Next month, I get the privilege of speaking on the main stage at the Exponential Conference (www.exponentialconference.org). Exponential has become the largest gathering of church planters in the West. I’ve been invited to share GCC’s story and how we arrived together at what we are calling The New Normal. Pray for me…I’m pretty nervous about this one.
A movement is brewing, more and more church leaders are experiencing the “splinter in the mind.” We have a sense that the prevailing models of church – as important and inspiring as many may be – in terms of the big picture, aren’t going to be able to carry us into God’s future. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world that is culturally fragmented and fragmenting. Culture is no longer a monolithic, homogenizing experience. People now choose to identify with more finely focused subculture groups, pockets of people. Any modern city or suburb is now made up of literally hundreds and thousands of different subcultures, pockets of people, who build their identity around sports group, hobby clubs, interest groups, ethnic groups, a certain niche passion, and the list goes on. The best research tells us that many of these pockets of people re not within cultural proximity of the current expression of how we do church.
If we are to obey the Great Commission and follow Jesus’ example in the incarnation, we must choose to connect, identify with and belong to these tribes. That’s why we’re launching missional communities and essential churches to take church to them because they aren’t going to come to us.
As a preparation for Exponential, the Verge Network (which you must immediately check out if you haven’t) is hosting a conversation around the 7 most frequently asked questions about missional communities. They interviewed me last week to talk about our experience equipping leaders of missional communities in India and how we’re beginning to apply that here at home.
You can check that out here.