A few years ago, I would have been standing and applauding this chapter and pointing to us ( the church that I was serving at ) and saying, " yes, we have got this nailed down. "
Now, I still like the chapyer but it does make me bite my lip a little even though I understand why they, as a church, uses this approach. I do not know if that makes any sense whatsoever. Thus, let me just give you the 4 I's and then share why it makes me squirm a little.
Inspiration ( Large Group )
Inspiration comes from the worship service. The purpose of the worship service is to inspire people to become fully developed followers of Christ.
Even Brian, though, may like this statement on the serive and preaching:
By the same token, if preachers seek to be relevant apart from the theological teachings and biblical exposition, they stand in the danger of scratching where the people itch but doing so with human teaching and wisdom, not with profound and transformational revelation to God. In my opinion, this is the way many contemporary churches have built large congregations. We have series after series on marriage, relationships, parenting, finances, and success - each of them being important topics that deal with the questions people are asking - but often our treatment of the subject resembles more the teaching found in Self-Help/Motivational section of Barnes and Nobles than it does on a thoughtful presentation of Scripture (pg. 96)
Instruction ( Midsize Group )
Midsize groups is from community groups (sunday school classes made up of home groups ). The purpose of the Community Group is to instruct people to become fully developing followers of Christ.
The discussion in the Community Groups provide a "breakout" from the worship service and an outlet to share what they have learned in their personal studies. (pg. 99)
Involvement ( Small Group )
The small group experience comes in the form of home groups. The purpose of the home group is to involve people in the Seven Functions of Biblical Community.
Introspection ( 1 Person )
Introspective comes from the individual studies. The purpose for each individual is to be introspective about his or her personal growth as a fully developing follower of Christ.
Thus, there are the 4 I's. The one aspect that I really like is that their church is based on the beliefs, values and practices. Thus, you will hear them in worship, you will hear them in community groups, you will hear them in home groups and you will study them in your individual study. Thus, there is cohesiveness and everything ties together.
The area that makes me squirm ( a little ) is that this is a "funnel" approach to ministry and I am not sure how comfortable that I am with that method. I also think the temptation (as he mentioned) is to have the worship service be more about reaching those not connected to the church and thus tends itself to slide into a production mentality.
Entry 1: Introduction to the Series and Book
Entry 2: Individualism
Entry 3: Five Characteristics of Community Around a Purpose
Entry 4: 10 Ancient Christian Beliefs
Entry 5: 10 Ancient Christian Practices
Entry 6: 10 Ancient Christian Virtues
Entry 7: Seven Functions of a Biblical Community
Entry 8: The 4 I's
Entry 9: 5 Characteristics of Community Around Common Place
Entry 10: Consumerism Mentality
Entry 11: 5 Characteristics of Community Around Possessions
Entry 12: Dreams of Community & Conclusion