The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network

Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

Worksheet ~ Small Church. Big Impact. Your Community.

Phil Miglioratti

http://Reimagine.Network

 

I opened an email from a colleague who leads a ministry in Chicago. He was very excited to report their increasing impact.

 

Born and having served the Church in Chicago for a lifetime before moving to Florida, I was blessed to see a ministry team responding to the call of God to serve the needs of people who live in that "one great city" (Jonah 4:11).

 

Then I began to wonder; what could God do if even a small congregation or ministry in each of the 77 neighborhoods discerned and designed a simple-yet-substantial action-plan. Just one group.

 

Small in size. But big in prayer. Focused on a specific need in a particular location. A small but unique group concentrated on a Spirit-led focus to show and tell the love of God in Christ in their community.  

 

Not small churches reprograming to become mega-churches. Small entities, praying big, loving loud, and sharing their stories of new life in The One of God, our Savior.

 

Almost immediately, the Holy Spirit began flooding my mind with ideas. A simple template the smallest of congregations or ministries (or even a small group) could adopt or adapt toward making a simple but sizable impact on life across their community. A series of questions a Design Team could utilize to pursue a for-such-a-time-as-this action plan.

 

 

 

Think about. Pray into. Talk together. 

  • When you gather together:
    • Pray Before: Everyone participates. No hurry,. Listen. Debrief what you heard collectively...
    • During: Interrupt the horizontal discussion to reengage the leading of the Spirit...
    • After: Prayers of commitment, seeking empowerment for action...a
  • When you pray together A.S.K.  
    • Ask the Lord for direction and discernment toward defining and designing a single outward focus that drives every ministry and activity, every program and project.
    • Include everyone as you seek God's will as you search God's Word. 
    • Prepare to knock on new doors-of-opportunity and to knock down any roadblocks (programs, traditions, customs, focused-on-members, fear of the neighborhood) that would keep you from fully committing to whatever the Spirit leads you
  • When you think together:
    • "What is the one thing we are equipped to do that will have significant influence and impact on the people we live near, work alongside, play with?"

Base - Why do we exist? Who are we?

  • Believe in the purpose and power of your group
    • Jesus worked with groups of varying sizes. Perter, James, and John. The twelve. The seventy; sent out two-by-two. One hundred and twenty gathered in prayer in an upper room. Crowds; hundreds in the temple courts, thousands on a hillside.
    • "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”" Margaret Mead
  • Walk and talk through these questions:

    • Why do we exist?
      • For God? For ourselves? For others?
    • What is our unique personality as a specific group of people? 
      • Describe our corporate culture
      • What is our unique mix of people?
        • Jobs-Roles-Functions-Achievements-Contacts-Experiences...
      • What redemptive gift would be a blessing to our neighbors? 

        • What passion, skill, talent, Spirit-gifting is embedded in our group.
        • What do we do best as a congregational community or group and how might God use that to impact our community?
      • What need, problem, cry for advocacy, breaks our heart.

 

 

 

Grace What is the one-thing God is calling us to do to reveal "the grace of God that brings salvation to all people?" (Titus 2:11)

  • Do we believe this?

    • People need to know salvation has come in and through Jesus
    • Salvation is "the free gift of God"(literally 'grace-gift' - notice the redundancy to make the point) (Romans 6:23)
    • God's offers a salvation that is not based in merit or achievement ...to everyone.
  • Help your members look into the faces of the people you hope to serve.

    • Are we prepared to pray for, care about, share with anyone God places in our path?
    • Since "all people have sinned and have missed the shining-greatness of God" (Romans 3:23) are we prepared to love our neighbor, with every variety of sin?

      • Identify the "types" of people/groups that may be difficult to accept
      • Are we more likely to be more judgmental than loving?

 

 

 

 

Case - What is the new path the Spirit is leading us to step onto?

  • Do we have a fresh clarity of calling (focus) or are we simply looking to replace one program with another?
  • Have we done our research?
    • Is this a perceived-need on our part or a real-need expressed by the people we are called to serve? 
    • Are other churches or organizations already working in this are? If so, should we partner? Or, should we look for a yet-unmet need?
    • How do we cast this vision to our congregation/team/group
    • This city-focused guide may help us>>>

 

 

Space - What is our serving capacity?

