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Small Churches Make Good Neighbors


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Small Churches Make Good Neighbors was presented at NOC2008. Chuck Warnock offers 10 ways small churches can transform their communities, borrowing concepts from the ancient Celtic Christian abbeys in Ireland. Real life examples of churches using these techniques are presented.

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Small Churches Make Good Neighbors

  1. 1. Small Churches Make Good Neighbors 10 Ways Your Congregation Can Change Your Community
  2. 2. The Church we have known <ul><li>Monocultural, modern, insular, and institutional </li></ul>
  3. 3. The world in which we live <ul><li>Multicultural </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodern </li></ul><ul><li>Connected </li></ul><ul><li>Organic </li></ul>
  4. 4. Church attendance as % of population ( The American Church in Crisis, David Olson)
  5. 5. How Large are US Congregations? (A Field Guide to US Congregations, Woolever & Bruce) <ul><li>The median congregation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Associated w/congregation: 200 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular participators: 110 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular participating adults: 80 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avg worship attendance: 90 </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Question <ul><li>How can </li></ul><ul><li>small churches </li></ul><ul><li>thrive in this </li></ul><ul><li>new world ? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Bringing in the sheaves…
  8. 8. Taking it to the streets!
  9. 9. “ N o one knows all the answers. We may not even be asking the right questions. We are all in this together, and we’ll need all the help we can get.” - ‘Running the Planet,’ Walt Patterson
  10. 10. Myths of Non-profits <ul><li>Perfect management </li></ul><ul><li>Brand-name awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Breakthrough idea </li></ul><ul><li>Textbook mission statements </li></ul><ul><li>High ratings on conventional metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Large budgets </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forces for Good , Crutchfield & Grant, p 18. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Translation: Myths of churches <ul><li>Perfect leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Name awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Breakthrough new idea </li></ul><ul><li>Textbook mission statements </li></ul><ul><li>High ratings on conventional metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Large budgets </li></ul>
  12. 12. 6 Criteria for a church model <ul><li>Biblical </li></ul><ul><li>Practical </li></ul><ul><li>Proven </li></ul><ul><li>Scalable </li></ul><ul><li>Effective </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable </li></ul><ul><li>… we needed a modelectomy .. </li></ul><ul><li>Walt Kallestad, Community Church of Joy </li></ul>
  13. 13. Our community <ul><li>Small town </li></ul><ul><li>Rural Virginia </li></ul><ul><li>Hard times </li></ul><ul><li>Untrained workers </li></ul><ul><li>Population loss </li></ul><ul><li>Revitalization plan </li></ul>
  14. 14. Our small church <ul><li>Aging membership </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance decline </li></ul><ul><li>Leader shortage </li></ul><ul><li>Limited resources </li></ul><ul><li>Great history </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Story We Needed <ul><li>We needed a story to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capture our imagination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help us think differently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guide our ministry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand our horizons </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Two resources <ul><li>The Celtic Way of Evangelism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>George Hunter III, Asbury Seminary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A look at how ancient Celtic abbeys evangelized Ireland </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fling Open the Doors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paul Nixon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study of “giving the church away to the community” </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Back to the Future <ul><li>“… ancient Celtic Christianity could show the way today…” </li></ul><ul><li>-- The Celtic Way of Evangelism, p10. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Gulf Breeze U M Church <ul><li>“With the building of our next facility, we would move from being a church that was open to the community to being a church that was by design, a community center in the fullest sense.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Fling Open the Doors , p. 45 </li></ul>
