Unit 8.8 Planting Worship Systems

QUOTE

Planting Worship Systems

It=s easy to recognize that the focus will be on planting worship systems. Below are four  statements by a church planting executive on a process that has been very successful for him.[1] These statements clearly describe a church that is made up primarily of a worship system.

Statement #1:  Develop a worship planning team. Worship is the most important thing that happens in the church ‑ that is where the most people attend, where forgiveness is found, where commitments are made. Transformational Worship should be so powerful that it almost doesn=t matter who the preacher is. Develop a worship team that does not depend entirely on the pastor. Through the year, invite influential leaders from across the state who will fill the church, and leave everyone with tears in their eyes.

Statement #2:  The new church planter is encouraged in the first year to form twelve groups of twelve adults each, a total of 144 adults, before launching public worship. After all, Jesus had twelve in the original small group. The small groups actually end up being somewhere between 8 to 15 in size. When the number of groups reaches 7 to 10 different groups, they become somewhat unmanageable unless the pastor has also been working on leadership development within the small groups.


[1]Emphasis in the original: How to Have 400 At Your Launch Worship, Adapted from materials prepared by Dr. Dick Freeman Ph.D., Director of Congregational Development, North Alabama Conference, http://www.sermonconnect.com/media/media/getmedia.php?id=20080316030334F5B78A&client_id=117615&type=Article.

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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Unit 8.7 If the worship starts too soon, failure is likely.

QUOTE

Students of this course also understand the nature of the two winged church, where the faith community is understood as a traditional church worship system linked to a cell-type discipleship system. If you study the process of church planting most commonly practiced, a church planting leader initiates a discipleship system focused on starting a church; once sufficient people are gathered for worship to begin, the discipleship system is subordinated to the worship system and  sometimes it almost disappears. The draw toward beginning worship is extremely difficult to resist because the worship system is the basic concept of what it means to be a church.

If the worship starts too soon, failure is likely; church planting consultant Jim Griffith refers to this as Apremature birth:@ Starting public worship too soon is a factor found in almost all church plants that fail. Presenting a quality weekly worship service requires a large investment of time and energy. In most new church starts, the beginning of weekly worship services is accompanied by a decrease in outreach and evangelistic activities. This is due to the demands of preparing sermons, coordinating music, preparing bulletins, set-up and tear-down of the facility in which worship occurs, and the expectations of those attending to receive pastoral care from the planter. Launching with a very small group of people almost inevitably leads to disappointing results and a small or nonexistent church. Planters usually underestimate the amount of time needed to gather a sufficient number of people to move to public worship. Sponsoring agencies usually do this as well.[1] There is an eagerness to get to worship because public worship, in the basic understanding church, is what defines a church. It doesn=t matter whether the worship is traditional or emergent; it=s the way we=ve always done church. Energy diverted into worship and away from evangelism and disciple making before a critical mass of persons is achieved is lost forever. It is unlikely that the new worshiping congregation will again be able to devote the same level of energy to the making of disciples.


[1]#2 of ten reasons given in Jim Griffith and Don Nations, Why Church Plants Fail, http://path1.fhview.com/media/media/mediaplayer.php?id=20080422080449FD7B73&clientId=117615&client_id=117615

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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Unit 8.6 What We Can Learn From the Cell Church about Church Planting?

QUOTE

Unit 8: Implications and Applications

 Lecture: What We Can Learn From the Cell Church about Church Planting

Over the past weeks we=ve looked at a variety of cell churches; this week our attention turns to the current situation of United Methodism in the United States. A number of concerns are in the awareness of all persons attending the 2008 General Conference. How can an understanding of the cell church enable us to achieve these goals?

