Most of us have cycled through small group strategies and discipleship methods and ended up with mixed results. Some strategies helped us start a bunch of groups, but didn’t help our people growth. Other pathways raised the quality of groups, but could not multiply groups fast enough.
Currently, I am dedicating my time, talent and treasure to four movements where we are seeing lives transformed and communities reached with the Gospel. If that sounds like an outrageous claim, then I would ask you to look into the webinars and websites connected to each of these movements. I hope you see what I am seeing and learn how God is using things old and new to build his church.
Rooted is based on a non-Western approach to experiential discipleship. Through a mix of large group gatherings, small group meetings and experiences, people are coming to Christ, taking their next steps in faith and finding lasting transformation. Rooted motivates congregations unlike anything else I’ve seen. People who “graduate” from the 10-week Rooted experience join on-going small groups (90 percent), serve more (73 percent) and give more (84 percemt) than before they participated in Rooted.
Webinar: Wednesday, March 8, 2 p.m. ET – Register at experiencerooted.com/events
Rooted Gathering: March 22-24, 2017 in the DFW Area – Register at experiencerooted.com/events
Neighboring is the future of ministry.
Whether your church rocked the attractional model in the 1990s or deployed your congregation in the missional movement in the 2000s, the days of big box worship services and churches serving the community in matching t-shirts are coming to an end. As our culture becomes more secular and less favorable toward the church, headline-making large events will become unwelcome in the coming years.
Neighboring is based on Jesus’ second command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Who’s my neighbor? Well, what if your neighbor is your actual neighbor? Neighboring is a focus that believers don’t love their neighbors so they’ll become Christians, we neighbor because we are Christians. While this is outreach, neighboring would more correctly be viewed as a spiritual practice. By taking believers out of their comfort zone, they face their fears, learn to trust God and build relationships that will inform their own spiritual growth and challenge their comfort.
Resources: The Neighboring Church by Rick Rusaw and Brian Mavis
Coming Resources: The Neighboring Church Staff Training Curriculum and The Neighboring Life Launch Kit recently filmed at the Neighborhood Collective at Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas, features teaching by Randy Frazee, Rick Rusaw, Brian Mavis, Tom Anthony, Dave Runyan, Chris Freeland, Nate Bush, Lynn Cory and other thought-leaders in the neighboring movement. (June 1, 2017 release)
3. GroupLife Southwest
OK, this is a conference that represents a movement. GroupLife Southwest fills the gap left by the end of Willow Creek’s Small Group Conference. By presenting multiple voices, Mark Howell and Canyon Ridge Christian Church, Las Vegas, demonstrate the genius of applying multiple strategies to a church in both connecting and growing their members.
Speakers include Bill Willits (North Point Ministries), Dave Enns (North Coast Church), Chris Surratt (Lifeway), Hugh Halter (Forge), Mindy Caliguire (SoulCare), Mike Foster (People of the Second Chance), Todd Engstrom (The Austin Stone), Boyd Pelley (ChurchTeams), Mark Howell (markhowelllive.com) and Allen White.
The conference is March 27-28, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Use the code ALLEN for a substantial discount.
For more information and to register: http://www.grouplifesouthwest.com/
4. Exponential Groups
It’s not a coincidence that the title of this fourth movement is also the title of my book. It seems the American church has retired. We cater to ourselves. Do enough to feel satisfied. But, act as if we have the luxury of time in reaching our world. Not all churches act this way, but the vast majority do.
Time is short. It is time to turn our audience into an army. By empowering and equipping our people to serve, the quest is no longer to connect 100 percent of our people into groups, but to enlist 100 percent of our people to LEAD.
We have coddled our people into complacency for far too long. The attractional services where we invited people to be comfortable backfired, in that they took us up on the offer to be comfortable. It’s time to wake the sleeping giant. It’s time to stop catering to Baby Boomers. (And, for the sake of full disclosure, I’m 52—the last of the Boomers). In fact, in the next decade, ministry to Boomers will be called “Senior Adult Ministry.” That’s not the future of the church!
As the church, we have been thinking and planning for 2,000 years. It’s time to take action.
Webinar: Help, My Groups Are Stuck at 30 Percent! on:
Thursday, March 9 at 1 p.m. ET/Noon CT/11 a.m. MT/10 a.m. PT
Tuesday, March 14 at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/Noon MT/11 a.m. PT
Book is Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Cokesbury, Christian Book
This article originally appeared here.