The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network

Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

Church. Gather. Differently!                                                       

Phil Miglioratti • The ReimagineFORUM

 

As the nation begins to “reopen,” the right of churches to gather has become highly politicized. For some, the cry for reopening is an act of patriotism based on what they consider their constitutional right. Others claim the precious principle of freedom of religion while some protest in anger. Some congregations have defied the ban to meet together (some also ignoring social distancing) and a few have sued the government for a return to business as usual.

 

Regardless of your perspective, I ask you to look at the how the church is responding to the reopening issue from the viewpoint of those the Church exists to invite or influence. Whether a congregation gathers in blatant defiance or even quietly resumes their normal schedule, many observers have only reactive/negative images that will invariably lead them to reach wrong conclusions about the heat and soul of the Church.

 

As I ponder our situation, I find these questions bothersome:

  • Are Christians perceived as using freedom of religion as an expression of partisan politics?
  • When we disregard social distancing are we acting in courageous faith, or are we arrogantly testing the Lord our God (Matthew 4:7) by ignoring the God-created realities of chemistry and biology?
  • Will the unchurched see this episode as another indication of an attitude of entitlement? Arrogance? Ignorance?
  • What  is the “Gospel According to the Reopening Church” my neighbors see/hear?
  • During shelter-in-place, what has my congregation done to connect with neighbors? Serve unchurched people? Are we now known as generous? Uncommon? Kind? Different?

 

What would happen if, rather than clamoring for our rights, we broke out of our standard operating procedures and designed new ways of proclaiming God and blessing our communities?

 

What could God do through the Church if we began to view this virus-crisis as an opportunity to reshape cultural stereotypes (judgmental, irrelevant) as we demonstrate the heart of God (love, sacrifice, forgiveness; John 3:16-17)?

 

What if we express our right to gather in ways unexpected but appreciated, even welcomed.

 

What if we gathered; not defiantly but joyfully; not in our seats but out in the streets?

 

What if we promote a gathering to honor and bless and pray for First Responders?

 

Church, we are right now in a Kairos moment.

Reimagine Church in this unique moment in history to gather - -

in small groups (5-7) outside your building to praise (parade) and pray (circles)

Then, each family or small group walks/drives to a:

  • place of power (City Hall) to pray for our leaders
  • neighborhood hit hard by the pandemic, praying for people as we distribute food
  • business struggling economically to bless with a gift (sanitizer) or an act of service
  • school and other places of influence to pray for our culture
  • hospital, praying for healing and hope,; gifting food for medical staff and families
  • police or fire station to support First Responders (pizza party)
  • nursing home to bring songs and smiles to those confined to their surroundings

 

 

Church, you have the right to fight. Fight, differently. Use this unique opportunity to show and tell the Gospel with acts of kindness by serving others in an attitude of love. Reach. Then preach. And teach.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

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FUTURIZE!

Futurize. After we stabilize, normalize, and mobilize, then we begin to re-structure ourselves for the future. In an inexplicable way, every existing church has an opportunity to relaunch [1] – much like a new church plant.

For many spiritual leaders, this shared moment in history has been exceedingly clarifying. Things that once occupied our priorities now seem like a life-sized game of trivial pursuit. The mission of Jesus’ church has been refined in our minds and it is so much larger and more exhilarating than producing endless Sunday extravaganzas.

Corporate worship will always be a rallying point, but the gospel mission of the body will require all of the body. We are interdependent. There are no spare parts. No spectators. No unimportant days. No second-class callings.

With metrics recalibrated toward Kingdom impact, the church’s future becomes one of power and redemption. We now have a moment that we can take into the future. May we be leaders of conviction and courage.

Read full article here>>>

The #ReimagineJOURNEY...

needs wisdom to know how to follow Spirit-led, Scripture-fed direction - -

Five “Wisdom” Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves

Jun 08, 2020 07:00 am | Bob Tiede 

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Excerpted from Servant Leader Strong: Uniting Biblical Wisdom and High-Performance..., by Tom Harper (DeepWater Books, Dec. 2019). Foreword by Richard Blackaby. View the Book Trailer.

Note from Bob:  Faced with the monumental challenges we are all experiencing, it seems like there has never been a time that Leaders (All Leaders) are more in need of Wisdom than at this very time!  And please know that I am personally at the front of the line of those needing Wisdom now!   I am so grateful for the words from James 1:9:  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  My prayer for you and for me is that God would grant us all His Wisdom for this very day!   I am also extremely grateful for my friend Tom Harper and his book on Biblical Wisdom!

How do we as leaders grow in wisdom? The following self-inventory questions may help point out a potential area of focus in your personal quest for wisdom.

1. Have I asked for wisdom?

Even the wisest leaders in the Bible continually asked God for wisdom. That’s a wise practice to follow.

