Unit 8.10 Statement #4: These teams continue to be the basic structure of the new church.

QUOTE

Statement #4:  Each of these twelve groups is a task oriented group, yet at their heart they have Bible study, pray together, hold one another accountable for attendance and service, every time they meet. Some of these also have a ministry beyond the local church ‑ singing in the nursing homes, visiting the hospital, etc.

This just becomes the DNA of the new church. These teams continue to be the basic structure of the new church. Empowered laity, and as the body grows and strengthens, the pastor does NOT attend all these meetings. After the constituting conference, you may have 15 to 20 people involved in the four Disciplinary committees (PPR, Finance, Trustees, Council).

The prayer group is really the Leadership or Launch Team. The pastor leads this group, and the pastor begins to discern who has gifts and talents for leading these various other eleven small groups. Look for leadership in the area of prayer, hospitality, electronics, advertizing, set up, music, and drama. You know the jobs that you need to fill. Some of those you attract will not have these particular skills, so you many also be adding what look like adult Sunday School classes that meet in homes mid‑week.

The pastor must keep them from worshiping until they are ready ‑ you need to have 144 people involved before you set a date for the first worship service.

You can see why it is difficult to delay the start of the first worship service … is the center of all that this new church is about. Whether the worship is traditional or Taizé, emergent, contemporary or hip-hop, it is a worship system. It does not attempt to make disciples as much as scoop up people who are unattached to a church and interested in spiritual things. The primary method of this form of church planting is to provide an environment attractive to unchurched people and then invite them to come. There is nothing at all wrong with this system of church planting, and it blesses many people. It is capital intensive to provide that worship place; it is also assumed that the church planter is sufficiently attractive and charismatic to fill any size worship space. Another assumption is that the beginning of a new church is a sufficiently exciting motivation to gather 144 people and hold them together until worship begins within a culture that emphasizes immediate gratification.

NOTE (my response)

DISCERNMENT QUESTIONS

RESOURCES

Footnotes:
The quote is from Major League Disciple Making: An Overview of the Best Research on the Cell Church, an online course developed for the Institute for Discipleship at www.BeADisciple.com in 2009. Course materials, including these lectures, can be downloaded here: http://www.disciplewalk.com/IFD_MLD_Class_Links.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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