The concern: U.S. membership is shrinking at a time when 50 percent of the U.S. population has no ongoing relationship with a faith community. Since the most effective evangelism is through new churches, the church wants to start 650 new congregations with 63,000 members by 2012 as part of the proposed emphasis on church growth in the United States. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has created Path One, an office of new congregational development, to lead this effort. Leaders say the goal is eventually to return the denomination to its evangelistic heyday of starting a new church every day.[1]

Students of this course know by now that the most effective form of evangelism is through the practice of a cell church discipleship system. Multiplication, such as doubling, is far more effective than any form of addition. Multiplying disciples through evangelistic cells is more effective than adding congregations. Evangelism through cells at Yoido Full Gospel Church generates 20,000 converts a year and has led to the world=s largest church with 700,000 members. This is not an unknown reality.


[1]Quoted from AGeneral Conference Issues,@ http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.3989587/k.636A/General_Conference_Issues.htm

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.

Posted in Major League Disciple Making | Leave a comment

Unit 8.5 What will draw in the lost in this century?

QUOTE

The need today is not to plant institutional churches, emergent or traditional, in densely populated areas where there are no United Methodist Churches. The institutional church is unable to make disciples and is unable to attract the lost to come to its events and worship. Lost people are not interested in anything that will make their life busier; if they were, many opportunities more rewarding that worship (in their opinion) are available to them. If that was not enough, better worship than any local church can provide is available via internet broadcast, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, in the comfort of one=s own home at a time convenient to one=s own schedule. Worship will not draw in the lost in this century.

Nor will it be enough to encourage people to invite their friends and neighbors; Putnam=s work on social capital indicates that the social network links between people are literally disintegrating. People are withdrawing from each other in our society and they no longer know anyone to invite them to church. The come structure church is a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. Come structures don=t work; nobody comes.

Only a discipleship system that develops relationships with lost people and draws them into the network of small groups that function as a community of faith can generate the church growth desired to reverse membership decline. People are no longer looking for a friendly church; today they are just looking for friends. If a cell church discipleship system that focuses on people evangelizing people is added to the worship system of a church, it will work. It=s not necessary to change the traditional worship system, just to add the right kind of discipleship system.

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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Unit 8.4 WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL, THEN, OF “METHODIST DNA”?

QUOTE

What are the goals that we embrace as a church for the near future?

As pastor within the United Methodist church for 30 years I have the following concerns:

WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL THEN OF AMETHODIST DNA@?

On the American prairie Methodists abandoned John Wesley=s discipleship system in order to become a traditional church based on a Acome structure@ approach. Cultural conditions due to rural isolation made this strategy very successful in the 1800s; people hungry for interaction would come from their farms to the camp meeting or into church just to be with other people. The camp meeting was so successful that it doubled the proportion of church members in America from one in fifteen to one in seven between 1800 and 1850.[1] The great Atwo a day@ checkerboard church planting that began after the Civil War replicated these small Acome structure@ churches every five to seven miles apart in the rural countryside.[2] From 1860-1920 the Methodist Episcopal Church grew from one million to well over four million members,[3] far outperforming Wesley=s societies in England. Over half the congregations present in the predecessor denominations in 1900 or organized since no longer exist.[4] At one time the old ways worked very well.

The old ways that once worked on the prairie fail today because the world has changed. There is no more rural isolation. The world today has more attractive buildings than the church. Society offers more exciting and entertaining events than the church. The old church softball league in the church yard is replaced by a multitude of agencies from the YMCA to schools to park districts offering a wide diversity of sports in expensive facilities. There are no isolated areas left where the church can be simultaneously mediocre and superior because there is no competition from the world. The church=s amateur attempts at social service are dwarfed by the deep pockets and dedicated professionals working in government and social service agencies ranging from welfare to Big Brother-Big Sister. The world has secularized and improved the quality of all these attraction ministries, and now the church cannot compete. It is not that there is a migration of rural people to urban areas; there is a migration of urban culture to rural areas. It is all urban now, and the prairie DNA church can neither cope with the change nor compete with a secular world that has adapted to current reality. The gap between church reality and current reality can be measured in decades.


