Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Missional Church Network


We have seen the impact of working with other churches to serve our community and the positive effect it has had on our congregations -- and us as leaders. We are also convinced that if the body of Christ in a local community can come together in unity and mobilize around its common redemptive mission through Jesus Christ, it could become an irresistible force for good that would revolutionize an entire region.

The vision of the Missional Church Network (MCN) is to mobilize the body of Christ in our community for just this kind of spiritual impact. Through the MCN we are working on forging a functional network of evangelical church leaders across the area to serve and impact the region together. Believing that we have been called to re-energize the Church for mission, renew the hearts of God's people, restore the reputation of Christ in our community, and reconcile people to God in our region, our desire as spiritual leaders is to be catalysts for renewal and spiritual awakening – in our congregations, and throughout our community: mobilizing tools, resources, and events -- but most of all -- the body of Christ.

As congregational leaders, we tend to focus primarily on our congregation or our denomination. But as Kingdom minded people, we think about our congregations in context of the larger church body -- the body of Christ in our region. So we acknowledge that we are a part of the larger body and choose to value the unique contributions of other local congregations, ministries and organizations that are striving for greater Kingdom impact.

Throughout the New Testament, the church is described in terms of cities: the Church of Jerusalem, Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus, etc. The Lord sees many congregations - but one Church. This is confirmed theologically in 1 Corinthians 12, “for we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body... the body is not made up of one part but many.” Ephesians 4 states that "there is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to one hope when you were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all.” Jesus affirms this spiritually, in his prayer recorded in John 17, "Father, may they be one, as we are one.” As 1 Corinthians 12 reminds us, "When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer; when one part prospers we all rejoice.”

Therefore, we recognize that we have been called to a functional unity based on our spiritual unity in Christ, which is, in fact, the very basis for credible proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus prayed this for us in John 17, "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me.” These understandings have re-oriented our focus -- and reminded us that we are in this effort together!

We invite you to join with us as we intentionally shift from measuring attendance to measuring the impact, from encouraging the saints to attend the service to equipping the saints for works of service (from "serve us" to service,) from duplication of services and ministries to partnering with existing services and ministries, from separation from other congregations to fellowship with partnering congregations, from just being a minister in the congregation to being a minister in the community. Effective and sustained church-based community impact will show tangible results. If the Church is seeing significant Christ-awakenings, transformed lives and congregational growth; we should, over time, see a transformed community: reflected in lower crime rates, divorce rates, abortion, and poverty rates.

Therefore, through the Missional Church Network we:

1. Strive to share a clear idea of where we are going and a workable map to get there.

2. Desire to serve as catalytic, “Kingdom minded” leaders.

3. Seek to engage leaders from a diversity of the body of Christ, especially from the African American and Hispanic community.

4. Are committed to the transformational process of actively engaging in community-based as well as congregational-based ministry.

5. We’ll give priority to fostering spiritual vitality and relational strength with partnering pastors.

6. Strive to understand the holistic and comprehensive nature of authentic transformation.

7. Agree that we must mobilize believers and leaders from the marketplace to join us in this effort.

As leaders, we don't want to just “get involved” in a process, but help lead a bold, compelling vision… and launch a movement! We pray that together we may become more missional in thinking and serving as one Church -- many congregations and that the Lord will lead other area pastors to share the vision and impact of a local unified body of Christ.

We’d love to have your leadership alongside us!

Timothy Conner Coordinator, The Missional Church Network
Jay Lewis, Pastor, The Journey, Newton
Doug Ingmire Pastor, Newton Christian Church, Newton
Roger Scantlin Pastor, New Life Assembly, Newton
Brian Curran Pastor, First Church of God, Newton
Scott Miller Pastor, Fellowship of Kingdom Life Ministries, Hesston
Dave Reimer Pastor, Grace Community Church, Newton
Paul Wissink Pastor, St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Newton
Mark Isaac Former Pastor,
Koerner Heights Church, Newton
Jason Reynolds Pastor, Hillcrest Community Foursquare Church, Newton


Blogger tkeldm said...

Wny is it only a "network of evangelical church leaders"? Why isn't it a network of everyone who wants to help?

We work side by side with Catholics to eliminate abortion and pornography. Why don't we work side by side with Catholics to eliminate hunger, unemployment, homelessness, racism and violence?

7:47 PM  

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