Tonight I was one of a group of leaders meeting upstairs in a cool pub in the East End of London to meet, eat and catch up on plans that began to be hatched back in 2015 in Nairobi for what was the inaugural global NewThing gathering. The real work starts in earnest tomorrow but the first of NewThing’s 4Rs in Relationships and it was fantastic to connect and reconnect with faith-filled, fired up, entrepreneurial movement makers from around the world and we were addressed by Dave Ferguson to remind us of the vision that brought us together. This is from my notes on his talk:
NewThing is a catalyst for movements of reproducing churches
We believe God has given us something of a unique calling, something apostolic -a gift to steward and also to share around the world.
The word the Lord seems to be speaking over us right now? FAVOUR!
God has shown us his favour!
We have the stats for that.
But more important is that there are stories behind the stats.
We are changing lives!
That’s why we do what we do!
And tens of thousands are experiencing not just behavioural modification but heart transformation.
Look at the last 3 years;
In 2016 we saw 476 new churches planted.
In 2017, 509.
In 2018, 599 new churches planted.
And God is doing this through a global movement, as a global community. We have so many benefits from those connections. We steal great stuff from each other. We are better together!
Back in 2015 we gathered in Nairobi to say (in the words of Oscar Muriu) we wanted a goal that would make God sweat – we said we wanted 10,000 churches by 2020.
Right now we’re not on track for seeing that happen by then –
But maybe we are right where God wanted us to be by now?
And afterwards people asked did you mean plants, or churches. We have to be clear about that.
I was reading a HBR article about the challenges of collaboration as large global team. Well that seemed pretty applicable to what we are doing here!
It said the number 1 thing they need, is clarity about the goal.
So, here are ours.
Catalyst Communities (NewThing’s way of planning to plant) are now happening in 44 countries. We want them to happen in all 196 countries of the world. That means we need a strategy to scale it up and it starts tomorrow. The Goal? 10,000 new churches planted.
Last year Exponential tracked in the USA that more churches are planting – but 76% of those new churches are not planting other churches. They’re not multiplying in turn. It ends with them. So our goal is to have 10,000 reproducingchurches.
How? The best way we can do that is to ensure that all those NewThing churches are committed to the 4Rs.
Relationship– in a network
Reproducing– completed an MRP
Resources– signed an MOU
Residency– apprentices at every level. 1 resident per year per site.
Sam Stephens (Indian movement leader) says “The backbone to Movements is networks.” You have to get them together to learn, to eat, to set accountable goals together.
So we are not interested in padding out the numbers just to get higher numbers, we want to reallydo this stuff and stay true to the values and go all in on that.
Surrendering to a Move of God
We realise more than ever before that if we are ever going to see this happen, we have to ask God to do what we can never do. Through prayer. By fasting. In the power of the Holy Spirit.
Dave talked with Ric Thorpe at last year’s LAUNCH who told him about so many great things happening in the CofE and he said fasting and prayer were what made the difference. He said, ‘The movement starts with you.’
We want a God sized breakthrough! We need global and regional prayer strategies.
It starts with you!
(IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT NEWTHING MANY OF US WILL BE AT LAUNCH AGAIN THIS NOVEMBER. IF YOU CAN’T WAIT TO CONNECT TO THE NETWORK, EMAIL ME!)