“Give me wisdom & knowledge that I may lead this people” (2 Chronicles 1:10). Already a success, Solomon wanted more wisdom.

“Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people” (1 Kings. 3:9). A young king wanted wisdom before success.

2. Do I act wisely?

Thinking and doing are inseparable in a life governed by wisdom. Christ lived this out for us, modeling the right kind of action.

“Wisdom is proved right by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19). Jesus’ #leadership was criticized, but his actions established him.

3. Do I measure my words?

When we speak, our words sometimes get us into trouble. Therefore we must measure them, just like we number our days, so “we may develop wisdom in our hearts” (Psalm 90:12).

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).

“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue” (Proverbs 11:12).

4. Do I patiently look under the surface?

When we remember there’s a lot going on behind the scenes in everyone’s lives, this helps us develop wisdom. And when we overlook someone’s surface reactions, we can discover a better way to lead him or her.

“The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters; but a man of understanding draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5). #Leadership goes behind the curtain.

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11). Leaders must sometimes overlook.

5. Do I try too hard to understand God’s ways?

“God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy & hardens whom he wants to harden” (Romans 9:18). We must bow to a mysterious God.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

This last point may be the wisest of all: No matter how much wisdom the Lord grants us, or how many questions we ask, we will never understand all his ways. Fortunately, his Word reveals what we need to know here and now.

Click “HERE” to purchase your “Servant Leader Strong – Uniting Biblical Wisdom and High-Performan... book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tom Harper is CEO of Networld Media Group and publisher of BiblicalLeadership.com, a free online source of encouragement, tips and how-to for leaders seeking to apply biblical principles in their daily lives. Tom lives in Louisville, Ky. with his wife and three children. He is the author of the business fable Through Colored Glasses: How Great Leaders Reveal Reality (DeepWater, 2018) and Leading from the Lions’ Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H, 2010).



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9  Reasons Many Churches Operate in Their Own Power

By Chuck Lawless on Jun 11, 2020 01:00 am

It seems to me that many churches operate more in their own ability than they do in God’s power. The evidence, particularly of North American churches, is that we’re not making much difference in reaching non-believers and driving back the darkness. Here are some reasons we operate in our own strength:

  1. We don’t always recognize the incredible size of God’s calling on our lives as believers. We’re to make disciples of all the peoples of the world. Every believer and all churches are to be involved in this task – and it’s much, much bigger than any of us. We forget that fact.
  2. It’s the enemy’s goal that we might serve in our own strength. He’s not alarmed when we do church without God’s power resting on our efforts. In fact, I doubt he worries much about numbers as long as we’re operating in our own strength.
  3. Many of us who lead rely more on our training and experience than on God. It happens, even when we’re committed to not let it happen. Few of us default into dependence on God; we default into independence and self-dependence.
  4. Prayer is a primary means by which we live in God’s power—but many churches aren’t really praying churches. We might talk about prayer a lot, but that doesn’t mean we truly pray. I doubt we know many churches whose prayer DNA is as deep as the early church’s DNA.
  5. We can, in fact, do much of the “activity” of the church in our own strength. We have to admit this truth if we’re willing to be honest. Just think about how much we do without really praying, and you’ll see that we’re often just going through ministry motions on our own.
  6. We don’t often tackle many “God-sized” tasks. In some ways, the early days of the COVID-19 crisis forced us to seek God’s wisdom and help – but I fear we’ll quickly lose that focus as the new normal sets in. In general, we seldom talk about tackling an assignment our church can’t do unless God does it through us.
  7. Many churches give little attention to reaching non-believers. Unbelievers are caught in darkness, and we can’t reach them unless God’s Spirit convicts them and draws them. Strongly evangelistic churches have learned to lean on God because they know they can’t change hearts. Non-evangelistic churches don’t think this way.
  8. We sometimes concern ourselves more with being “bigger and better” than others than we do with glorifying God. Our work thus becomes a competitive sport, and winning a competitive sport is almost always dependent on the skill and training of the athlete—not usually on the God who gives the athlete ability in the first place.
  9. We never even pause to ask, “In whose power am I walking?” I know that simply writing this post has forced me to ask this question again. Perhaps it will do the same for you.

What other evidences come to mind for you?  

Exponentialhttp://exponential.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Expo-Logo-Carrot-..." width="250" class="CToWUd"/>
https://exponential.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Thursday-Email-J..." alt="Exponential Online Community and Conference" width="100%" class="CToWUd"/>

Rethinking How We Measure Success

“Changing the world is more than any of us can do," says Dave Ferguson, "But it’s not more than all of us can do.”

Rethinking how you measure success has never been more critical as we find ourselves in the midst of this uncertain season.

Engage with our other like-minded leaders via our Online Community and Conference experience as we pursue, together, the cause of Kingdom multiplication.