  19. 19. Six Practices of High-Impact Non-Profits <ul><li>Advocate and serve. </li></ul><ul><li>Make markets work. </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire evangelists. </li></ul><ul><li>Nurture non-profit networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Master the art of adaptation. </li></ul><ul><li>Share leadership. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forces for Good, p 18. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Abbey churches... <ul><li>Embraced the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Connected with the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Welcomed all. </li></ul><ul><li>Practiced their faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Transformed the nation. </li></ul>
  21. 21. The C.E.L.T.I.C. P.A.T.H. <ul><li>C are </li></ul><ul><li>E conomics </li></ul><ul><li>L ife Rule </li></ul><ul><li>T ransformation </li></ul><ul><li>I nclusion </li></ul><ul><li>C ommunion </li></ul><ul><li>P eacemaking </li></ul><ul><li>A rts </li></ul><ul><li>T eaching </li></ul><ul><li>H ospitality </li></ul>
  22. 22. C are: Meeting real life needs <ul><li>Matthew 25:35-36 NIV </li></ul><ul><li>For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' </li></ul>
  23. 23. Care: The Abbey <ul><li>One abbey fed over 1,000 people per day. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Care: Resources <ul><li>Churches That Make a Difference , Ronald J. Sider, et al </li></ul><ul><li>Angel Food Ministries </li></ul><ul><li>Local Social Services Dept </li></ul>
  25. 25. Care: Cradock Baptist Church <ul><li>School Supplies </li></ul><ul><li>Community Day </li></ul><ul><li>Angel Food </li></ul>
  26. 26. E conomics: Participating in the marketplace <ul><li>Luke 12:42-44 NIV </li></ul><ul><li>The Lord answered, &quot;Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Economics: The Abbeys <ul><li>Abbeys employed stonemasons, craftspersons, and herdsmen and created an economy around the function of the abbey. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Economics: Resources <ul><li>Deep Economy , Bill McKibben </li></ul><ul><li>First Baptist, San Antonio – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4 th Street Café </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coffee Shops </li></ul><ul><li>The Sorting Room </li></ul><ul><li>Taco church </li></ul>
  29. 29. Economics: The Potter’s House <ul><li>Begun by Church of the Savior in DC </li></ul><ul><li>Bookstore, restaurant, gathering place </li></ul>
  30. 30. L ife rule: Daily faith practice <ul><li>Matthew 6:9-13 NIV </li></ul><ul><li>  &quot;This, then, is how you should pray:     &quot; 'Our Father in heaven,     hallowed be your name,   your kingdom come,     your will be done        on earth as it is in heaven.   Give us today our daily bread.   Forgive us our debts,        as we also have forgiven our debtors.   And lead us not into temptation,     but deliver us from the evil one.' </li></ul>
  31. 31. Life rule: Keeping the hours <ul><li>Fixed-hour prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Rules for community </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly applied to monks and nuns </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of St. Benedict </li></ul><ul><li>DSS Qumran Community Rule </li></ul>
  32. 32. Life rule: Resources <ul><li>The Divine Hours , Phyllis Tickle </li></ul><ul><li>Celtic Daily Prayer , Northumbria </li></ul><ul><li>Labyrinth </li></ul><ul><li>Devotional guides </li></ul><ul><li>Prayer ministry </li></ul><ul><li>All encourage faith practice </li></ul>
  33. 33. Life rule: Covenant Baptist Church
  34. 34. T ransformation: Facilitating Kingdom change <ul><li>Mark 1:15 NIV </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The time has come,&quot; he said. &quot;The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!&quot; </li></ul>
  35. 35. Transformation: The abbeys <ul><li>Abbeys sought to transform the culture from paganism and superstition to faith in God through Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>From kings to peasants, the abbeys worked for cultural transformation. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Transformation: Resources <ul><li>Fling Open the Doors , Paul Nixon </li></ul><ul><li>John Perkins, Christian Community Development </li></ul><ul><li>Building A Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church , Mark DeYmaz </li></ul>
  37. 37. Transformation: Military Ave EPC