  • People
  • Finances
  • Resources
  • Experience
  • Space for meeting or activity or storage 

 

 

 

Place What is the scope of our calling?

  • A realistic understanding of how much area we should encompass
  • Could less actually be more? Less area covered but more people served more substantially.
  • Is our calling to a particular community? Street corner? To a certain set of people (unwed mothers, families with a parent incarcerated, homeless, etc.)

 

 

 

Pace - When should we begin?

  • What needs to take place before we go public?
    • Does our specific service/action require permits?
    • Are there resources we must first purchase?
    • How do we prepare (teach and reach) our members?
    • What training is required?
  • Are we planning on scheduling:
    • A one-time emphasis? (That’s charity)
    • A quarterly event? (That’s an activity)
    • An ongoing service? (That’s a ministry)
  • Start now ... 
    • Ask the Spirit to take control of this endeavor
    • Share the vision
    • Organize the entire congregation/organization to press into the vision with listening prayer
    • Gather a team of people who know how to seek discernment
    • Set goals to reach the objective of a welcomed and meaningful presence in your community.

 

Erase/Replace - What must be set aside so that nothing hinders us from fulfilling our new calling?

  • This may be the most difficult step in the process.
  • It is probable some meetings, events, activities, programs must be canceled so that the entire congregation/organization/team to be fully focused-equipped-available to pursue our action-plan
  • Assess every ministry component of the congregation/organization.
    • How do our existing programs serve our new focus?
    • Which ministries can be refocused to serve our new direction?
    • If not, how do we tenderly set this activity aside?
  • Erasing a program does not signify it was a failure. Subtraction may be essential to multiplication.
  • Refusing to eliminate a program in order to launch a new focus is a step toward failure.

 

Years ago, in a Chicago neighborhood not far from the one referred to earlier, I witnessed a simple action-plan at work. A small congregation, pastored by an untrained but passionate man of God, had begun to offer a meal to homeless men and women in their neighborhood. When I arrived at one of their noontime feedings, they were feeding about as many people as they had in their entire congregation. Small actions of even a few people can have significant results.

 

We need dots (•) of all sizes on the map. 

Mega-sized (thousands). Mezzo-sized (hundreds). Micro-sized (scores, even dozens).

Personalized to their people. Specialized to their gifting. Customized to their setting. 

 

 

“The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant."

Zechariah 4:10 New Century Version

 

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From Stew @ Verge Network & Conferences

Missional community should be simple and doable.

But there's a problem:

  • You don't know where to start or what to do
  • What you've tried so far isn't working
  • There's too much information out there
  • No one has given you a simple plan [Note from Phil @ Discipleship.Network: I hope the template above helps you get a jump start...]
  • Figuring it out on your own is time consuming and frustrating
  • You're leaving everything up to chance

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Grace and peace,

Stew
Founding Director: Verge Network & Conferences

P.S. Check out our field-tested Primer where you will:

  • Understand the foundation of missional communities and exactly how your groups, leaders, and church can flourish with gospel-centered missional communities.
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  • Discover how to leap over the main barriers to missional community, including identifying reactive vs. proactive missional opportunities, dealing with a consumer mentality, the dangers of individualism (and how to address them), and working with nominal Christians.
  • Learn what shared leadership looks like (and why that's important), how to multiply groups, how to keep the mission clear in your Missional Community, and assessing and training leaders.
  • Learn what the first stages of a new Missional Community looks like with topics like including not-yet believers, engaging the Bible as a group, and telling the story of God in public spaces.
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From a city impact catalyst in Indianapolis - -

This week, three of us had decided to prayer-walk (for an hour this am) the #LakesidePointe neighborhood (across the Jericho Road from the church I attend).  Recall, it's where we're trying to geographically care for a confined neighborhood -- and using collaborative churches/ministries resource to do so.  It's #neighboring, in my humble opinion.
Turns out, though, before our designated 9am start -- we got an alert that its community-building/office was ablaze.  And I mean ablaze.  Total loss.  No injuries, PTL.  But you can imagine, it was providentially an opportunity to do prayer-care-share, just by walking around chatting with folks.  And increasingly, our unofficial "Nora Neighborhood Ambassadors"... are reaching more and more of the 400+ households there -- many of whom are the most vulnerable in our city.
Btw, our collaborative document where we've been compiling info, pix, videos and links re today's Fire Incident can be viewed here>>>

Neil Cox 
"May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him..." (Romans 15

Use this as a workshop worksheet . . .

