Daily Archives: December 30, 2018

Institutional leaders identify a shift in population from rural to urban settings as the cause of rural church decline.

Institutional leaders identify a shift in population from rural to urban settings as the cause of rural church decline. Current reality, however, is that fewer and fewer rural areas in downstate Illinois are far from a city or an interstate … Continue reading

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A church is a living thing and reborn with each new convert; it does not have a single life cycle.

An institutional worldview causes denominational leaders to look at churches as institutions with a limited life cycle.[1] Smaller churches are seen as religious corporations that are unable to compete in the new reality of the changing marketplace. Small churches that … Continue reading

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An institution is a non-living thing; things have a product life cycle.

Institutions do not adapt; they exist and die, rise and fall. An institution is a non-living thing; things have a product life cycle. Human communities adapt by blending the old and new in harmony.[1] A congregation does not attract postmodern … Continue reading

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Institutions do not make disciples. They have other goals …

Institutions do not make disciples. They have other goals, primarily the preservation of the past for the comfort of those who are long term participants. Cell church author Ralph W. Neighbor described the institutional church as the program base design … Continue reading

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An institutional worldview inhibits disciple-making

Second Systemic Problem: An Institutional Worldview             An institutional worldview inhibits disciple-making as well as innovation. The Temple and the Sanhedrin were institutions in the days of Jesus; modern denominations exhibit this hereditary characteristic today.[1] The generation that survived World … Continue reading

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an environmental system which supports multiple generations of disciples

QUOTE [1] It is clearly demonstrated in rapidly growing third world cell churches that have developed an environmental system which supports multiple generations of disciples who make disciples who make disciples. NOTE Discipleship Ministries – Discipleship Pathways Purpose Driven Life … Continue reading

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Each step of the maturational cycle is necessary to develop disciples who make disciples who make disciples.

Evangelical churches seek a salvation event while liturgical churches proclaim a sacramental event.[1] Both are a part of the United Methodist heritage.[2] Jesus and John Wesley also practiced a salvation process of intentional disciple-making, with carefully structured activity by their … Continue reading

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… disciple-making as an event, an accidental result due to unknown causes, a mysterious act of God …

It is also possible that we do not know how to make disciples. The general response of clergy to the question of how one makes disciples is that “if people come to worship they eventually become disciples.”[1] This view indicates … Continue reading

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First Systemic Problem: Not Making Disciples

First Systemic Problem: Not Making Disciples             Counting creates accountability. An active factory making a product generates inventory that can be counted in the warehouse. A healthy herd of sheep generates lambs that can be counted in the sheepfold. A … Continue reading

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… without a clear, diagnostic understanding of the four systemic problems, no strategy can hope to overcome …

Four systemic problems arise as the local church and the Illinois Great Rivers Conference attempt to fulfill the great purpose of disciple-making outlined in the Book of Discipline and the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. These four problems in the … Continue reading

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