Monthly Archives: November 2016

Topics Related to Viral Movements and Missions

Published / by roger
I am using this space to collect my thoughts on Viral Movements and Missions and the transformation of mission organizations, teams, and communities. Here are some of the topics I want to write about:

1. The Living Nature of Church. More than just an idea, it is a reality that must be embraced in order to see the church in its full glory and reproducibility.

2. The Error of Organic Church. The mark is missed when organic church is seen as another model of church rather than a description of the actual nature of church.

3. The Seed is Sufficient. Roland Allen on planting nothing more than the seed in indigenous cultures and then allowing it to grow and multiply within that context.

4. Removing Obstacles to the DNA of Life. This is the key to facilitating viral, living church–not control structures to humanly architect the church.

5. The Gospel is Life. Everything flows from the Gospel which is the result of the cross. When this is grasped, and barriers are removed, the seed of the kingdom reproduces itself.

6. Discipleship is Apprenticeship. This is best accomplished by the nearest-culture person available.

7. Outsider vs Insiders. An outsider can plant a seed, but only an insider can originate a work that can become viral within his/her context.

8. Outsider Training Dangers. Most outsider training introduces hindrances and barriers to viral movements within the insider's context.

9. People Groups Reached. People groups can only be reached by a naturalized Gospel within that group that has the DNA of multiplication.

10. Partnerships Can Be Deadly. Mission organizations foster partnerships which often lead to control and dependency. This hinders and/or kills movements.

11. Mission Organizations as Consultants. Mission organizations must develop experienced consultants who know how to remain as outsiders while working with insiders correctly without fostering dependency or partnerships. Consultants must understand the principles of planting the seed of a naturalized Gospel and the DNA of movement while allowing both to grow as shaped by the insider.

12. Mission Organizations and Culture Change. Many mission organizations will require a culture change to be effective in facilitating viral movements because they will need to change systems, structures, behaviors, and beliefs.

The Shift to Living Church Still Needed

Published / by roger
Through years of discussions about organic church and viral church we find ourselves wanting something that is living and dynamic and believe that this is, at its core, the very nature of church. Yet we continue to throw up obstacles to this very thing: As Roland Allen says in “The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church:”
 
But if we, toiling under the burden of our organizations, sigh for that spontaneous freedom of expanding life, it is because we see in it something divine, something in its very nature profoundly efficient, something which we would gladly recover, something which the elaboration of our modern machinery obscures and deadens and kills.
 
We don’t like facing that, in missions and church life (even missional communities as expressions of church life), we continue to function in a way that shows we do not fully believe in the living power of God’s church. We continue to plan and control as our primary modus operandi for the spread of the Gospel rather than facilitate the life that is in the seed.
 
Allen goes on to say: “but the moment that we think of churches in the apostolic sense of the word, we see at once that the spontaneous activity of the individual members of such churches might very speedily result in the multiplication of churches all over the country.”