Category Archives: church planting

Starting “Church Starting” churches

Here’s a great article from Carol Davis on why some churches start new churches and why most never reproduce”

‘I have a question I’ve been wanting to ask you for four years,’ I said to Charles Brock, author of the
Practice and Principles of Indigenous Church Planting, when I met him in the Philippines a few years
ago. ‘You plant churches rapidly, they produce leadership from within, they are not dependent on
outside funding and they reproduce.’

‘I know others plant churches in these same areas. It takes years, the churches stay dependent on
outside resourcing, they import leadership, they say, because poverty has destroyed the psyche of
the people and they are not leadership quality. These churches do not reproduce.’

“I want to know why you can do it and they can’t.”

Read more of Carol Davis’ article here.

Why In The World We Would Want To Start A New Church

Our new church, The Exchange Community is starting its weekly gatherings this Sunday, September 8th, at 9am.  We’ll be meeting at The Creative Edge, at  160 N Enterprise Ln, Jackson, Mo 63755.  I think we are going to cook a brunch afterwards for anyone who would like to stick around.  More will come as we solidify plans for the meal.

  • What is the common perception of the church today?
  • What do you see that’s wrong with the church?
  • What is good about the church?
  • What do you think the church should be like?

How Should We Dress When We Go To The Exchange?

How Should I dress

How Should You Dress at the Exchange?  Any way you want!  When Jesus was on earth he never made people dress in their best robes and sandals before he’d talk to them.  He never told them to get a haircut, to shave, or to take a bath before he’d love them.  He never told them to take of their hats, take out their piercings, or cover up their tattoos before coming into his presence.  In the Bible we see Jesus inviting people to come as they are no matter what they looked like, not matter what they’ve done, no matter how messed up their life was at that time.

If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable in a Church but want to know Jesus, this community is for you.  The Exchange Community is a Church for people who normally would never walk into church.  We’re not about religion.  We’re about Jesus, knowing him, loving Him, and Loving others.  Come to the Exchange where People are Loved, Lives are Changed and God is in our Midst.

Come As You Are.wide

 

Should I Bring My Kids To The Exchange Community?

Should I bring My Kids

Jesus said,

Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. ~Matthew 19:14

We Love Our Children!   Yet sometimes it’s difficult to get anything out of a message or to worship when our kids just won’t cooperate.  For some the option has been for one parent to keep the kids at home or to send them to a Sunday school class during the worship gathering.  Yet, in these cases, our children never learn the importance of having a rhythm of worship.

We offer an age appropriate story, activity, and snack for our smaller children during our message time.  This way they get to worship with their family yet also hear a message at their own level.  Just have you children sit with you and we’ll call all the children right before the message and bring them back before the closing song.

We also have a little room for parents with small children to use if necessary.

Here are a few suggestions to help you engage and teach your child about the worship gathering:

  • Before worship, talk to your child about why we worship God.  Because of the great love that God has shown us through Jesus, we want to give thanks to Him and learn more about his love.
  • Communicate your behavior expectations before the gathering begins.
  • Have your child do the things you do, stand, fold hands, pray, etc.
  • Follow along with them in the bible reading for the day.
  • Especially if your children are too old for our kids Corner, sit close to the front so the child can visually engage with the speaker.
  • work on elements of the gathering at home with them: The Lord’s Prayer, Apostles Creed, and frequently used songs, etc.
  • Talk about the good things that happened at the gathering.   Ask your children, “What did you learn about God?”, “What did you learn about his love?”, “What did you learn about Jesus?”, “What Story did they talk about in Kids Corner?”
  • Pick up a, “Jesus Story Book Bible” at the local bookstore or in the back of church to help you teach your children about Jesus during the rest of the week.
  • Teach them the gathering is just part of the Christian Life.   Join a Missional Community to show them how God’s people follow Jesus together and Show his love through.

What is a Missional Community and Why Should I Join One?