[1]Jeffrey K. Hadden and Anson Shupe, Televangelism: Power & Politics On God’s Frontier (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison‑Wesley, 1981), http://religiousbroadcasting.lib.virginia.edu/ powerpolitics/C6.html (accessed May 1, 2007), 102. Cf. Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York: Random House, 2006), 206-210.

[2]Evers, History of the Southern Illinois Conference, 148. Southern Baptists averaged four hundred missions a year in the 1890s and thirteen hundred in the 1990s, a daily average of 3.6 a day. Lyle Schaller, The Interventionist (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997), 195-196.

[3]Charles Yrigoyen, Jr., APart Two: The Nineteenth Century,@ in John G. McEllhenney, ed., United Methodism In America: A Compact History (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992), 91.

[4]Lyle Schaller, AWhat Should Be The Norm?@ Circuit Rider, September/October 2003, 17.

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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Unit 8.3 A “leadership crisis” of ordained clergy in the United States?

QUOTE

The concern: United Methodist officials say the church is approaching a Aleadership crisis@ of ordained clergy in the United States. A 2006 report revealed fewer than 5 percent of United Methodist elders are under age 35. The churchwide Board of Higher Education and Ministry is leading efforts in this area of focus.

The concern about the concern: I have served my entire career, 30 years, as a pastor within the United Methodist Church; I am now 53. I have noticed the hardships and sacrifice of other clergy and experienced my own. I have three concerns about this concern.

1. It is based on a faulty assumption

The concern:

U.S. membership is shrinking at a time when 50 percent of the U.S. population has no ongoing relationship with a faith community. Since the most effective evangelism is through new churches, the church wants to start 650 new congregations with 63,000 members by 2012 as part of the proposed emphasis on church growth in the United States. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has created Path One, an office of new congregational development, to lead this effort. Leaders say the goal is eventually to return the denomination to its evangelistic heyday of starting a new church every day.

The concern about the concern:

The concern: The denomination has longstanding ministries with people in poverty as well as programs aimed at combating diseases of poverty. United Methodists seek to alleviate poverty as an expression of Christian discipleship and an outgrowth of the Methodist heritage of social action against conditions that are unjust, alienating and disempowering. The churchwide Board of Global Ministries is leading the church=s work on ministry with the poor. Poverty breeds disease, and the church wants to play a significant role in alleviating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. A Global Health Initiative, housed at United Methodist Communications, has been launched to focus those efforts.

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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Unit 8.2 If 90% of innovations will fail, we need to learn about the diffusion of innovations.

QUOTE

2. Gabriel Tarde, a French judge, observed in 1903 that the purpose of his research was Ato learn why, given one hundred different innovations conceived at the same time – innovations in the form of words, in mythological ideas, in industrial process, etc. – ten will spread abroad while ninety will be forgotten.@[1] The observation that 90% of innovations will fail led to the scientific research on social change known as the diffusion of innovations. The primary source is Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 4th ed. (New York: Free Press, 1995) which, in 2002, was the second most cited book in the social sciences. Geoffrey Moore=s Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers, Rev. ed. (New York: Collins, 2002) provides an excellent, step by step understanding of what is necessary to facilitate change. If we desire change, we need to study change.

3. According to the scientific research on change embodied in the diffusion of innovations, the Aleadership approach@ recommended in virtually every book on change provided to churches stimulates systemic resistance that ultimately prevents change. In other words, when we are certain that we understand how to bring about change to an institutional system, we are mistaken, and our mistakes guarantee failure. Combine this lack of knowledge with the reality that systems exist to prevent change, and it is unlikely that the most noble goals will come to pass. If we desire change, we need to study change.

4. Systems always have a hidden agenda of preserving the status quo; consequently, the issues systems raise are unlikely to be the true causes that underlie problems. Accepting uncritically the issues that systems raise is one way to be certain that nothing will change.


[1]Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 40.

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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Unit 8.1 What We Can Learn About Change From the Cell Church

QUOTE

Lecture: What We Can Learn About Change From the Cell Church

Over the past weeks we=ve looked at a variety of cell churches; this week our attention turns to the current situation of United Methodism in the United States.

