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Posted by Mike McKinley.
Here are my noted from the second talk by Tim Chester from the Radstock annual conference.
Examining church planting movements around the world, we see three things:
-- The model of mission is supernatural.
-- The model of church is reproducible
-- The model of discipleship is cruciform (this is the topic for the last talk of the conference).
First, the model of mission is supernatural.
-- A passion for prayer
-- We cannot start a movement of God, but we are wholly dependent on him.
-- When faced with a crisis, our first response is usually "What can we do?" rather than "Let's pray."
-- Prayer is doing mission and pastoral care. It's not like we do mission and then sometimes pray about it. Prayer is the front line.
-- It's not as if prayer is a missions tool we use to manipulate God. The point of prayer is God. Prayer is fruit of an understanding of who God is.
-- Spiritual warfare
-- Where is Satan at work? Where are the barriers to belief in your community? We must pray against these things.
-- An everyday reliance on God.
-- We become good at creating risk-free mission.
-- When was the last time you felt dependent on God?
-- We minister is a safe way because we don't trust God.
Second, the model of mission is reproducible.
-- Reproducible churches.
-- Do Christians sit in your church thinking "I could do this."?
-- Lower the bar on how church is done (production values and performance) and raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple.
-- Reproducible missionaries
-- The motto of the Chinese church: Everyone is a church planter.
-- New converts shouldn't sit in the pew for 10 years before they are asked to do mission.
-- This creates a church suitable for the culture because we allow converts to adapt to our church cultures.
-- Reproducible learning
-- Neither the early church or the Chinese church had easy access to complete Bibles.
-- It's possible to make church/Bible study into a reading comprehension exercise. But one needn't be highly educated in order to be a leader.
-- We need more aural based ways of teaching people. Learning in Biblical times was often via story and conversation. Jesus' discipleship program was along the way.
-- We shouldn't only value people whose learning is expressed in thirty minute sermons.
-- Teach the Bible by telling the story of the Bible.
There was a Q&A time at the conclusion where Tim clarified some of his comments about preaching. He said that storytelling isn't the only way to teach (e.g., it's hard to tell the story of II Thessalonians), but 70% of Scripture is a story. "Let's let the genre of Scripture shape the way we teach it."
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