A simple way for every believer to find their "sweet spot"!

Click here>>>

Check out this ministry site

for several transferable and transformative ideas you can use as your ministry focus.

National CityReacher Call


This Thursday Dave Imboden will be our host. Call in to share your stories of CityReaching and hear an update from All America and the work in Kansas City

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Topic: National CityReachers Call
Time: This is a recurring meeting the second Thursday of each month at 11:00 am Eastern. 

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Hello Phil,

A few weeks ago, someone challenged me (Kaedyn) about holding the heaviness of the world and the lightness of Jesus together. While I recognize the brokenness, I often emphasize the good because I’ve been around people who only focus on the hard things and it’s not very motivating for me! 

As I considered why I focus on the good, I knew it had to do with the weekly conversations I get to have with many of you. I listen to leaders in other cities talk about what God is doing and the hope they have for their area. The stories and hope you share is infectious – I can’t not share it. To keep the hope spreading, below are some encouraging quotes from leaders like you that have boosted our hope this month: 

WHAT CGM IS WORKING ON...

Learn to strengthen evangelism in cities through Evangelism Teams: Last week, we enjoyed hosting a call with leaders from 12 North American Evangelism Teams. We shared new resources our LPA team has created for E-Teams and heard testimonies of people coming to faith because of these teams. E-Teams described creative ways they are strengthening evangelism in their cities: 

  • Hosting a digital outreach around Easter where local business leaders and professional athlete told their stories of hope. (Ottawa) 

  • Sending an E-Team email newsletter to 1000 local pastors to share about local evangelism efforts. (Portland)

  • Creating an evangelism training curriculum called “The Art of Evangelism.” (Columbus) 

  • Using E-Team meetings to share current testimonies from team members. (New York City)

Join Facebook Live with Ross Chapman and Lizzie Burke on Faith + Work + Cities: On July 7th at 12 pm PT/ 3 pm ET  Lizzie will interview Ross Chapman from For Evansville on Facebook Live. Ross founded For Evansville in 2015 and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry in Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation from Fuller Theological Seminary. We will learn why the faith + work + city movement need to be talked about together. Before you join us on July 7th, you can read more about faith, work, and cities from Ross here.

We spoke at a local youth group on Exploring Evangelism Myths: Lizzie and Kaedyn had the honor of speaking at a youth group earlier this month about the podcast series, Exploring Evangelism Myths. The students have been going through the book of Acts to learn how to be world changers! The highlight of the night was watching students share the successes (and awkward moments) of sharing their faith with family and friends. We all need to hear those stories to encourage us to continue telling others about Jesus!

What does faith sharing look like in city movements?: Earlier this month, Lizzie shared with 25 other city leaders about the history of our team, how we serve city leaders, and how we encourage faith sharing in city movements. This quote stood out during her talk, “We dream of a day when faith sharing is integrated into every thing we do in city movements, rather than being just another thing we do.” In our own city of Portland, OR we assumed faith sharing was happening alongside service, but we were wrong. If we want to see our cities transformed, the gospel needs to be proclaimed so people can be healed at every level of brokenness. 

HAPPENINGS...

Learn about Gen Z and evangelism: Our team joined Alpha Canada’s Generation Z Summit to go over the findings of Barna’s Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation. Two of our takeaways from this call were: 

  • Gen Z needs to see “who’s speaking” before they can dare to listen to “what’s being said.” 

  • Non-Christians and Christians in Gen Z feel calm when they talk about faith. 