  38. 38. I nclusion: Belonging Comes Before Believing <ul><li>Luke 19:5-7 </li></ul><ul><li>5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, &quot;Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.&quot;  6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. </li></ul><ul><li>  7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, &quot;He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' &quot; </li></ul>
  39. 39. Inclusion: The abbeys <ul><li>Abbeys at crossroads, villages </li></ul><ul><li>Open access </li></ul><ul><li>Center of community </li></ul><ul><li>Abbeys welcomed all for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guidance </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Inclusion: A new perspective
  41. 41. Inclusion: Belonging b4 believing
  42. 42. Inclusion:
  43. 43. C ommunion: Gathering for Worship <ul><li>Acts 2:46-47 </li></ul><ul><li>46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Communion: Worship Resources <ul><li>Jonny Baker </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  45. 45. Communion: Opawa Baptist <ul><li>Side Door Art Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Angels and Ordinary People </li></ul><ul><li>Christmas </li></ul><ul><li>Easter </li></ul>
  46. 46. P eacemaking: Bridges of hope <ul><li>Matthew 5:9 </li></ul><ul><li>Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. </li></ul>
  47. 47. Peacemaking: The abbeys
  48. 48. Peacemaking: Resources <ul><li>Sojourners </li></ul><ul><li>Mustard Seed Network </li></ul>
  49. 49. Peacemaking: Chatham Baptist <ul><li>Building bridges </li></ul><ul><li>Racial reconciliation </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Luther King Day, 2008 </li></ul>
  50. 50. A rts: Celebrating Creativity & Creator <ul><li>Exodus 35:30-33 </li></ul><ul><li>30  Then Moses said to the Israelites, &quot;See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel… 31  and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-  32  to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,  33  to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Arts: The abbeys <ul><li>Book of Kells </li></ul><ul><li>Illuminated manuscripts </li></ul><ul><li>Creation theme </li></ul>
  52. 52. Arts: Resources <ul><li>Taking It To The Streets </li></ul><ul><li>Chatham Baptist Church </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chatham Arts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Music School </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soundcheck </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christmas concert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fine music concerts </li></ul></ul>
  53. 53. Arts: Art Under The Dome <ul><li>University Baptist Church </li></ul><ul><li>Art gallery </li></ul><ul><li>500 people </li></ul><ul><li>Sm group 30 </li></ul>
  54. 54. T eaching: Models and Mentors <ul><li>Philippians 4:9 </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. </li></ul>
  55. 55. Teaching: The abbeys <ul><li>Five-fold Structure of Experiences: </li></ul><ul><li>Times of solitude </li></ul><ul><li>Anamchara – soul friend </li></ul><ul><li>Small group </li></ul><ul><li>Participation in common life </li></ul><ul><li>Help in fulfilling your “vocation” </li></ul>
  56. 56. Teaching: Resources <ul><li>Reimagining Spiritual Formation , Doug Pagitt </li></ul><ul><li>For children: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd , Montessori approach to children’s spiritual formation </li></ul>
  57. 57. Teaching: Solomon’s Porch <ul><li>“… exploring ideas about </li></ul><ul><li>spiritual formation </li></ul><ul><li>that extend beyond the education model.” </li></ul><ul><li>Reimagining Spiritual Formation </li></ul><ul><li>Doug Pagitt </li></ul><ul><li>Worship </li></ul><ul><li>Physicality </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitality </li></ul><ul><li>Belief </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Service </li></ul>
  58. 58. H ospitality: Welcoming the stranger <ul><li>Luke 10:38 </li></ul><ul><li>As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. </li></ul>
  59. 59. Hospitality: The abbeys <ul><li>“The monastic community’s highest commitment is hospitality to strangers, seekers, pilgrims, and refugees.” </li></ul><ul><li>- The Celtic Way of Evangelism, p52. </li></ul>
  60. 60. Hospitality: Resources <ul><li>The Irresistible Revolution , Shane Claiborne </li></ul><ul><li>The Simple Way, Cleveland </li></ul><ul><li>Mustard Seed Network, Tom and Christine Sine </li></ul><ul><li>Northumbria Community </li></ul>
  61. 61. Hospitality: The Columba Center <ul><li>Celtic-inspired ministry </li></ul><ul><li>Rahab’s sisters </li></ul><ul><li>Bridgid’s Table </li></ul><ul><li>Way of Columba rule of life </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Iona , Kurt Neilson </li></ul>
  62. 62. Back to the Future