Communities

June 4, 2011 in Communities (F4) by CPM UK

(Notes taken from a recent Skype Coaching Session with Paul D Watson)

Communities of Believers / Discipling Communities of Believers

  • When we disciple people, we have to disciple them for something. We can disciple people in a way that they won’t do anything! Or do something unrelated to Kingdom. Goal of discipleship is for communities of believers to be started/multiplied, which is necessary for movement
  • What part of discipleship processes have you been a part of that have helped reproduction? And those that have hindered, slowed, or prevented reproduction?
  • There are things about our national culture or church culture which can keep people from being discipled for multiplication. Key is to identify those elements without being bitter! Not seen much good out of reactionary churches who are bitter. If you have to describe yourself by what you are not, then that is never a good sign
  • Community of believers has got to be a goal. Matthew 28.18-20. Purpose of baptism, one of them, is to bring people into community together; see 1 Corinthians 12 (all baptized into one body). GC has built into it establishing communities of believers.

 

How do we being discipling existing communities of believers into those practices that lead into movement and reproduction?


 

  • Need to help them learn about the nature of church. Not by lecture, but by Discovery Bible Study (DBS). Take passages and causes a transformative process over a period of time.
  • Start reading a Scripture together, and whenever come to those elements about the unchanging nature of church, and introduce it to your group, and ask what would we do/change that would make us more like the church described in the Scripture.
  • Over time, the summation of these together will move individually and corportately more into form of church truer to scripture. Takes time, and longer to do it, that may take 18 months to five years! We can pave the way and make it less painful than what we have experienced!
  • How do we start something from a scriptural viewpoint rather than what another person says which requires one to go back to scripture. What we’re trying to do is shorten the process/pain for others.
  • Obedience/motivation really important in this.
  • Also going to encounter scripture passages regarding function of church. When we read passages of scripture that says what church does, or at least for a time, that’s about function. For some, starting with function (one another commands) may be better than starting with nature of church.
  • Looking at nature and function, in established churches, as a Scripture-only process, is the only way to go, really. As come across passages: Do we do this? Why or why not?
  • Conversation about community of believers important because that’s the only way to have long-term impact on a silo, impact on families/communities. Back to Kait: way you build sustainability is to help people see who they are as a community of believers, and who they are in Christ.
  • Much easier to start from the beginning (as in article on DBS). But most of us not able to do that; we’re in established churches. So, example. Have 60 people, divide into groups of five. As a group, have to agree on how that group is going to obey a passage of Scripture. Paul: his dad actually did this with a mega church of 1000. Subdivided them into groups of five to study scripture passages, then feedback to church.

 

Next step?

  • All groups have a life cycle. Movements have a lifecycle too. The younger or more immature a group is, the shorter the lifecycle. Sometimes very rapid, but as relationships mature, they last longer. Personal obedience and collective group obedience creates the up cycle; increases life of groups.
  • Ministry to lost people, pulls people back into upward part of growth cycle. Obedience in DBS moves back into upswing and gain of momentum in life cycle
  • The form the groups take depend on their needs rather than a prescribed form. The soil/situation should be the basis of form. As people DBS/obey, they will then form as a community out of their situation
  • Cf. Colorado: little bitty stunty trees called scrub oaks. Signs that described their form had to do with the seasons/cycle of Colorado
  • Don’t duplicate structure to have something organic; instead, listen to Holy Spirit / moving to obedience, then structure comes later. May look like simple church. May be a megachurch. May be something entirely different. Key is mindset that obedience
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