The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network

Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

One of the changes taking place across the world, is the approach to how we educate people.

Media (TV, radio, social sites, video access) has blown past the lecture-by-expert mode if the Industrial era ... for which we built schooling facilities based on the factory model of mass production. Learning was rote (“mechanical or habitual repetition of something to be learned”).

Our technology-driven culture provides a variety of learning experiences, such as video-classes, roundtable interaction, TED talks (mini-lectures), self-discovery ...

So, how to we implement changes by incorporating these modes of learning into our “church service” approach to make-disciples?

A revising of our standardized Sunday-morning-Church format:

   Week 1 - The Word: Teach the context and content of a biblical passage (sermonic)

  • Instruction

   Week 2: - The Body: Apply the truths of that passage to contemporary life (workshop-style; discussion)

  • Interaction

   Week 3 - The Table - A complete dedication of time to the Lord’s Table (praise, prayer, sharing, healing , the bread & wine)

  • Inspiration

   Week 4 - The Saints - Focus on equipping for leadership, stewardship, worship, discipleship

  • Integration

   5th Sundays - The Streets - Presence Evangelism: In the Community; for the Community

  • Interface

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The purpose of a format like this is to create a disciple-making rhythm for the entire congregation.

In many churches, discipleship is an extra class or an annual seminar or retreat.

In too many churches, discipleship relies too heavily on a Sunday/weekend sermon.

This monthly rhythm:

  • Views every gathering as disciple-making
  • Isolates worship as a discipleship discipline; not merely the prelude to a sermon
  • Invites members/attenders into a life experience as a Christ-follower
  • Recognizes communication includes exegesis, exchange, exaltation, equipping, engaging
  • Employs more than a single mode; seminars, sharing, skill-sharpening, service, each build disciples in ways sermons alone cannot
  • Sermons focus on truth texts. Experiential learning enables members/attenders to apply teaching topics and themes to both their life and the mission of the Church
  • Pursues disciple-making as leadership development of each member/attender that produces Christ-followers who do not need a "church meeting" to worship, pray, care for others, share their faith.

Another way to reimagine Sundays/Weekends...

Design a rhythm of devoting a week to each of these disciple-making components:

  • Worship: Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs; Song then Scripture then Sermon repeated several times; a full service devoted to the Lord's Table
  • Discipleship: Biblical truth texts-topics-themes; description-dialogue-discussion
  • Fellowship: Celebrate (with a purpose/focus); Small groups share needs; pray for one another
  • Leadership: Seminar-styled training
  • Stewardship: Ministry/Mission stations focused on prayer, strategic updates, empowering 
  • Citizenship: Citizens of heaven blessing neighbors and communities through proclamation and service

I would also start with "Citizenship."  And not just on Sundays and/or Weekends.  Christian leaders and especially laity, should live their faith "in the streets."  A Christian does not need to be proselytizing to be Evangelizing.

If actions speak louder than words, they may speak louder than The Word when creating a first impression.  Let faith guide your secular actions.

One never knows when the question will be asked, "What makes you so confident or generous or accepting or some other worthy trait?"  Already understanding, one can reply, "It ain't me.  It's what I have been Given to share."

Then leave it to God.  Say whatever the Holy Spirit gives you at the time.

From a National Thought Leader . . .

10 Questions to Consider before Regathering

By Chuck Lawless on May 14, 2020 01:00 am

The possibility of churches gathering again soon has raised several important questions, including: What date should we regather? How do we greet folks from a social distance? How do we take the offering? How will we accommodate our entire church family when we must deal with spacing? Here, though, are some more questions I think we need to ask:

  1. Am I praying regularly for my church’s pastoral staff? We always need prayer support, but we’re particularly needing wisdom as we think about next steps.
  2. Will I follow the leadership of our church staff even if I’m not sure I agree with their guidance in regathering? I’m not arguing that every staff will get everything right, but I will argue that most of them have given much more thought to the best next steps than most of us have. In my estimation, we owe them our support.
  3. Am I okay with our church now meeting in multiple services and/or multiple venues at least for the near future? For many churches, these are going to be primary options for congregating while maintaining social distancing.
  4. Am I emotionally and spiritually prepared for changes that must take place for now? For example, will you avoid shaking hands with friends you’ve not seen for months? Will it seem strange to not have the “meet and greet” time your church has always had? Will you grieve not seeing everyone if your church moves to multiple services? How will you respond if your church no longer has a choir?
  5. Will I be tempted to find any reason to continue worshiping online only? There are legitimate reasons for folks more vulnerable to COVID-19 to stay at home for now. My fear is that other folks will use the current situation as an excuse to avoid gathering with God’s people again.
  6. Will I wear a mask – or, look down on others who do? Each of us must make his or her own decision on this choice. Surely, we’ll be supportive of each other’s choices. 
  7. Am I returning to corporate worship as a more committed or less committed follower of Christ? None of us will regather as the same people we were prior to this crisis. Over the past few months, all of us have taken steps either closer to God or farther from Him. What direction have you gone?
  8. What ongoing sin do I need to deal with prior to gathering with God’s people again? Don’t miss the opportunity to gather again with a fully obedient heart. Worship may well be more potent if you have no unforsaken sin in your life–no matter how much the actual worship service might change. 
  9. Has the time apart helped me let go of bitterness or anger toward another believer? I pray we’ll gather again with hearts bent toward forgiveness and reconciliation as needed.
  10. Am I praying for God’s grace for someone to find a cure or develop a vaccine for the coronavirus? My wife has reminded me that we’re reading a lot about how churches are responding to this crisis, but we’re hearing little about this kind of prayer. As usual, she’s right . . . .

Say a prayer for all the churches in your community as they prepare to navigate the next several months.


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