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Missional Blog-fest Wednesday, June 18, 2008 |

Let's face it - the word "missional" has become a junk-drawer word. You know what a junk-drawer is - that drawer in your bedroom or desk that just gets all sorts of crap thrown in it. G.K. Chesterton once said something to the effect that if you don't believe in anything, then you'll believe everything. The reverse is true for the word "missional." If it comes to mean everything and anything, then soon (if not already) it will mean nothing.

On June 23rd, more than 50 bloggers will blog in response to this one question - "What is missional?" Rick Meigs, who founded the Friend of Missional site, has called for something akin to a Missional Blog-fest in order to reclaim the term "missional" - primarily because of it has become a junk-drawer word - overly and wrongly used.

I'm in. If you'd like to join in on the Missional Blog-fest, just let Rick know. By the way, here are the other bloggers who are joining the party:

Alan Hirsch
Alan Knox
Andrew Jones
Barb Peters
Bill Kinnon
Brad Brisco
Brad Grinnen
Brad Sargent
Brother Maynard
Bryan Riley
Chad Brooks
Chris Wignall
Cobus Van Wyngaard
Dave DeVries
David Best
David Fitch
David Wierzbicki
Doug Jones
Duncan McFadzean
Erika Haub
Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Jeff McQuilkin
John Smulo
Jonathan Brink
JR Rozko
Kathy Escobar
Len Hjalmarson
Makeesha Fisher
Malcolm Lanham
Mark Berry
Mark Petersen
Mark Priddy
Michael Crane
Michael Stewart
Nick Loyd
Patrick Oden
Peggy Brown
Phil Wyman
Richard Pool
Rick Meigs
Rob Robinson
Ron Cole
Scott Marshall
Sonja Andrews
Stephen Shields
Steve Hayes
Tim Thompson
Thom Turner

image: junk drawer by: kosmonautica

insights from redeemer's church planting center Saturday, June 07, 2008 |

This past Wednesday Kevin and I went to NY to visit with the some of the staff of the Church Planting Center at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. As I mentioned before, they are #1 on the list of Top 25 Multiplying Churches in the United States. Terry Gyger and Mark Reynolds graciously gave up their morning to give us the opportunity to sit down with them, ask questions, and learn from their experiences and expertise in being a global church planting church. As we're in the process of building a church planting center as well, we wanted to learn from the best - and very few are as effective as Redeemer.

Dr. Gyger and Dr. Reynolds were unbelievable in their grasp of church planting, gospel movements, city culture, effective systems, and the many, many facets of becoming an effective church planting church. Being around Terry Gyger you get the sense that he's forgotten more about church planting than you'll ever know. He was incredibly gracious, and you would have never known that he was the one who actually recruited Tim Keller to come to New York, unless you had read Keller's history of the church. Dr. Gyger's influence is pervasive in the PCA church planting world - his fingerprints on Redeemer and Perimeter Church, two of the top 5 multiplying churches in the U.S. (#1 and #4 respectively), may not be outwardly visible, but pervasive nonetheless.

Here are a few insights from our time there:
  • Church planting has to be who you are - it has to be in your DNA - and it can't just be a side thing; make it a part of all your vision statements.
  • Key question the Redeemer CPC asked themselves early on, "Are we going to be a CPC that serves Redeemer or serves the city?" Their answer - the city.
  • They partner with a ton of people in the city - their Church Planting Alliance has over 17 different denominations.
  • Bring in people who are experts in the specific are of church planting (assessment, coaching, training, etc.).
  • To reach the world, reach the world's global cities.
  • 3 things to look for in a "global city":
    1. local influence
    2. regional influence
    3. global connectivity
  • The KIND of church they start is VERY important - a gospel-centered, balanced ministry, holistic, church planting church
  • Plant fewer churches and train longer.
  • Plant resource churches (hubs in a city).
  • Their goal - to create city-renewing movements.
  • Quote of the day: "We will know we're finished when we've become a forgotten entity."
  • Movements attract and prepare leaders.
These are just a FEW of the insights we gained from Redeemer. Keep in mind that they also sent us about 50 pages of documents on their distinctive vision, strategy and theology. That, along with their "Church Planter Manual" and "Coaching Urban Church Planters" Manual were invaluable to getting us prepared to understand and learn from their unique success in planting.

More to come later...

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headed to Redeemer's Church Planting Center this week Monday, June 02, 2008 |

This Wednesday Kevin and I leave for NY to visit with the staff of the Church Planting Center at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. They are #1 on the list of Top 25 Multiplying Churches in the United States. We really want to learn from what they are doing to multiply churches, specifically as we look to build a church planting center ourselves, as well as pilot a church planting residency this Fall. Terry Gyger and Mark Reynolds have graciously offered to give us the opportunity to sit down with them and mine the gold of their experiences and expertise in church planting. I'm sure that I'll be blogging about all that we soak up from them this week.

And I got my copies of the Redeemer Church Planting Manuals - the Church Planter Manual and Coaching Urban Church Planters (right). Just in time!