10
May
08

Orange Thoughts – A Community Driven Church

I finished wrapping up my thoughts on the 2 most impressive breakout sessions I sat in at Orange. This one is the crux that really held the rest together. Orange isn’t a concept or a way of doing student or children’s ministry. It’s a way of doing CHURCH. It’s a holistic view of how CHURCH should be done. I only wish you could have been in the presence of Jeff Henderson because he’s a wickedly cool dude!

Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful – Christian community is the final apologetic. Francis Schaeffer

1. God has called the church to create environments where authentic community can take place. Small groups ARE the church. 9Am/11AM/7PM are just 3 times it happens on Sunday.
Unlike traditional Sunday School, this is not a place to hide.
a. The Non-Negotiable: We need to be in community. At the end of the day you can discuss style, preaching, etc. but is it true that we are having Biblical Community!?!
b. If that’s true, then how do you create a culture where community is the goal, instead of a program tacked on to an existing structure?
What do we need to stop doing to make Small Groups work? The #1 reason why Small Groups don’t work at most churches are competing systems within the Church.
c. It begins with 3 questions:
i. What do you want ppl to become?
ii. What do you want ppl to do?
iii. Where do you want ppl to go?
d.
In many respects, the church has been reduced to an academic institution instead of a place that fosters Biblical community. It’s even in the name when we look at: “Sunday School.”

2. The Thread of Community
a. Community becomes part of the fabric of your church when:
i. It becomes a destination for every age group.
ii. It has a line item in your budget.
iii. Small Group Leaders are encouraged and equipped.
iv. Systems are continually refined.
v. Senior leadership sets the example.
b.
The quality of community depends on the quality of the leader.
i. Recruit for leaders on an individual basis.
ii. The small group leader for children and students partner with parents.
iii. The small group leader for children and students is NOT a babysitter.
We want SGLs on our students speed dial!

Miscellaneous:
Everyone faces the problem of too many ppl wanting in to small groups and too few SGLs ready to go. NPCC’s goal is to have 80% of attendees in small groups.
Solutions:
1. Leader/Apprentice model small groups
2. Groups last 18 mos – then split
3. Starter groups
4. GroupLink

Training provided for SGLs involve:
1. 2x a year group training for all leaders of small groups
2. Multiple online resources
3. Staff Coaches who meet every 90 days face to face with the SGLs they’re responsible for.

Being around those who don’t know Jesus helps us realize that we should NEVER take for granted our knowledge and relationship with Him!

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