Archives For verge conference

Alan Hirsch on Viral Movements

Kent Shaffer —  February 5, 2010

Verge Conference Session 2

Alan Hirsch discussed doing church like a virus during Verge Conference’s 2nd session. Here is what he said:

Viruses can teach us a lot of things. You can be infected by an idea.

In 11 iterations of a U.S. Christian discipling 3 people then them doing the same, you’d pretty much cover all of America. What if each church committed to plant 3 churches in its lifetime?

If we want to reproduce, we need to have something that is reproducible. If it can’t be easily passed on to another, then you shouldn’t do it.

Big budgeted churches are clunky and not easily reproduced. Paul planted a church in 9 days. If your concept of leadership takes 7 years of seminary, it is too complicated.

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Jeff Vanderstelt on Church via the People

Kent Shaffer —  February 5, 2010

Verge Conference Session 2

Jeff Vanderstelt of Soma Communities (Tacoma, WA) discussed letting the people be the church during Verge Conference’s 2nd session. Here is what he said:

In a lot of the ways, the structures build build to run churches serve as containers to hold people in. It is almost as if we are extracting people from the world rather than sending them out into the world.

Church is not about going out to be Jesus to people. You are going out with Jesus in you. Jesus wants to fill everything. Ideally, a city should be so full of Jesus that there is no one who can escape seeing Jesus.

Everyone is a full-time minister. We just get our paychecks from different places. You do not have to get a paycheck from a church to be a full-time minister. The job of church leaders is to equip people to do ministry rather than trying to do all of the ministry themselves.

Jesus died for more than church events and volunteering to be an usher. The most effective carrier for discipleship is not an event. If you do not go do anything, you are not getting equipped. The best place for equipping is life.

How do you know if someone is faithful to what you have taught them? They have to live it out. Equip people to do normal, everyday life with intentional missional community. You’d be surprised to see what the church can do if you start believing that Jesus is in people.

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Neil Cole on Magic Seeds of Church Planting

Kent Shaffer —  February 5, 2010

Verge Conference Session 2

Neil Cole, author of Church 3.0, discussed the magic seeds of church planting during Verge Conference’s 2nd session. Here is what he said:

In Mark 4, there are parables giving insights into how God’s kingdom is organic in nature.

  1. The Parable of the Sower
    We need to focus where there is good fruitfulness (return on investment). We need to plant the message of the Kingdom. We need to see churches plant and grow, but first we need to plant Jesus. The world is interested in Jesus; they are not so interested in your church.
  2. The Parable of the Growing Seed
    Even if you are lazy, a planted seed sprouts and grows. We commit so much time and energy and resource to trying to make things grow, but then we don’t plant a seed, and nothing grows. As long as we trust in our methods more than the seed of Christ’s message we will be in trouble. We need to trust that it is Jesus in us that causes the growth.

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Francis Chan on Taking Jesus Literally

Kent Shaffer —  February 4, 2010

Ver Conference Session 1

Francis Chan of Cornerstone Church (Simi Valley, CA) discussed taking Jesus literally during Verge Conference’s 1st session. Here is what he said:

In Exodus 33:15, Moses tells God how much he needs God’s presence to be with him in every moment. If God’s presence wasn’t in it, Moses did not want to be a part of it. The more things God entrusts you with, the harder it gets to focus wanting the presence of God in everything. We get sidetracked by details and our own motives. We get distracted by what others are doing.

If I planned a church based on Scripture, I wouldn’t even think about the gathering. I’d think about the mission. I would look at the Great Commission literally.

It is so weird how we change everything in church. We don’t take Jesus’ words literally. We act like if Jesus says it, we don’t have to actually do it but just memorize it. How many churches are actually making disciples?

If I tell my daughter to go clean her room, she knows better than to come back later with her room still messy and say:

I memorized what you said.
I can say it in Greek.
A group of friends and I are going to get together and study what you said.

We need to take Jesus literally and do what He says.

I am like a Lego piece. There is nothing great about me, but together we catch people’s attention. No one has ever seen God, but if we as the Body of Christ love each other then people will catch a glimpse of it. It is by our unity and the way we love one another that we will reach people.

I think about the power of Jesus that I would believe in if I just read the Scriptures. Are you sure that you have experienced the Holy Spirit this past year? The early church wasn’t a plan by the disciples. It was the Holy Spirit.

What are the things that Jesus wants? These are the things that we should be confident about. What does it take for us to make disciples and love others? Go on mission. Live like mission.

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Matt Carter on Wrongly Loving Your Mission

Kent Shaffer —  February 4, 2010

Ver Conference Session 1

Matt Carter of The Austin Stone Community Church (Austin, TX) discussed the danger of loving your mission more than you love Christ during Verge Conference’s 1st session. Here is what he said:

I believe that the concept and practice of missional community might be the thing that defines this generation historically. I say that because I believe that missional community is the long awaited structure that the American church has needed in order to unleash believers into the mission of the church throughout their every day life.

Too often the church places the responsibility of being missional on the clergy and missionaries. I see a growing tension in the every day person that wonders out loud when will the Holy Spirit of God get to manifest Himself through me. Missional community has potential to awaken the sleeping giant of the American church. It is time for the American church to awaken from its materialistic, narcissistic structure and get in the fight.

But there is danger. First, it is concerning that our generation may be solely defined by reintroducing missional community. If that is all we become known for, then we have failed.

What is most dangerous… There is danger that you may love your mission more than you love your Savior. And if that is true, then your Savior will have no part of your mission. In Revelation 2:1-6, Jesus tells the church of Ephesus that they are excelling in 5 areas but the 1 thing they have missed is that they left their first love. They fell in love with their mission more than their Savior. And Jesus warns them that unless they repent, He will remove their lamp stand from its place.

To know where you stand, ask yourself:
If Jesus took everything away from you, and you never had success or dreams come true, and all you had left was Jesus, would that be enough?

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How to be a Missional Church

Kent Shaffer —  February 2, 2010

In a couple of days, I will be live blogging from the sold out Verge Conference (Austin, TX). Its focus is the missional church. What does missional mean? How can you be a missional church? These and many more questions will be discussed. But before the conference begins, I want to start a conversation here with you by asking:

How do you think a church can be missional?

When I hear this question, one of my first thoughts is, “Aren’t all churches missional?” Unfortunately, I know they answer is “no.” Unquestionably, churches should be on mission to go outside their walls and preach the gospel, disciple believers, and love on people. Sometimes though, churches turn inward focused. Sometimes though, churches become shy about being missional.

I think one of the biggest steps to being a missional church is making missional a part of your DNA. It starts with the leaders. You have to live it and emphasize it with your words. Don’t ever stop. You have to protect it to guard your church from becoming apathetical and self-centered. It starts with the leaders, but it must spread to the church community. The church as a whole must live it.

But I want to know what you think… How do you think a church can be missional?

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