On January 8-9, 2010 a bunch of missional pastors/church planters/leaders/people from all over the Midwest will be gathering in Fort Wayne to “talk shop,” discuss what we’re learning, encourage one another, pray, conspire and collaborate together for the gospel. My friend David Fitch calls Fort Wayne the “Missional Mecca of the Midwest,” which is really catchy, and also happens to be true. 😉
Last year we had a great turnout from all over the Midwest (and New Jersey! Shout-out to Life Mission Fellowship!). There’s a lot of hunger for this type of thing around here, and we’re glad we can help put on an event that will bless, equip, and encourage those who are in the trenches doing this stuff, and those who are wanting to dive into it more.
So it’s the Third Annual Missional Learning Commons – A Non-Conference. We call it a Learning Commons because it’s a focused day of learning from one another in collaboration and discussion, as opposed to hearing from celebrity speakers. We call it a Non-Conference because there are no fees, no paid speakers, no big sponsors selling stuff, just everyday folks trying to figure this stuff out and encourage one another in the Spirit.
This year we’ll gather at Westview Alliance Church, and the theme is Deeper Church: Churches as Whole Communities. Friday night (Jan 8, 7pm) is a discussion of Soong-Chan Rah’s book The Next Evangelicalism, which is a theological and practical discussion about obtaining multi-ethnicity in the local church. If you’d like to be part of this gathering, make sure you have read the book before you come, and be prepared for some robust theological/cultural engagement!
Then Saturday (Jan 9) is wide open (no preparation needed!). Check out the detailed schedule at missionalcommons.org, or Fitch’s blog. RSVP on the Facebook event page or by emailing me. The general topics for discussion on Saturday are listed below:
SATURDAY JAN 9
Crucial Practices for Deeper Churches (Chris Smith/Ben Sternke)
How do Eucharist/worship and communal economics shape us into missional people and further God’s mission in our local communities?
Sharing a Deeper Gospel in Post-Christian Contexts (David Fitch/Jeremy Dowsett)
What does it look like to share the good news after evangelicalism? What kinds of practices, language, and metaphors does faithful evangelism in post-Christian settings call for?
Should Deeper Churches Have Paid Staff? (Panel discussion)
What are the strengths and weaknesses of bi-vocational leadership in missional communities? What kinds of skills and practices make it viable over the long haul?
How Can Deeper Churches Become Multi-Ethnic? (David Fitch)
Have white concerns and values shaped the missional/emerging movement? How can we move forward to more faithfully embody the Revelation vision of every tribe, nation, and tongue?
Again, the full itinerary, and a lot of other information, is available at missionalcommons.org