Check out our new interactive program book and then register to gain access to these incredible benefits:

• Exclusive online events like webinars, forums, and live coaching calls with multiplication practitioners
• 15 National Speakers for the June 23-24 Online Conference including Efrem Smith, Dave Ferguson, Eugene Cho, Aubrey Sampson, Léonce Crump, and more
• Interactive Q&A with Speakers
• Additional equipping labs
• And more!

https://www.flipsnack.com/multiplication/boise-2020-program-book/fu...

"Our life experiences become life lessons that become part of our
life message. Church, may our life message reflect Christ in us and
through us. People are watching and hoping...
our hope is in the Lord, not in institutions of man."
DOUG STRINGER
The Future of Missions
A new report coming soon!
Next week, we’ll be releasing a new report called The Future of Missions, which looks closely at how younger generations view international mission work.

Today, we want to share three big findings with you for free.

  • Over and above evangelism and discipleship, nearly half of churchgoing young adults—say they want missionaries "to save lives."

  • Christians under 35 are almost twice as likely as older believers to judge that missionaries should never use donations as their source of income.

  • The blending of business and social good has become common, and even expected, especially among younger generations. Millennial Christians show significant enthusiasm for nontraditional missionary roles like entrepreneurs, artists, and business leaders.

If you’d like to discuss these findings with your team, we’ve created a free PDF to help.
And stay tuned next week for the full report, which includes:
  • What young people value about missions and what they want to change
  • 10 ministry questions the Church must answer with the next generation
  • Profiles of current missionaries in various parts of the world
  • Perspectives from people connected to missions in different ways (parents, sending organizations, former missionaries)
  • And much more!
Until then!

—Barna Group
Some Christian leaders are worrying if they, their congregation, their ministry, will survive.
Others, with both faith and vision, are looking for ways to thrive.
 
#ReimagineCHURCH...as God, in and with and through, those who love and follow God's good, satisfying and suited-for-you, will.

Yang: As you think about larger churches, would you say this is a time for them to reimagine themselves as a mission agency?

Wegner: The economic situation is changing for the church, and we’re not going to be able to support these big facilities. But we could reimagine ourselves as a platform. I think of the two words: portal and platform. Netflix is a portal. They have an offering, and people can come and choose. That’s kind of what we do in our churches right now. On an internet platform, for example, you can build whatever you want on it. If we begin to think of our churches as a hub and see ourselves as a platform, a church can create a network of microchurches very quickly as opposed to the cost of running one large congregation.

Full Article:

https://outreachmagazine.com/features/church-planting/57401-reimagi...

Faith-based Groups 'Must Evolve Messaging' to Engage 'COVID Generation'

InChrist Communications invites nonprofits, ministries, churches to join free live webinar July 22; expert panel discussion


'EVOLVE OR DIE': Faith-based organizations must evolve the way they communicate to engage the "COVID generation" -- or risk becoming irrelevant, says InChrist Communications (www.InChristCommunications.com). The communications agency is staging a free, love webinar and expert panel discussion -- COVID-19: Your Message for the Next Season -- July 22 at 2 p.m. EDT. Register at www.inchristcommunication.com/inchrist-communications-webinar-panel.

NEWS PROVIDED BY
InChrist Communications
July 20, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 20, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- Faith-based organizations, such as churches and nonprofit ministries, must evolve the way they communicate to engage the "COVID generation" -- or risk becoming irrelevant, a leading communications agency said today.

Many of America's Christian organizations -- churches, mission agencies, schools, rescue missions and other ministries -- are looking for effective ways to connect with their audiences and supporters as COVID-19 continues to dominate the news, with no immediate end in sight, according to InChrist Communications (ICC, www.InChristCommunications.com), a national branding, marketing, public relations and crisis communications firm.

The North Carolina-based agency is staging a free, live webinar and panel discussion -- COVID-19: Your Message for the Next Season -- July 22 at 2 p.m. EDT to help faith-based organizations develop their own plan to break through the media clutter. Communications and ministry leadership teams can register at www.inchristcommunication.com/inchrist-communications-webinar-panel.

Panel experts will include communications leaders from high-profile media organizations, mission agencies, faith generosity movements, donor development consultancies, and churches.

"Our research shows many organizations were completely blindsided by COVID-19, and many are still struggling to find their voice," said ICC President Diane Lonsdale. "However, three-quarters of those surveyed say they've increased their marketing and communications during the pandemic, because they realize it's vital to keep their audiences engaged."

'Must Change to Stay Relevant'
What's clear, Lonsdale says, is that faith-based organizations will have to change the ways they communicate with the "COVID generation" -- especially with rapidly evolving technology -- if their message is to stand out and they're to stay relevant.

"It's evident that brand messaging and methods will have to change to accommodate the emotional mindset of the public and the evolution most ministries are going through right now," said Lonsdale, a veteran marketing pro.

