To reimagine is not to change what we believe
but how we think about what we believe.
If we are unable to differentiate between our beliefs (theology, doctrines) and thoughts (ideas, applications, systems, best practices), then we will ultimately be unable to defend our values and discern the foundations of social change and political preferences.
To reimagine, is to rethink, review and revise, prompted by a Holy Spirit revealed fresh-for-our-times application of the unchanging truth of Scripture. We are blessed by and greatly benefit from but are not bound by tradition. Transformation requires fresh application.
To reimagine is not to rely on human imaginations; just the opposite, it is a yielding to the revelation of the Holy Spirit that infuses human thinking with the mind of Christ which allows us to know the will of our Holy God. A unique application to our times and our trials.
To reimagine, individuals – cohort groups - congregations – collaborations, must employ the gifts of the Holy Spirit (especially prayer) and the resource of scripture.
To refuse to reimagine, is actually an act of disobedience, because we are commanded to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we ( individually and corporately) demonstrate God's will is good for all. So that means our leadership and ministries, not just our personal moral life must be transformed: our disciple making, prayer, evangelism, church itself…
We should expect the renewing of our mind, a reimagination led by the Spirit, to result in great works for a great God.
Take faith! #Reimagine
Curator for The #ReimagineFORUM
NEXT STEPS ~
1. Affirm that you need to #Reimagine... if your church/ministry/team/group is going to be successful at reaching people with the Gospel and making disciples.
But isn’t the purpose of a new translation precisely to change things?
To ask people to re-think the familiar?
To experience a shift in understanding in order to understand God’s message to us today in a fresh way?
I think so."
= = =
Also by Scot McKnight -
This Isn't Your Grand Mother's Church
Why #reimagine? #Rethink? #Reassess? #Review?
I believe leaders need to “reimagine “ ministry if their church is going to be successful at reaching people with the Gospel and to make disciples.
Phil Miglioratti @Reimagine.Net
Not an option.
Because some of our strategies have been proven to be ineffective.
But worse, some of our systems are defective.
We have produced church-people who need entertainment to worship, think reading books is discipleship, good food is the draw of fellowship, 2-3% is generous stewardship, and star-power constitutes leadership.
We consider our opinions inerrant because we attach a Scripture when we post on social media.
Our leaders are incapable of equipping us to distinguish biblical theology from cultural theologizing. Our doctrinal statements are not infallible. And our personal comfort is not the focus of authentic Christianity.
"In recent years, many of us have seen old coalitions and old certainties torn apart. Many of us are rethinking who we once classified as “enemy” and as “ally.” Maybe the lines of division were in the wrong places all along. Those who hold to believer’s baptism, for example, have more in common with evangelicals who practice infant baptism than with Latter-day Saints who immerse adults. Those who disagree on how Galatians 3:28 fits with Ephesians 5 but who want to see men and women fully engaged in the Great Commission have more in common with each other than with those who would make gender either everything or nothing.
A new generation of Christian men and women is coming."
"They said the American church is poised to find new life for one major reason: Waves of Christians are migrating to the US.
And they said the biggest challenge to Christianity's future in America is not declining numbers, but the church's ability to adapt to this migration."
A Facebook post by Tim Allen ~
Good Reasons Why It Is Vital We #ReimagineCHURCH...
I first was introduced to exponential movements in 2003 in London. Seventeen church planting strategists from North America were exposed by our international missions agency to what we called church planting movements. We were introduced to several missionaries who were seeing God do amazing things using T4T, oral communications, house churches and worldview-based evangelism strategies. The church planter strategists were floored by the evidence, wowed by the testimonies and shamed by the reality that there were none of these movements occurring anywhere in North America. The closest movement to the US was the one happening in Cuba--a movement which is still going on.
When we returned to the US, a handful of the participants determined to find out why no one was getting to movement in North America. We found several issues:
1. The missiology of legacy churches was inadequate. My denomination was committed to an institutional model of church planting and development arising from the Church Growth Movement. It focussed on buildings, budgets, programs , paid clergy , a parish mindset and homogeneous units.
2. The concept of discipleship was similarly deficient. There was a lopsided commitment to decision-getting evangelism, at the expense of making disciples. The strategy of legacy churches was not based on Great Commission fulfillment, which according to Mt. 28:18-20, demands that we make disciples of "panta ta ethne"- all the unreached people groups in the world.
3. The ecclesiology of the churches also missed the mark. The American churches were committed to church models that were big, expensive, required paid clergy to manage them. Lip service was given to the "church as a fellowship of baptized believers," but in reality people demanded a building that was identified as "the church." There was a lot of resistance to simple, reproducible, believer-led models, in spite of evidence that these were the kinds of churches producing movement.
4. Then there was the problem of gospel communication. Legacy churches were committed mostly to an ancient Greek rhetorical form of communication we call expository preaching. Don't get me wrong, Expository preaching is useful for communicating with church people, and a few others who think in terms of logical argumentation and bullet points. But after doing research we found that the majority of the people in North America learned best from stories. Be honest now. Do you remember your pastor's "points" or his "stories?"
5. Another issue of gospel communication was its blindness to worldview. Why was T4T so effective on mainland China but not among Chinese communities in North America? Could it be that a part of mainland Chinese worldview includes obedience to authority as a key element, while western worldview includes rejection of authority? Effective discipleship strategies require that missionaries and churches answer the worldview level questions that their particular people group is asking. As Jeremy says in his article, mindless cookie cutter approaches to discipleship are doomed to fail.
Now. Those of us who were in the London Conference began to try to correct these deficiencies among our American strategists. We provided training, utilizing proven movement practitioners who are mostly still practicing today. Between 2006 and 2015, we conducted training in such diverse locations as S. Sudan, Hawaii and Samoa, and pretty much every major metro area in North America. We trained Dinka people in S. Sudan, Native Americans in New Mexico, Montana and Oklahoma, Mainers, Californians, Southerners and Texans.
In 2003, I quit my position as Church Planting Director for a large association and began to apply the principles I'd learned in a small but strategically located church in Dallas, TX. From 2002-2014, we saw 165 churches planted seven generations deep.They totaled 10K in attendance. Some of the plants failed, some were short lived. Most chose not to be church planting churches. But those who committed to the principles and worked their plan were enough to provide an impressive "generation map."
People ask me, "What model did you use?' Answer" I did not use a single model. I identified an ethnic group that was unreached or underserved in the DFW metroplex. I studied their worldview and their needs. I prayed for God to provide a church planter, and then I connected the church planter to the task. We wound up with some CP'ers using house churches, others using a purpose driven model out of Saddleback Church. Some planters were vocational. Most were covocational or volunteer. Some ethnic groups who had significant contact with Western missionaries in their homeland opted for a 1950's style neighborhood church with Western hymns as their music.
I share all of that with you to make this point: In all my years of ministry by far the number one reason people fail to get to movement is that they learn the principles, plan the work, but then don't work the plan. Instead, they opt for a lazy way out. They copy somebody else's model, and when it fails, they blame the model.
If you would like additional discussion about anything I said, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This is mycontribution to a global prayer network that is a call to rethink how we think...
Phil Miglioratti, Reimagine.Network – USA
My focus is on the Church, the Body of Christ:
Bjorn and Lilian Schmid
Strategist and Prayer Coordinators