What is a Missional Community Header

We all have a deep-set yearning for a better world, to be intimately connected to our creator, to see justice and harmony between one another, to live at peace with ourselves, and to see a day when sickness, aging, disease, and death are no more.  We believe this is what God intended for us – that we were created to live in a perfect world and to take pleasure in a perfect relationship with God.  We also believe that the whole creation is no longer what it once was.  It is now groaning and breaking because of rebellion (sin) against God.  Since that day, God has been on a mission to restore all things unto himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ.  The Church is community comprised of those that God has already reconciled to himself and have made His family.  God has chosen to work His mission through them to spread his message and show his love so that others are restored to God as well. Our Missional Communities are the primary way that we mobilize God’s people for His mission.

WHAT IS A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY?

A Missional Community is NOT primarily a small group, Bible Study. Support group, prayer group, activist group, or weekly meeting.  It may entail these elements, but rather…

A Missional Community is a family of committed believers who live out the mission of God in a specific community.  They build up each other in the Gospel and share it with others.  They show the Gospel through serving others and restoring what is broken in our communities. 

WHY ARE MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES NEEDED?

We, at The Exchange, believe that faith grows in motion.  We grow our most in our journey with God when we are walking together in authentic and challenging relationships.  Our Missional Communities (MCs) help people to get to know God and are the vehicle through which we share His Message and serve our community. 

We also believe that people seeking God are also looking for a people who are show the radical love of the God they profess. For the unbeliever, that’s the test if the God we believe in could possibly be real.  Because of Christ’s great love in saving us, we strive to be that people who embody the love of Jesus through serving the community and sharing our lives together.  Each of our MCs will focus not only on learning God’s Story, but learning to live it as well through serving others and sharing the Good News of Jesus.

When we look at the Bible, God called his church the light of the world, a city on a hill, a kingdom of priests.  We’re saved into a community, a family, called the church.  In the book of acts we see a group of people living life together, mutually committed to one another and to the mission of God.  God used His church greatly in the book of Acts because the whole community gave a collective witness to the life, love, and message of Jesus.  Our MCs are the primary way that we partner with the Holy Spirit in to further the mission of God in our area.

EACH MISSIONAL COMMUNITY WILL:

  1. Be led by a team of committed leaders dedicated to shepherding, equipping, and organizing their community into mission.
  2. Grow in their understanding and application of the Gospel
  3. To be the church throughout the week by living out the rhythms of a family on mission together (story formed, listen, celebrate, eat, bless, recreate)
  4. Identify, equip, and release new leaders to begin new missional communities.

How To Get Involved

Come to one of our worship services

Like our Facebook Page

Email us @ TheExchangeSemo@gmail.com

Update: Originally the wrong email as on this post.  If you’ve emailed us before and didn’t get an answer, please use the address above.  Thanks!

New Church: The Exchange Community

Exchange logo.1000

We’ve been gathering in our Missional Communities for over a year now.  God’s been doing some great things through those MCs.  We believe faith grows in motion and that the Christian life is best lived out together in Gospel Communities on Mission.  Yet we feel like we’re ready to take that next step in planting a church.  Starting this Sunday, June 23, we’re going to have our first corporate worship gathering.

What’s Behind the Name?

We chose the name, The Exchange Community, because it is central to the message of Jesus.  The Apostle Paul says,

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” ~2 Cor 5:21

In other words, Jesus traded places with us.  The sinless son of God, the prince of the universe, gave up everything he had.  He became one of us.  He experienced our hardships, guilt and pain when he hung on a cross to die for our sins.  He stood in the place of Judgment to pay for all our mistakes.  We then, through faith in Jesus, step into his place.  Everything that belongs to the Son of God becomes ours!  Even though we lived messed up lives and daily make mistakes and do the wrong thing, Jesus paid for it all.  Now when God looks at us he sees his Son, whom he loves.  He sees someone  who is accepted, approved of, and loved just as much as if we were Jesus himself.

Now then, we then strive to also make an exchange in our lives.  Since he has shown us such great love, we want to love in return.  We want to be a community who follows in Jesus’ ways and who loves as he loves as we exchange our dreams for the God’s dream to see all people become his children once more.