"Our survey shows three out of every four organizations plan to change the ways they communicate in the coming 6-12 months," Lonsdale said, "and more than 80 percent of Christian communications professionals are looking to new ways to use video, social media, and other digital strategies to create the dynamic online connections this generation craves."

About InChrist Communications
Established in 2002, InChrist Communications (ICC, www.InChristCommunications.com) provides strategic integrated communications services -- branding, marketing, advertising, media relations, crisis communications, donor communications, social media, digital media, web -- for faith-based ministries, missions, churches, and businesses. A free strategy session is available at www.inchristcommunication.com/inchrist-communications-webinar-panel.

SOURCE InChrist Communications

CONTACT: Ty Mays, 770-256-8710, tmays@inchristcommunications.com

Christian Communication Network | 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

From a community impact leader . . .

Great article - "Church. Gather. Differently!" Love the list of practical suggestions at the end 

Templates for Leadership:

•The Seven Questions

Seven questions to keep your focus on your calling; prayer, evangelism, loving our communities to Christ with justice...

Use these questions in your planning, incorporate your team, initiate with prayer...

•The "E" Strategy to Engage Your Community / City

Nine "E" components congregations or ministries of any size can focus on to impact their community and the culture.

27 Questions to Ask Instead of “What Do You Do?”


Aug 31, 2020 07:00 am | Bob Tiede 

Guest Post by Courtney Seiter

Originally Posted @ Buffer

I love the little traditions that develop organically at Buffer. One of them is to welcome each new teammate with a long email chain of happiness that begins with that person’s introduction.

More often than not, the introduction has a certain ratio:

  • 1 part what this person will do for Buffer and has done for work in the past
  • 2 parts who this person is in the world—a mom, a breakdancer, an ex-Marine

I love this 1:2 ratio because it speaks to a simple truth we strive to recognize as a team: We are more than our jobs. 

As much as we may love working, it can’t be the thing that defines us fully.

At Buffer, we’ve been focused lately on bringing our “whole selves” to work—our passions and strengths, flaws and vulnerabilities, hobbies and pet projects.

This can be quite contrary to the way most businesses are run, where you might be expected to check your personal life at the door. And it’s led to some extraordinary insights and closeness.

There’s more to life than ‘What do you do?’

And yet, I haven’t quite been able to take this knowledge to heart in my interactions with others.

I’m a bit of an introvert in social situations, and my natural instinct when I meet new people is that old fallback, “What do you do?”

I’ve long had an inkling that this question doesn’t always create the best environment to really get to know someone, and Geekwire explains a few reasons why:

  • It’s understood as “What do you do for a living?” and ranks paycheck activities above all others in the get-to-know-you hierarchy.
  • It assumes permanence and stability when our economy and values pave choppier paths.
  • It pins your identity to a job instead of pinning a job to your bigger, evolving identity.
  • It loads the resume, an automatic output given time and time again.
  • The person may not have a job at the moment, which is awkward to explain in this context.
  • The person may not care about what they do for a living. But they have to tell you anyway.

One way to break out of the mold and have more authentic conversations might be to prime ourselves with lots of alternatives to The Question.

Here are quite a few—some are only minor deviations from “What do you do?” while others spin off in an entirely new direction.

The key, according to Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker, authors of What to Talk About: On a Plane, at a Cocktail Party, in a Tiny Elev..., is to ask an open-ended question. Their advice?

“Aim for questions that invite people to tell stories, rather than give bland, one-word answers.”

27 alternatives to ‘What do you do?’

  1. What are you most passionate about?
  2. What do you like to do?
  3. What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
  4. What are you most excited about right now?
  5. What are you working on?
  6. If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
  7. What do you do for fun?
  8. What’s something you’re really into right now?
  9. What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you lately?
  10. How do you feel your life has worked out so far?
  11. What was the best part of your week/weekend?
  12. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  13. What are you looking forward to right now?
  14. What’s the last picture you took on your phone?
  15. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
  16. What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about you?
  17. What habit or improvement are you working on?
  18. What cheers you up?
  19. What’s your favorite word?
  20. What cause are you passionate about?
  21. What’s on your mind lately?
  22. What personal habit are you proudest of?
  23. How do you spend your days?
  24. What problem do you wish you could solve?
  25. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
  26. What’s your favorite emoji?
  27. Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?

I’m looking forward to giving all 27 of these a try. Here’s to better, deeper, more fulfilling conversations!

What questions do you like to ask as an alternative (or addition) to “What do you do?” I’d love to add your choice to our list!

Oh, and for even more tips on winning friends and communicating with ease, check out:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Courtney Seiter writes about social media, diversity and workplace culture at Buffer, where she’s Director of People.

On the side, she’s a plant mom and weightlifter who pets every dog she sees. You can follow Courtney on Twitter.



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