CityLife: A Mission Lab Case Study

Purpose of  MissionLab 615

ML615 is a ministry of CityLife to provide mission teams from churches, nonprofit organizations, collegiate ministries and business leaders strategic opportunities to learn and practice Kingdom movement principles in Middle TN apartments.


ML615 is hosted by CityLife who provides housing, meals, coaching and CityLife apartment sites for mission teams to discover and experience effective, fruitful ways to make and multiply disciple-makers in and through apartments using a simple, transferrable and sustainable DMM process. 


West End Baptist Church, Gaffney, SC Mission Team Report

We had ten adults and two teenagers who came to CityLife Mission Center (Faith Baptist Church, Madison). This was our very first mission team to launch ML615 and we could not have had a better, more servant-minded mission team to work with. 

This mission trip experience was an answer to pray for both WEBC and CityLife. God had spoken to both for over a year that this trip was going to happen. It was obvious during the morning training and evening debrief times. PTL!

The highlights were as follows....

  • Discovery Bible Study is the engine of making and multiplying disciplemakers. WEBC will be using this simple, inductive Bible study to disciple the lost to conversion and to believers who want to be disciplemakers.
  • The mission team came with a Kingdom mindset but was cemented with hands on experiences with 33 volunteers from 9 churches, four nonprofits and conversations with apartment management and maintenance technicians. The major understanding of this was God used ordinary people to do impossible things.
  • The mission team embraced and will put into practice intercessory prayer as their highest priority. 
  • Relationships with apartment management is the key to gain access to residents to have long-term friendships, to discovery persons of peace taught in Luke 10 and to find believers who live in apartments to become leaders in apartment ministry. 
  • We all understand that the God of the Bible is a missionary God. We are to live a life of obedience as we pray for His will to be done. We must practice the biblical principle taught in Experiencing God to find out where God is working and join Him in His plan. Our role in fulfilling the Great Commission is in the context of apartment ministry. This is His Work. Prayer is our work. 
  • All of us realized that we must invest in the right people to apply the principles that Jesus taught his disciples.
  • The discovery process is one of the most significant things we taught and learned. The mission team caught the teaching that trusting God's Word and the Holy Spirit is enough, powerful and produces the results that glorify the Father.
  • We heard the mission team several times the words we taught them to "pray and obey!" This is significant to making sure we do not attempt to out-strategize the Holy Spirit.
  • God taught us that we have to make major, even radical, paradigm shifts in our "churched-up" thinking to experience what God wants for His church and to redeem people to Himself. 
  • We must have biblical core values and distinctives to have a Kingdom mindset to see apartments transformed into flourishing communities of grace and mercy. 
  • We all heard and have conformed to the idea that if we are going to see multiplication take place in disciplemaking we must practice holistic ministry for apartment employees and residents to see God's handiwork.
  • Partnerships are key to making apartment ministry work effectively for long term, sustainable relationships. Partnerships are also very important to demonstrate Kingdom-minded missional relationships. 

Hands On Training Experiences

  • The mission team did a prayerwalk at 1070 Main Apartments and had a few conversations. Gary went to visit the assistant manager who is a believe to let him know that there was a team walking around praying over the property. His response was “thank you very much for praying for us!” 
  • The mission team split up in two teams at Haynes Garden apartments on Monday to assist the manager with filing work and to work with K-4th graders in the after school program led by Camp Wonderfully Made (nonprofit). This team came back from that experience pumped and wanting to implement this access ministry in their apartment ministry when they get back home as God leads.
  • We had asked the manager of one our apartments how we could serve them. So the mission team painted steps and platforms that were attached to the residents’ apartments. Several conversations were shared. 
  • We wanted to give the mission team a cross cultural experience. We had the opportunity to be trained in how to share our faith and go visit Muslims that lived in apartments near our mission center in Madison. There are 40,000 Muslim families who live in the Nashville Metro that include 40 families who live near our mission center. We chose 7 families to visit and only a couple of spiritual conversations. One person is definitely a person of peace that another nonprofit ministry will do the follow up. One comment was that this late evening visit to Muslims got all of us out of our comfort zone. 
  • The mission team’s final experience was to return to Haynes Garden apartments to split into three teams to assist the manager once again with filing work orders, work with children in the after school program and to help the maintenance supervisor with cleaning up a porch area that desperately needed cleaning. This gave the team to speak Jesus into the maintenance supervisor. 
  • I believe the team was overwhelmed by 33 volunteers from 9 churches that came around to serve them their meals and to lead worship for them. They were also so blessed by our host church, Faith Baptist Church, who sacrificed a lot for the team to lodge, eat, fellowship and study. 
  • The debriefing times each evening were extremely important and effective for the team to process all that they were learning. 
  • The mission team learned our disciple-making process that includes praying and fasting which is our foundation for everything we hear from the Father so we can serve with purpose. Serving with purpose gives us access to those we serve whether it is an employee or resident. When we serve with purpose we have spiritual conversations to find persons of peace taught in Luke 10. Then, we can start Discovery Groups for those who are lost to “discover” the God of the Bible. The final element of our disciple making process is to embrace multiplication which is the only way to fulfill the Great Commission.

Training Content





  • Vision Casting of each mission team member to pray about starting a Discovery Group
  • Prayer movements precede DMM
  • How to start an apartment ministry in one week
  • Why partnerships?
  • The apartment process

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