Missional Monday: Hipps Passes, Mainline Numbers, Memorial Day

Here’s a quick recap of the major highlights from the missional conversation last week: Shane Hipps announced his impending departure from the Mars Hill Church community in Grand Rapids, Michigan (a.k.a., Rob Bell’s former church). The church’s elders decided to redefine the Teaching Pastor role to preaching 40 Sundays per year (instead of the 25 Sundays Hipps had originally signed on for). Hipps plans to move on once a new Teaching Pastor has been hired. He has two new books… Read more

Missional Pentecost

My friend (and fellow Disciple) Bob Cornwall has posted his sermon for Pentecost Sunday, which includes this beautiful exhortation: “The wait is over. The Spirit has come. We are now empowered to fulfill our calling to be God’s missional people, declaring in word and deed the mighty works of God.” Read more

How To: Start a Neo-Monastic Community

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a leading voice and practitioner in the new monasticism stream of the emerging missional church. Elsewhere here on Patheos today, he shared this simple advice on how to create a new neo-monastic community: “You can learn about community elsewhere. But you can only make it happen — you can only ever have it — where you are. So find 3 to 5 people who will commit to share life together for six months or a year. Sit… Read more

Missional Is Not a New Program

Alan Roxburgh, speaking at the Inhabit Conference in Seattle earlier this year: “Many of you have a deep intuitive understanding that this disruptive Spirit is up to something, and that something that the Spirit is up to — that resides in the mystery of God, that we cannot quantify, we can’t turn into a workbook, and we can’t define in six steps — is gestating in all kinds of local communities of people of God and in neighborhoods. … This… Read more

Is Nextdoor.com the Killer App for Being Missional in the Suburbs?

The New York Times recently featured Nextdoor.com, calling it “a neighborhood-based social network.” The site is not yet available everywhere, but it does claim to be in more than 2,000 neighborhoods across the country. Harvard sociology professor Robert J. Sampson, who writes about “the enduring significance of place,” is quoted in the article, saying: “There’s a common misreading that technology inevitably leads to the decline of the local community. I don’t believe that. Technology can be harnessed to facilitate local… Read more

The Mainline Needs Many More Missional Communities

Nurya Parish has done an amazing job of crunching the numbers on the current rate of decline of the Episcopal Church. She did her research project in response to a recent manifesto on the coming collapse of the Episcopal Church and in correlation to data released by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which produced this chart going back to 1987 that shows a large increase in church closures in the past couple of years. (2010 data is the most… Read more

Missional Places: Indianapolis

I’m in Indianapolis for a few days this week, and, although I’m stuck at a conference center for meetings most of the time, I am enjoying the people I’m with. I’m also getting a chance to connect with some friends who live here in Indy and who are engaged in the missional church conversation. I just happened to come across this short teaser video for a new documentary film that’s being produced about the city of Indianapolis, and it reminded… Read more

10 Myths About the Missional Church

At the recent Funding the Missional Church conference, organized by JoPa Productions and held in Minneapolis, Tony Jones gave a presentation on his “10 Myths About the Missional Church.” In classic David Letterman style, here they are: Missional is trying to put the conventional church out of business — Not so, says Dr. Jones. Missional is anti-denominational — Many of us were surprised to hear Tony say this, but he clarified his personal position: “I am anti-denominational, for theological reasons.”… Read more

Your New Daily Devotional on God’s Mission

The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, chief pastor to the 2.4 million Episcopalians in the U.S. and 15 other countries around the world. In the introduction to her new book Gathering at God’s Table: The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith, she gives a fascinating history of church mission activity, primarily from an Episcopalian perspective. The rest of the book is organized into five sections, one for each of… Read more

The Unlearning of Listening

Nathan Hill from The Table community in East Dallas, Texas, posted this short video interview with Luther Seminary PhD student John Ogren, in which Ogren gives this intriguing insight, “We want church plants to succeed so we put a lot of emphasis on strategy, planning, [and] working stuff out. So, unfortunately, a lot of times church planters get in there, and they’ve got their theology all worked out, their values and purpose and strategy, and everything ready to go. When… Read more

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