A number of concerns are in the awareness of all persons attending the 2008 General Conference.[1] How can an understanding of the cell church enable us to achieve these goals?

I.

The concern: The Council of Bishops, the top staff executives of the church=s general agencies, and the Connectional Table, a 60‑member group responsible for coordinating the mission, ministries and resources of the church, propose four areas of focus for United Methodists at the dawn of the 21st century: 1. Developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world; 2. Creating new places for new people by starting new congregations and revitalizing existing ones; 3. Engaging in ministry with the poor; and 4. Stamping out killer diseases by improving health globally.

This is a long‑term agenda designed to address long‑term problems and goals in both the church and the world.

The concern about the concern:

1. These are noble and wonderful goals. Anyone familiar with institutions knows that institutions resist change. There is a wealth of scholarly information available on this topic in business and sociological which generally agree that the more institutions seem to change, the more things stay the same.  The road toward change is hard, as Peter Senge writes:

Most change initiatives fail. Two independent studies in the early 1990s, one published by Arthur D. Little and one by McKinsey & Co., found that out of hundreds of corporate Total Quality Management (TQM) programs studied, about two thirds Agrind to a halt because of their failure to produce hoped-for results.@ Reengineering has fared no better; a number of articles, including some by reengineering=s founders, place the failure rate at somewhere around 70%. Harvard=s John Kotter, in a study of one hundred top management-driven Acorporate transformation@ efforts, concluded that more than half did not survive the initial phases. He found a few that were Avery successful,@ and a few that were Autter failures.@ The vast majority lay A. . . somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt toward the lower end of the scale.@ Clearly, businesses do not have a very good track record in sustaining significant change. There is little to suggest that schools, healthcare institutions, governmental, and nonprofit institutions fare any better.

Even without knowing the statistics, most of us know firsthand that change programs fail. We=ve seen enough Aflavor of the month@ programs Arolled out@ from top management to last a lifetime. We know the cynicism they engender . . .

This failure to sustain significant change recurs again and again despite substantial resources committed to the change effort (many are bankrolled by top management), talented and committed people Adriving the change@ and high stakes . . .

To understand why sustaining significant change is so elusive, we need to think less like managers and more like biologists.[2]

When leaders attempt to change systems, the system wins. That=s the reality we must deal with when we hope to change the United Methodist Church.


[1]These concerns are quoted from AGeneral Conference Issues,@ http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.3989587/k.636A/General_Conference_Issues.htm

[2]Peter M. Senge et al., The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (New York: Doubleday, 1999), 5-6.

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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Unit 7.24 WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL, THEN, OF “METHODIST DNA”?

QUOTE

WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL THEN OF AMETHODIST DNA@?

On the American prairie Methodists abandoned John Wesley=s discipleship system in order to become a traditional church based on a Acome structure@ approach. Cultural conditions due to rural isolation made this strategy very successful in the 1800s; people hungry for interaction would come from their farms to the camp meeting or into church just to be with other people. The camp meeting was so successful that it doubled the proportion of church members in America from one in fifteen to one in seven between 1800 and 1850.[1] The great Atwo a day@ checkerboard church planting that began after the Civil War replicated these small Acome structure@ churches every five to seven miles apart in the rural countryside.[2] From 1860-1920 the Methodist Episcopal Church grew from one million to well over four million members,[3] far outperforming Wesley=s societies in England. Over half the congregations present in the predecessor denominations in 1900 or organized since no longer exist.[4] At one time the old ways worked very well.

The old ways that once worked on the prairie fail today because the world has changed. There is no more rural isolation. The world today has more attractive buildings than the church. Society offers more exciting and entertaining events than the church. The old church softball league in the church yard is replaced by a multitude of agencies from the YMCA to schools to park districts offering a wide diversity of sports in expensive facilities. There are no isolated areas left where the church can be simultaneously mediocre and superior because there is no competition from the world. The church=s amateur attempts at social service are dwarfed by the deep pockets and dedicated professionals working in government and social service agencies ranging from welfare to Big Brother-Big Sister. The world has secularized and improved the quality of all these attraction ministries, and now the church cannot compete. It is not that there is a migration of rural people to urban areas; there is a migration of urban culture to rural areas. It is all urban now, and the prairie DNA church can neither cope with the change nor compete with a secular world that has adapted to current reality. The gap between church reality and current reality can be measured in decades.

