Okay, the short-and-sweet facts of the matter: For several years now, the Missional Learning Commons has been a highlight of my year. It’s a collaborative learning event for missional churches and practitioners to share stories, discuss ideas, and encourage one another for the sake of incarnating the Gospel in their contexts. It has been an incredibly generative time for me over the past few years, and I meet wonderful new people every year.
So you should come this year! This year’s MLC will take place Oct 28-29, 2011 in the Chicago area, and in addition to our regular diet of on-the-ground practitioners and collaborative discussion, we are excited to announce that Mike Breen and a team from 3DM will be around to share some of what they have learned and help facilitate some of our conversations by asking some provoking questions. They’ll also be doing a discipleship-and-mission workshop on Friday Oct 28 during the day (before the MLC) for those interested in learning more about what they do.
Over four years ago Dave Fitch brought together a number of people from around the Midwest who shared an interest in the missional church and were looking to dialogue and learn about the issues facing pastors and leaders in the midst of ministry. Through the initial conversations and the ensuing relationships, more people have become interested in participating in these sorts of conversations, but the aim of what has become known as the Missional Learning Commons remains the same – providing a collaborative learning environment for missional churches to share stories, discuss ideas, and encourage one another for the sake of incarnating the Gospel in their contexts.
Over the last few years we’ve focused on things like church planting, community life, and Kingdom relationships. This year, we want to take aim at an issue that has risen to the surface for a huge number of us: discipleship. Here are some of the questions that will shape our time together this year:
- What does discipleship actually look like in our lives?
- Does the gospel we preach naturally and organically lead people into discipleship, or does it feel like an extra-curricular activity?
- How should the call to make disciples shape and guide our church practices: what we do, and how we do it?
- What is the significance of discipleship as the core component of the formation of Christian leaders?
So we want to explore the intersection of discipleship with daily life, our understanding of the gospel, the practices of our churches, and theological education as it is currently practiced. It seems that questions like these are increasingly urgent for many of us, so we want to try and tackle them together. We hope you’ll join us and contribute to the conversation.