Dave Ferguson and Oscar Muriu shared this session:
We are here because Oscar was speaking at the Willow GLS and he connected well with Dave. They then reconnected through New Thing and Exponential where Oscar asked, ‘What are you living your life for that is worth Christ dying for?’
Global partnership talks developed from that.
We want to get people to gather from the corners of the world and become part of a network, then trust is communicated through all the relationships in that network.
There are groups that meet to train, or to talk, but a network is there to do something – together. Not in a rigid way, but a structured way.
The posture of New Thing is ‘YOU CAN DO IT – How can we help?’
Not, ‘We absorb you.’
I can still be myself, not give up my identity.
To help leaders be future focused. Not centralized but synergical.
It is easier to partner around mission than around theological positions.
One of the phrases that has come up recently is ‘How can we raise up the Jason Bournes of mission today?’
Watch those films!
You see there
1) He’s young/ energetic 2) He’s skilled 3) He has adaptable methods – he killed a guy with a newspaper! 4) Fearless 5) Mobile 6) Cultural navigator, anywhere he goes
Read Steve Addison’s book on Movements and it’s scary because we see I’m not taking enough risks! Francis Asbury, St Patricks, they were Jason Bournes!
Bob Buford says ‘My fruit grows on other people’s trees.’ We meet someone, we bless and help them, and get to be in some way part of it.
The vision of New Thing is to CATALYSE MOVEMENTS of Reproducing Churches, relentlessly dedicated to helping people find their way back to God.
How do you create movements? Get it simple – simple enough to explain on the back of a napkin!
RESTORE God’s dream for the world
All movements – for good or ill – have those 3 Rs.
Movement is how you accomplish the mission. If you get a group of friends together on mission, you get reproducing networks, that reproduce movements.
Start with the end in mind. Ask, ‘What if we could reach a billion people?’ If you think in big terms like this, that’s about 17% of the world population. People who are full on disciples. That’s Gladwell’s Tipping Point. Those will influence the whole. You can start to really restore the dream then.
What do you aim at, to get this done?
1) At a grass roots level – REPRODUCTION. Get asking at every level, ‘Who am I apprenticing?’
AND 2) How do you convene mass movement leader and thought leaders?
E.g. In China, you see the underground, house church movement is the largest. It’s under the radar, in homes etc. But they will never change the country because they don’t want to engage the powers that be.
There are also some churches, persecuted thought movers, smaller groups who are standing up to their injustice and disseminating ideas.
4 Values at New Thing;
RELATIONSHIPS – we want to be friends, who accomplish together for the Kingdom. There’s trust here.
REPRODUCING – we have a knack to start new things! That’s not the case in lots of the Body of Christ. We have a gift here to steward well for the rest of the church.
RESOURCES – This includes finances, but it’s more than that.
RESIDENCIES – The apprenticeship before you go and plant. Challenge = one new resident per site, per church. This is simple discipleship making.
Desired Outcomes? From our time together, could we think in terms of a leadership residency exchange program? Look at Jason Webb, spent 3 years here at Nairobi Chapel and he carries that back to his leadership now in USA. That’s the prototype. Imagine that kind of thing happening over and over. Can we arrange 6 months with these different nations? Being mentored, growing relationships. It’s a huge win for ministry.
Could that have an agreed curriculum, to teach the same basic things to church planters?
What if there are models and strategies we can share and things we can agree to do better together?
Could we sit at the round table, not have any one culture dominate mission?
The nature of a diamond cut well, is that as light shines through it, that would refract into different colours we would all see from our perspectives. You could argue ‘It’s blue!’ No, ‘It’s red!’
If we exchange positions, then you see the other person’s view and you grew because of that.
If we learn trust, I can hear you say ‘It’s red!’ and hear that from you.
The gospel is a diamond. The Bible has been read to us from a Western hemisphere perspective for centuries. But there are different perspectives! In Russia, the Philippines etc. God created diversity. He is not threatened by it. A global conversation helps us see a bigger God.
A western missionary says, ‘The story of Joseph’s main lesson is – in prison of palace, no matter what, God never forgets you.’ (individual)
An African reads the story of Joseph and says, ‘The main lesson from this is – in prison or a palace, NEVER forget your family.’ (community!)
Who is right?
Could BOTH be?
There is much we can teach and learn from one another – how? TRUST, and/or GO and see their view.
1 Cor 12 – If the whole body were African, where would the time keeping be? If they were all one part – where would the fun be in that?
We give honour to the big parts in the church – but God honours the little parts (like those in Islamic countries etc.?) so there would be no division.
If we are independent, we think ‘I can do this. We don’t need others.’ If a part of the body does that, it is sick – it leads to death. Pride kills the body!
Reciprocity! Every member of the body (this is not about size – you could do without some intestine, but not your pituitary gland) gives something to the rest of the body and depends on the rest.
One of the things that has plagued missions is that it has been a one way stream.
Humility determines our posture as we approach each other. To go to the Japanese church and say, ‘Teach me.’ When I go to another culture, I never come as an expert, but as a learner. Then conversations open up.
The question ‘What can I do for you?’ is an arrogant question. Instead we say, ‘We need one another. To bless one another. Grow together.’