Making Disciples who actually follow Jesus
Learn more about this important subject. I. Jesus-fascination Missional people are obsessed with Jesus and missional communities are…
Cabramatta Vineyard Church
In 1995, we planted a church in Cabramatta – a poor, highly diverse immigrant community (170+ nations); centre of Sydney’s heroin trade.
1. Planting what we’d seen –the denominational template
The Five Year plan
Gather a team
Start a meeting
powerful ministry of the Spirit;
built around a coffee break
Serve the poor
Grow and multiply small groups
Add staff …
2. We grew a pretty good church, about 100 people, and sent teams that planted three others. But …
D. Western culture has formed the church into ‘a vendor of religious goods and services’.
1. Christians shop around for the right brand. The result is Christian consumerism with low brand loyalty.
2. Alan Hirsch says, “Consumerism is the most vigorous alternate spirituality that the church has ever faced.”
Shopping malls are secular temples.
You cannot consume your way into discipleship.
E. Like any competent church planter, I tidied up the shop. Excellent worship teams, kids program, brilliant preaching, strong sense of God’s presence, our own cosy venue.
A. The Western church’s response to the challenge of rapid discontinuous change has been largely inadequate. Internal changes make little difference if you don’t connect with your context. It amounts to rearranging the furniture.
Traditional church Church Growth Alternative worship
B. Fundamental Questions
My frustrations with church crystallised reading Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy. What if the sorry state of the Western church is not in spite of the gospel we preach, but because of it?
This haunting question led me to face some scary questions:
1. Are we making disciples? What is a disciple anyway? And how do we make one?
2. What is church? What is it for?
3. What is the good news?
C. On the missional journey, the questions are more important than the answers. The questions are meant to be wrestled with in community. They drive the journey. Answers are provisional.