and reaches all, as opposed to the message that God separates all and emphasizes and elevates the finite individual over the infinite relational character of God, therefore as God’s people our response to that good news is to reflect that nature and characteristic of God in the here and now of our lives and communities by being incarnational people embodying that good news and as God did with us, sharing it with others. How we share it and with whom will mark diversity of differences of church in the 21st century just as it was in the first century.

Resources
www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com; www.theooze.com; www.emergentvillage.com
http://www.mislinks.org/church/chplant.htmhttp://www.ucc.org/evangelism/planting.htm, http://www.religionlink.org/tip_060116.phphttp://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_17_120/ai_107397248http://www.baptist.ca/ministries/plant.phphttp://www.newchurchministry.org/http://www.episcopalchurch.org/newchurch_51487_ENG_HTM.htm?menupage=51486http://steveaddison.net/http://www.plantingliberally.org/www.talk2action.orghttp://www.churchplantingvillage.net/
http://www.easumbandy.com/resources/index.php?action=searchresults&pl_option[1]=3http://www.youresource.com/natural_church_plant_development1.htmhttp://www.multiplyingchurch.org/http://www.acts29network.org/main.html
The New Christians, Tony Jones; The Irresistible Revolution, and Jesus For President, Shane Claiborne; Inside The Organic Church, Bob Whitesel; Emerging Churches by Bolger and Gibbs, The Shaping of Things To Come by Hirsch and Frost, The Forgotten Ways by Hirsch, Exiles by Frost, The Organic Church by Neil Cole, Wide Open Spaces: Beyond Paint by Number Christianity, and Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer; Revolution, and UnChristian, and Pagan Christianity, by George Barna; Organic Community, by Joseph Meyers; Emerging Church, and Emerging Worship, and They Like Jesus But Not Church by Dan Kimball, all of Brian McLaren’s book especially A Generous Orthodoxy, The Secret Message of Jesus, Everything Must Change; all of Leonard Sweet’s book especially Postmodern Pilgrims, and the Language of the Emergent Church; all of Bill Easum, especially Risk-Taking Churches, and Beyond the Box; Bill Tenny-Britains’s House Church Manual, Wolfgang Simpson Houses That Change The World; The Present Future by Reggie McNeal; The Out of Bounds Church, Steve Naylor; all of Lyle Schaller’s especially The New Context for Ministry, and Small Congregation, Big Potential; Michael Slaughter’s Unlearning Church; The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Starks; The Small Church At Large, Robin Trebilcock; Planting Growing Churches, by Aubrey Malphurs.Work of The New Paul Perspective Scholars: www.thepaulpage.com and recent works by Crossan, Wills, Gager, Gorman, Wright. Go to http://progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com/2007/07/paul-sermon-why-we-do-what-we-do-and.htmlType your summary here

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3 comments:

Jilliefl1 said...

The sequel to “Pagan Christianity?” is out now. It’s called “Reimagining Church”. It picks up where “Pagan Christianity” left off and continues the conversation. (“Pagan Christianity” was never meant to be a stand alone book; it’s part one of the conversation.) “Reimagining Church” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet, Shane Claiborne, Alan Hirsch, and many others. You can read a sample chapter at
http://www.ReimaginingChurch.org
It’s also available on Amazon.com. Frank is also blogging now at http://www.frankviola.wordpress.com

Ron said...

Jillie, thanks for the notice. Can't wait to pick it up. I hope its prognosis and suggested plan of treatment, so to speak, makes more people go back to the earlier one and discuss the diagnosis there too. blessings.

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