Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Handout for The Growing Missional Communities GA Workshop

Turning Your Congregation Inside Out: Growing Missional Communities
GA 2010, Minneapolis
Ron Robinson,

I. Introduction of Speakers and Workshop
II. The Big Picture: Joel Miller and Michael Durall
III. A Third Place Community in TulsaNorth/Turley, OK: Ron Robinson
IV. Responses from Panelists and Questions from Audience

See Handouts on Resources in General, and Sample Materials from the Oklahoma church

Understanding Difference of Terms: Missionary, Missions, Mission, Missional
Missio: Greek for sending.
Missionary: traditional frame connotes one who is sent to claim someone else and make them like oneself.
Missions: traditional frame connotes what is done for others often at a distance.
Mission: traditional frame is another word for purpose or reason for one’s existence, as in mission statement.
Missional: Being Sent as a people into the world in order to serve with others especially for those in need in order to meet one’s own needs for growth and transformation from encountering and learning from others. It is NOT another community outreach program.
The Church Does Not Have A Mission. The Mission Has A Church. Church is Created in Response to Mission. The mission doesn’t change. The church changes to bring itself into better right relationship with the Mission that is responsible for its creation. Mission is not to “attend a church” but to “become the church wherever you, and at least another, live out the mission”.
“If your church disappeared, would the average person in your community even notice, much less be affected in their daily life?”
Telling Story of Church at A Third Place by Seeing Shifting Along The Spectrums From:
“Come to us” to “Go to them”, Attractional to Incarnational
Internal to External, Program to People, Church to Community Leadership
Anxious to Abundant, the “Enough Church”
Organizational to Organic, Fixed to Flexible
“a church” to “the church”, institution to movement
Service with others for others precedes and takes priority over the Worship Service as central act, and worship becomes a still vital gathering to refresh for service, to deepen spirit of leaders, focused more for leaders than visitors whose primary contact is work in the community. Renewing historic congregationalist relationship of church and parish.
Growing Smaller To Do Bigger Things
Complex to Simple: Gather for Conversation, Launch Experiments, Plot Goodness
Members to “Participants/Partners/Leaders”
Building/Budget/Bylaws/ to DNA Mission Culture
Paid Staff to Volunteer, bi/tri vocational ministry
One group to many groups, regional to very local focus
Denominational to Missional Networked
Believe/Belong/Behave to Belong/Behave/Believe
Spectator Spirituality to Life Transformation Group
One Hour Together to “New Monasticism”
Shift From Places Wealthy in “Affluence, Appearance and Achievement” to “The Abandoned Places of Empire” For 3Rs of Relocation, Redistribution, Reconciliation
No/Low Commitment to Covenanted Discipline of daily prayer/blessing and random acts of kindness and beauty, weekly worship, monthly accountability check, annual retreat, lifetime pilgrimage; goal to work toward of 80 percent of finances going to others, 10 percent savings, 10 percent to live on personally.

Tensions We Face As Missional Community: strengths can become weaknesses
Relationship of Church Planter/Minister and Church: strong planter creates mission-focused group, but can become still clergy/starting leader –focused.
Bi/tri-vocational minister, no paid minister, accountability issues?
How to transition as we grow as a core group? How reproduce?
Focus on missional activities with others is spiritual development, but intentional personal and community spiritual practice can be out of balance.

Missional Communities Come In Different Manifestations and Possibilities:
1. Starting New Groups As a Strategy of Planting Church-Planting Churches, for the survival of the Association
2. Taking Established “Church” dividing into smaller “churches” and seeding into different areas, strength and health spreading
3. Transforming a Struggling Anxious Church by Redefining its “smallness” as strength and blessing in order to begin the process of shifting and becoming something different
4. Existing Sending Church Remains Virtually the same but equips and sends out “mission teams” of 5-7 people to begin serving/living/worshipping in different areas, ways.
5. Designating part of your existing space/programs/staff for the needs of wider community
6. Find ways to relocate central worship on a regular basis, start new worship in a different location
7. Eat together more often and with other groups more often and in other spaces more often. Potluck in Parks and Places with Those who are Hungry.
8. Partner with other churches who also are doing or wanting to experiment going missional
9. Combinations of the Above.

Missional Communities Resources: A Sample List
Books: The Almost Church Revitalized by Michael Durall; Missional Renaissance by Reggie McNeal; The Shaping of Things To Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch; Exiles by Michael Frost; The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch, ReJesus by Frost and Hirsch, Jesus The Fool by Michael Frost; Christianity Rediscovered by Vincent Donovan (most of the books on this list are very contemporary; Donovan’s pivotal book is from the 70s); Welcoming Justice by John Perkins, Let Justice Roll Down by John Perkins, Follow Me To Freedom by John Perkins and Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, Houses That Change The World, Wolfgang Simson, Emerging Church by Ryan Bolger and Eddie Gibbs, The Organic Church and Search and Rescue, both by Neil Cole, Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen, The New Conspirators by Tom Sine, The New Friars by Scott Bessenecker, The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay; The New Monasticism and School(s) for Conversion, both by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Church Morph by Eddie Gibbs, Reimagine The World by Bernard Brandon Scott, Revolution by George Barna, Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola, UnChristian by David Kinnamon; The Secret Message of Jesus, especially appendix, by Brian McLaren, Under The Radar by Bill Easum, An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor, Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer, Inside The Organic Church by Bob Whitesel. Lyle Schaller’s books especially The New Contexts For Ministry, and What We Have Learned, and From Geography to Affinity, and for cultural work see the work Postmodern Pilgrims by Leonard Sweet and his other books, and the other books by Bill Easum and Tom Bandy, and The House Church Manual by William Tenny-Brittain, and The Small Church At Large by Robin Trebilcock.

Films: Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day story; Romero; The Least of These; Briars in the Cotton Patch: Koinonia; Places in the Heart, The Spitfire Grill, Chocolat, Babette’s Feast, Man on Wire, The Blind Side, The Shawshank Redemption, The Blues Brothers


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