Saturday, November 6, 2010

The AND Conference

Click here for a little about the conference including links to sessions.

Here's the essence of the tension: Many churches are based on an attractional model. You do amazing things that attract people to your church. Current research says that of the 100% people who could come to your church, only 40% would ever consider coming (and that number is shrinking).

60% will not be attracted no matter what we do. So it will take a missional model (going OUT to serve the people) to reach the 60%. This conference is about the truth that the church need sto be attraction AND missional going forward.

I thought Alan Hirsh was one of the premiere speakers. Here are some quotes from him:

"The problems of the current church cannot be resolved by the same lines of thinking that created it...digging a deeper hole is not the same as digging a new hole."

"Most churches are fishing in red oceans not blue oceans."

(Market terms: red ocean is a market that already exists and different entities are vying for the same catch - "blood in the water." Blue ocean is a new territory, new paradigm "unfished.")

"'If you can't imagine it, you can't do it.' -Einstein So we first have to make space in our minds to think movement rather than thinking programs." (First step in missional is in the mind--learning to envision a new paradigm.)

"AA is a great movement yet it has no headquarters...exponential movement is always the result of people, not an organizations."

He now prefers the word EXTRACTIONAL over attractional. In the current church model, we attract & convert people, they become involved in the life of the church and eventually live a life extracted from their prior culture of their unchurched world--(and we later wonder why they're not inviting people)."

"I'm hopeful...95% of Americans believe in be an American is to be Christian...atheism is a sliver of the population that has never grown...American is the last stand for Christ and His church...the game is over in Europe unless a miracle occurs...I am called to America..." (He's an Aussie Jew)

"We have to re-Jesus people. He is Savior to Americans but not Lord...this is at the heart of renewal..."

>>>"We're perfectly designed to achieve what we're achieving." <<< "Our ability to birth a movement is directly proportional to our ability to make disciples."

Rob Wegner (GCC teaching pastor)

"We feel like our whole church is starting all over again."

"Deconstructing our people's thoughts about church is going to be a big deal..."

Hugh Halter (Nat'l dir for Missio)

"It's all about disciple making. Disciples by definition will be on mission...for us we use the term apprentice for disciple."

"Biblically the spirit & the flesh are opposed to each other--we don't naturally want to be missional people."

Barriers to disciple making: individualism, materialism (buying things), consumerism (God's here for me).

Jesus' apprenticing included: tension--He put them in tension-filled situations, modeling, action & reflection.

Get 16% of your people to become real disciples and you will create a tipping point. He uses this 8 wk group primer to disciple people.

Dave Ferguson (Community Christian Church)

Only 18-20% of Americans are in church on Sundays.

No spiritual affiliation has doubled in the last 10 years.

Missional people + multiplying churches = missional movement

3 things their church does:

1) Ordain EVERY Christ follower (priesthood of all believers)(anoint w/oil)
2) Lead with a YES (If someone wants to do something that lines up w/your mission and they have resources & vision, say yes.
3) Make heroes of everyday people (tell the missional stories in your church)

Matt Carter (Austin Stone Comm Church)

Last 10 years we've created 1,000 mega churches but per capita, church attendance is down.

"If my churches grows another 3,000 people but nothing changes in my community, that's a big problem...but what if we released 3,000 people on the city of Austin?"

"Jesus didn't model a church growth strategy. He discipled 12 men, gave them His Spirit and turned them loose."

They've based their groups around mission. Found that if groups aim for community they might get it. If they aim for mission they get both community and missional impact!

"Trained our leaders to be self-feeders not consumers...raised the bar in their minds & hearts of what God can do through them."

Tim Stevens (exec pastor Granger Comm Church)

Missional-schmissional: "I've never met an attractional pastor that didn't care for and love the people in his community and was trying to help/impact them."

Attractional -schmactional: "I admit I get tired that this series has to be better than the last and that we're as good as our last ministry offering."

"Four years ago we stopped growing for the first time in our history."

This we know:

1) We must begin to reach the 60%
2) We must reach more of the 40%
3) We must help the 40% reach their 60%

Past: Now:
Get people connected in church. Get the church into the community
Defined by weekend service. Defined by where you are.
Central top-down structure. Decentralized organic quick growth model.
Stats: attendance & giving. Community impact.
No designated giving. Lots of ways to give to your passion.
Ministry is at the bldg. Minister where you are.
Bldg serves the church. Bldg serves the community.
Community invited to join. Church also meets here.

attender: "I like the attractional church--it worked for me & my family in every way!...but I have a friend who I cannot get to come to it..."

Jason Miller (arts & teaching GCC)

"If our people can't see this new paradigm, they can't join it. So we have to make the missional church manifest."

"Imagination is the tool to envisioning what can be real and transforming our current realities."

"The church is God's imagination for the world."

"Beauty transforms our heart...create something beautiful that resonates with the heart of God."

"Style doesn't change anything. It's just a wrapping."

Eric Bramlett (comic genius)
He did the Q&A Corner w/speakers after their talks. His deadpan humor 100% rocked and added immensely to the conference. A+!