A couple of months ago Geoff Westlake was in America and caught up with “New Thing” – not a church, not a network of churches, but a network of networks of churches!
It started with 2 brothers starting a church (Christian Community Church) with reproduction as a seriously core value.
– So when they started a small group, it was with the other as an apprentice.
– When they wanted to start a second group that was fine but they both then needed to have an apprentice before that group could start.
– When the next person said, “can I start another group,” they said “Sure – but you need an apprentice before you can start.”
– When they started a church, there was an apprentice for every role.
– Then when the apprentices were ready to start their own, it was, “Sure – but you need each an apprentice before you can start.”
– When there were a few churches, a network co-ordinator was needed, but you guessed it, “Sure – you need an apprentice before you can start.”
They eventually needed a systems expert, and found one (and I guess he has an apprentice!). That’s when “New Thing” began – networking networks of networks of churches. Now somewhere in the world a new group/plant begins on average every 11 days.
This adamant apprenticing is the secret to their reproduction. A simple but effective mechanism to enable work to multiply! And even prevent things from starting until they are really ready with reproductive potential.
I (Barb) have loved getting to connect with some of the people around WA who are living and dreaming about what it means to be followers of Jesus in the various contexts that we find ourselves in 2012.
The community that I have been part of for the last decade or so in Melbourne had an article written up about them in The Age newspaper a couple of months ago. A group of people in a different place being followers of Jesus in their context.
“What can I do when I keep on being teased?” asked a preteen boy hopelessly, at one of our regular Friday arvo’s for preteens affectionately called “Rookies.” We normally have a sit-down chat, and we’ve been discussing problem-solving. So we gathered around and together stepped through the GROW model, using this boy’s live situation. G: the Goal of this conversation (to know what to do when I’m being teased.) R: tell the Reality of the situation. He did, we clarified. It’s harsh. O: What are your Options? Everyone brainstormed, kids volunteered to help. W: what Will you do? He chose a handful of options to try, and hope visibly returned to his body. Just a little victory in the life of Cheers.
The other Rookies all wrote notes on the GROW model to take home, and explain to their parents. We’ll never know what might be resolved, as this little life-skill ripples out.
Hamo writes about a “very real and ordinary” moment which is precious and hope-filled.
What are some of your “very real and ordinary” moments which are filled with love, grace and hope? We would love to hear them.
Interesting post here from Andrew Hamilton, a friend of SUNO. It’s a helpful analysis I think.
Here in SUNO-land, we certainly think that a more misssiological stance is needed for modern Australia to be impacted by the Kingdom of God. R and D is what we are about and what we champion – can we help you adapt your stance to missionary footing?
Thanks to Peter Barney for taking us on his Lausanne journey. We trust that you found it interesting, thought provoking and helpful.
Stay tuned for more juicy SUNO bits to fuel your local mission travels and maybe a tidbit or two more from Peter and Lausanne.