Here again I provide notes from a day of class with Dr. Randy Frazee. Some of the notes have been edited out for purposes of confidentiality. Connecting in Community
Those who are maturing should always be in the company of seekers and new believers at some point.
Our mission must be deeply rooted in theology.
Starfish vs Spider, or some sort of hybrid. There is something about a viral starfish experience. It must be an ideology worth living for and dying for.
In church history, every time they tried to kill it, it multiplied.
Wayne Cordeiro at New Hope is a hybrid of spider/starfish. Team ministry.
Sociological realities of society.
Sending people out of their own community is not compassion. It makes the giver of compassion feel good, but the recipient feel hollow. “Helping them down.” Eg, short term mission trips. It is painful to do compassion without relationship. It can come across as condescending.
Moving from a “come and see” strategy to a “go and be” strategy. Igniting the presence of Christ in neighborhoods through community. Decentralize the community and send them into the neighborhoods. When believers gather for Christ’s purposes and in his name, the presence of Jesus shows up. There is power in the being of the body of Christ. They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another. Fellowship is hidden deeply on the christian campus far from the eyes of those whom we would reach. We need to take it into the neighborhoods.
new people come in.
Whatever time you have, will be meaningful for them.
Relationships will create retention.
Apartmentlife.org Stan Dobbs; tilly burke (missionary) sustainable financial model. Train people from the church to come in and provide community.
It is very complicated to run two different systems at one time (neighborhood and campus). Initially you might do both to gain traction, but eventually you will have to choose.
The children of Israel did not enjoy slavery, but they were comfortable with it and knew how to do it well.
You cannot consider a transition complete until it has had a year or two to take root. It takes a long time to establish a new paradigm.
Three classifications of geography. Span of care (1 to ten)
High school radius. How many high schools within a five-ten mile radius.
(Microsoft mapping; kingdom combine). Takes data and maps it.
Then divide by elementary schools.
Then divide by neighborhoods.
Eugene Peterson: the new word for evangelism is hospitality.
What is moving you along in your spiritual journey?
In children’s ministry? Youth? Worship? Community group?
Service: Support the efforts of people in the community. Acts 2:47 enjoyed favor of all the people, Neh. 4
Put parents in the key spot of discipling their kids. Bible clubs sponsored in India.
Service draws people.
Pastoral care- community care. Provide full care and invite you to help provide care for others.
High school ministry. Merge with where they spend all their time. True for children’s ministry too. Merging rather than separating discipleship and evangelism.
Church has a separate assimilation strategy from community.
Call to care training program. Five principles.
Pull or a push personality. Very few people have a push. Most people have a pull.
Community could have features and benefits: trips, activities; all are start and stop.
We are better off to develop small groups through pull. We cannot lead it in theory, we have to set the example.
You have to continue what you are doing until you create the architecture for a strategy, so that when you release it you have the capacity for connection. Make sure that when you launch your vision that you have the capacity to engage a plan for it. Do not launch the vision prematurely. Make sure you have the capacity to deliver on your vision. Neh 2-3
Vision casters do not always have the capacity to develop a well-structured plan. Visionary needs the engineer.
Tribes lived in geographical areas. Families within tribes.
NIV Nehemiah 4:3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building– if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
Tribes walked on the walls. Neh 12:31-43 Irony. Wall built in 53 days.
Neighborhood: 50-200 houses; however, as it develops it could focus down to one block.
Building a fire. Kindling under fire (twigs, dry leaves, newspaper, etc), light it up, sending heat above. You have to keep stoking the kindling until it gets to a certain point. There is a diffusion where it gets to be large and hot enough where the logs can sustain the fire. Neighborhood is built on that model.
The shift of the church goes from measuring attendance on a Sunday morning to focusing on neighborhood.
3% innovators: radical new idea. Innovators are the kindling. They grow the kindling by getting another 13% to embrace the innovation, given the scope of the population, is when diffusion happens. These are the early adaptors. When you have 16% of your population, you have an unstoppable movement. Then there are 34% who are mid-adopters. They never do anything until seeing if it works by watching the 16%. Most churches are massively late adapters, viz. small groups. Willow Creek is two paradigms beyond that.
Until you get to 16% you are going to be working (stoking) hard. The last 14% are laggards who will likely never come along. You have to have the wisdom to know the difference between the late adapters and the laggards. The late adapters are the ones who will work your paradigm, so do not tick them off.
My place is my ministry. How do you make the decision about where you are going to live?
You can’t be at church and walk in your neighborhood. Taking a walk as three families, kids included. Good conversation emerges when you are doing something else.
We should do the same today.
Matthew 18:20 (TNIV)
20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Ex. 33:12-16 (TNIV)
12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
How much of the church can we be right here in this neighborhood?
Randy did a soup night weekly. There was also a Bunco night.
In authentic community you do not need ice-breakers. In church small groups you need ice-breakers because you do not know each other.
Dad who said every night to his son, I love you. Then he would pray at the foot of his bed nightly.
Ask how you can be praying for a per son. This expedites the spiritual conversation.
You could start a prayer group.
1. People in the neighborhood should study the Bible together. Consolidate the circles.
2. Frazee would start by asking women if they would study the Bible together in the neighborhood.
3. Study of the Bible should not be random.
4. There needs to be some sort of rhyme and reason to what we are trying to do.
Biblical education at willow creek
1. they want their people to be biblical literate. How it is organized, how we got the 66 books. There are more choices in terms of versions. Chronology of the ot and nt. The bible is organized topically, not chronologically. They have never experienced the story of the Bible.
2. we want them to experience the story. Go through the bible at least once chronologically.
3. we want them to understand the theological big ideas of the Bible. 30 big ideas (competency). A functional understanding. Not a systematic theology, but a formational theology. It will inform their beliefs, practices and virtues.
4. we want everyone to have an idea of what the next step is. A personal spiritual growth plan. Evaluate their lives in community in light of these principles so they will know what they are trusting God for in their lives. What is the gap in becoming like Jesus for you?
At Pantego Bible Church: Children’s ministry will get the basic passage, big idea and competency and then write their own material.
The worship will have a creedal experience, taking the point and adding it to the song packet.
typical prayer: job, busy, children, lose weight. These are not bad, but they also are not sufficient pertaining to spiritual formation.
REVEAL: Christian Life Profile.
Be open to the journey of vulnerability.
You have to have margin in your life to embrace living out the principles of the Bible.
If you want a biblical community, you have to have a language to talk about it.
Joy –à Deeper level: Inner contentment and purpose in spite of circumstances. Look at pantego.org. Philippians.