The need today is not to plant institutional churches, emergent or traditional, in densely populated areas where there are no United Methodist Churches. The institutional church is unable to make disciples and is unable to attract the lost to come to its events and worship. Lost people are not interested in anything that will make their life busier; if they were, many opportunities more rewarding that worship (in their opinion) are available to them. If that was not enough, better worship than any local church can provide is available via internet broadcast, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, in the comfort of one=s own home at a time convenient to one=s own schedule. Worship will not draw in the lost in this century.

Nor will it be enough to encourage people to invite their friends and neighbors; Putnam=s work on social capital indicates that the social network links between people are literally disintegrating. People are withdrawing from each other in our society and they no longer know anyone to invite them to church. The come structure church is a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. Come structures don=t work; nobody comes.

Only a discipleship system that develops relationships with lost people and draws them into the network of small groups that function as a community of faith can generate the church growth desired to reverse membership decline. People are no longer looking for a friendly church; today they are just looking for friends. If a cell church discipleship system that focuses on people evangelizing people is added to the worship system of a church, it will work. It=s not necessary to change the traditional worship system, just to add the right kind of discipleship system.


[1]Jeffrey K. Hadden and Anson Shupe, Televangelism: Power & Politics On God’s Frontier (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison‑Wesley, 1981), http://religiousbroadcasting.lib.virginia.edu/ powerpolitics/C6.html (accessed May 1, 2007), 102. Cf. Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York: Random House, 2006), 206-210.

[2]Evers, History of the Southern Illinois Conference, 148. Southern Baptists averaged four hundred missions a year in the 1890s and thirteen hundred in the 1990s, a daily average of 3.6 a day. Lyle Schaller, The Interventionist (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997), 195-196.

[3]Charles Yrigoyen, Jr., APart Two: The Nineteenth Century,@ in John G. McEllhenney, ed., United Methodism In America: A Compact History (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992), 91.

[4]Lyle Schaller, AWhat Should Be The Norm?@ Circuit Rider, September/October 2003, 17.

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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Unit 7.23 Conclusion: Early Methodism is “cellish” but not a cell church.

QUOTE

C. The Five Stages of Spiritual Maturity:

(         Wesley=s equipping track raised people up as spiritual leaders and helped them find their ministry. Within the select society, they took responsibility for others as class leaders and band leaders, but there is little said about a parental sort of responsibility for others.

;         If leaders are raised up to become spiritual parents, there will be multiplying growth as generations of families form new families.

The Wesleyan discipleship system was always more focused on holiness than evangelism; while field preaching drew large crowds, Wesley=s Societies statistically Aconstituted only a fraction of one percent of the populace@ in any given year.[1] The crowds did not enter the societies; they are not an example of rapid evangelistic church growth similar to the church of Acts or modern cell churches. The Methodist society made disciples; individual Methodists, however, did not make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Leaders were raised to a level of servant maturity but not to the point where they would become spiritual parents of multiple generations of disciples as commanded in 2 Timothy 2:2.

Conclusion: Early Methodism is Acellish@ but not a cell church. It is the basic original pattern, however, both for cell churches that rapidly grow by multiplying generations and for traditional Acome structure@ churches that bring people into faith through worship and mature them in small groups. It=s not a cell church unless those mature disciples go back out into the world to make disciples and personally fulfill the Great Commission; acts of mercy are insufficient.


[1]David Lowes Watson, The Early Methodist Class Meeting (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1992), 131. Wesley=s pattern by itself will not reverse the current membership decline.

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.

Posted in Major League Disciple Making | Leave a comment