You can read all about it in the Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation report here

Honoring Juneteenth: This past weekend was Juneteenth, a holiday dedicated to the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Many of our African American brothers and sisters have celebrated this holiday for years. However, for those of us who aren’t Black, this is a new holiday to not just enjoy, but further, educate ourselves on the racism that still exists in the United States. A couple of our favorite resources for churches and ministries on race: 

  • Civil Righteousness: Civil Righteousness's mission is "reconciliation and restorative justice through spiritual, cultural, and economic renewal." Learn how you can be involved here.

  • Arrabon: This program is perfect for individuals wanting to learn about reconciliation on their own and invite others to journey with them.

We will be gathering smaller groups of E-Teams in the coming months so that they can learn from cities in a similar context. If you’re interested in learning more about evangelism and city movements, make sure to schedule a time with our team below.
Connect with CGM here
With love,

The City Gospel Movements Team: Kevin, Lizzie, Kaedyn, and Spencer
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Make Jesus Known - Multiply the Church - Serve the city
JUNE 2021
CAMPUS TO CHURCH MOVEMENTS MODEL
For almost 3 weeks this June, 30 college students, church Fellows, and Cru staff lived, worked, played, and worshipped in Kansas City-- giving campus ministry students a taste of their future context for ministry and building a campus to church movements bridge model! We caught a glimpse of God's heart for cities and how to love those who live there. We partnered with church-planters who gave us vision to engage in mission and church multiplication post- graduation. We learned to connect people to Jesus, multiply the Church, and serve the city as a way of living!
NEW LIFE IN COMMUNITY

We met Kenzie* on our third day. She's an artist who was willing to help us with a scavenger hunt that introduced us to KC! During that first gospel conversation, she was interested in hearing what Christians believe, because she was disillusioned with the spiritual upbringing she had experienced.

During the next two weeks, she enjoyed being part of our team community. She loved the feeling of belonging as she moved toward believing. 

She joined us at a church picnic (where we gave her a Bible!) and at our Story of the Soul outreach, where she heard the gospel again through conversations around art, film, and music with the theme, "Can someone love and accept me for who I am?"

On our final evening, Kenzie prayed to express her brand-new faith in Christ!

*name changed for privacy

In 18 days

we initiated 564 spiritual conversations

we shared the gospel personally with 143

people

243 people heard the gospel in a group setting

43 people placed their faith in Christ

we had 10 follow-up appointments

MULTIPLYING THE LOCAL CHURCH

On this summer mission we interacted with a coalition of city leaders from a variety of contexts, cultures, and ministry experiences. These leaders are committed to multiplying church communities, authentic outreach, and the well-being of the greater Kansas City area. As we worked together, we served as a catalyst to help plant new churches and faith communities.

 

We partnered to increase the visibility of 4 churches in their neighborhoods and on social media, host VBS for Ethiopian immigrants, picked up trash & initiate spiritual conversations door to door, and host outreaches in local parks! We helped give the Church hope in the next generation of Christ-followers and they gave us a vision for simple acts of service opening doors for evangelism & discipleship in our communities. We shared the gospel with a man struggling with his faith, and he was at church Sunday!

We experienced the power and presence of God as He built our friendships & challenged us to take steps of faith toward others.
 

Here's how the summer mission experience envisioned these emerging leaders to return home to see God work in their own local churches:

 

This summer mission changed the way I live life
and look at people!

 

I'm going to go home and make sure I spend time with God every day
 

My heart is renewed, especially for evangelism & the significance of cities


I have a vision for churches changing a city when members are trained & faithful

 

EQUIPPING TO MOBILIZE
It is our desire to help you know and share the good news of Jesus. Here are some of our favorite resources that our team uses daily to talk to others about Jesus in a natural and conversational way. 

Every person
A safe place to explore questions about life and God. 
https://www.everyperson.com




Jesus Film App
Reaching people digitally with the hope of Jesus.
https://www.jesusfilm.org 



MyStory.me
Discover the stories of people who have been moved. 
https://mystory.me
 







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Why We MUST Apply Romans 12:2 to Church, Evangelism, Community Impact ...

Quote by Ed Stetzer, "Small Church, Big Impact" in Outreach Magazine


quote from Outreach Magazine

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