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Posted by Mike McKinley.
Greetings from the UK, where I am attending Radstock's annual International Conference. Our speaker this year is Tim Chester, church planter with The Crowded House Edge Network and co-author of Total Church.
Here are my notes from Tim Chester's first talk entitled "Organic Mission", audio hopefully to follouw.
Main point: God is the great missions strategist.
-- Mission can't be planned beyond the next step because people are unpredictable and God is sovereign.
-- Acts 1:8, Acts 8:1-4, I Corinthians 16:5-8
-- Metaphors for growth in the Bible are organic (seeds, yeast, harvest, prune). Growth is like a sneeze.
1. We should have a humble confidence in God's sovereignty.
-- I can trust God to use my small contribution as part of his big mission plan.
-- It is pride to think that we can organize church growth because Christ grows the church.
2. We should have a clear vision for mission.
-- God's sovereignty is no excuse for bad missions strategy.
-- Paul has a plan: wherever God takes him, he will preach Christ and plant churches.
3. Put #1 and #2 together, and you have a liberating culture in the church.
-- Because you are not confined by a plan, you are free to respond to Providential opportunities. And because you have a clear vision, they know how to respond.
-- We need a culture in our churches where you don't need permission to do mission.
For leaders, this means:
-- Leadership is about creating an ethos of mission.
-- Leadership is about organising the chaos that results (Acts 11:19-26) and catching up with what God is doing.
Questions for reflection:
-- What is the functional DNA of the church?
-- Is your vision clear? Would everyone in your team describe it the same way?
-- Is your church flexible enough to respond to new opportunities?
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