We’re continuing to post on the vision and values of our church plant.
So far: 1. “Why?” – 2. Our mission – 3. Skeptics and Dreamers – 4. Missionary communities – 5. Journey, Honesty, Community – 6. Participation, Oikos, Simplicity, Wonder – 7. Creativity, Roots, Justice, Truth – 8. 3D Church – 9. Gatherings
Today: a sketch of our philosophy of ministry
This stuff is perhaps for the more technically-minded. But reading it will definitely give you a good picture of the ethos we want to cultivate as a community (shout-out to my friend JR Briggs, by the way – I based much of this on the community he planted).
- Our desire is to be known more for our sending capacity than our seating capacity (a friend came up with that phrase, love it!). Therefore, we desire to send regular people out into the world as missionaries: teachers, students, plumbers, businessmen and stay-at-home moms in the name of Jesus.
- We desire to connect more with the de-churched and the un-churched than the overly-churched.
- Our desire is to reach people who are skeptical or cynical towards Church, have left the church or have never experienced a meaningful, authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We desire to communicate, embrace and live out a more robust gospel, holistic in understanding. We believe the gospel renews us as individuals, it renews us as the Church, it renews the communities in which we live, work and play and it renews the systems and structures that operate in our culture.
- Our evangelism strategy will be geared specifically to post-Christian culture: to make clear the meaning of the word of proclamation (kerygma) by means of a life lived in fellowship (koinonia) and finding its expression in simple service (diakonia). These are not isolated “ministries” of the church but vitally integrated aspects of a holistic understanding of the gospel.
- Our approach will be much more “relational-familial” than “business-corporate” in its structure.
- We desire to lead out of our unofficial influence rather than out of our job titles or positions.
- We will lead by both our strengths and our weaknesses, believing that God is honored by our willingness to obey.
- While structure and order are important they are not the end-all sign of health. After all, a graveyard is extremely orderly. So we desire to lead in the midst of a healthy chaos. We embrace the chaos, rather than run from it, trying to adopt a playful attitude toward the mess we will often experience.
- While there will be appropriate assignments of responsibility, authority, and leadership, the hierarchical structure will be much more “flat,” taking more of a team approach to decision-making.
- We will place a high priority on identifying, building into, training, equipping and unleashing new and younger leaders in their passions and giftedness.
- Communication will be honest, transparent and forthright with the faith community because we are family.
- We will take risks in leadership, not simply seeking to “play it safe.” We will seek to cultivate a culture that gives people permission to take risks and to fail.
- We desire to lead not as experts, but as fellow journeymen. We desire to lead with our questions, not merely our answers, and won’t hesitate to admit when we don’t know the answer.