Location and Time

We are starting out having Monthly Gatherings throughout the Summer.  We are meeting at the Creative Edge at 9 a.m. on the following dates:

  • June 23rdCreative Edge Map
  • July 28th
  • August 25th

We hope to start a weekly service after Labor Day.

Don’t depend our you GPS or your Phone to find your way to the Creative Edge.  Their Address is not recognized by Google maps or any GPS I’ve found.  You can follow this link to a map for the Creative Edge, even though they have the address wrong.  Because of this I also created the map on the right you can follow.  Enterprise is about a half mile south of Exit 105 on Interstate 55.

Please Pray

We have invited a number of unchurch or dechurched people to attend our worship services.  Some of them have been involved in our Missional Communities.  Others have not.  Please pray that all who have been invited come and that they experience the love and presence of Jesus.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theExchangeCommunity

GCM Conference Audio 2012

 

For two years in a row we’ve been taking a group from our church plant down to Summitcrossing Community Church in Huntsville, Alabama, for the GCM Conference.  GCM stands for Gospel Communities on Mission.  GCM is maybe the best place to get information from practitioners on Missional Communities.  These people live and breath what others just theorize the life of discipleship could be like.  I encourage you to listen to all of the teachings below.  For more information go to GCM’s website for a lot of free resources or join the collective and ask all your questions on their very active forum.

 

 

Also check out GCM Conference Audio 2011

Tim Chester On The Book Of Titus And Church Planting

 

Tim Chester, The author of the Gospel-Centred Life and creator of the 4 Gs, recently finished a series of blog posts on the book of Titus and Church Planting.  I’ve been catching a few of his posts and decided to go through them over the next two weeks as a daily devotion.  This would be a good things for any of us in our church plant to do at some point.  To make it easier on me, and anyone else who’d like to study Titus with me, I’ve put links to Chester’s posts below. 

 

Image found here

What is the Church: Why We Won’t Be Launching A Service Any Time Soon.

What do you think of when you hear the word, “Church”?   Chances are you think of a buildings with steeples, organs, praise bands, hymns, liturgy, sacraments and sermons.  When we think of the word, Church, our minds usually jump to an activity that happens during an hour on Sunday morning.  So what is the Church, and what are we called to do?

  • Gathering around Word and Sacrament – According to the Augsburg Confession, The Christian church is “the assembly of all believers among whom the gospel is purely preached and the holy sacraments are administered according to God’s word” (Kolb, Ac VII, 1).  These are the “Marks of the Church”.  When we gather publicly, we gather around God’s preached word and the sacraments. 
  • Holy community – The greek word we translate as church means, “Assembly”.  Some claim the work of the church only happens then when we assembly around the Word and Sacraments.  However, In the Large Catechism, Luther calls the church a “Holy Community” “Holy Christian People” (Kolb, LC II,  48,49).  He says this is the correct translation of what the creed means by, “Communion of saints.”  The church is more than an assembly, we’re a people, and as a people we gather to receive God’s gifts and to praise him.  Yet we also are a community that has a mission to be a priesthood, to proclaim God’s praises, to call others to God’s light (1 Peter 2:2-10)
  • A Body, a family, – Scripture describes the Church as a body and family and as gathering something more regular than a weekly thing (1 Cor 12:12ff, Ro 12:4-7, Eph 2:19, Acts 2:42-47).  The purpose of the church service and church workers is, in part, to equip us for living the Christian life  (Eph 4: 11 ff).  It is to help us in our love for God, Love for neighbor, and witness to the world. 

While what we do on Sunday morning is part of being the church, we often focus on the corporate worship as being the only thing of importance at the cost of the rest of the Christian life. 

 

Why We Won’t Be Launching A Service Any Time Soon

  1. We want to spend our time and energy on reaching the Lost.  The goal of this new church is to reach people for Christ and to disciple them in the faith so that they reach and disciple others. If we launch too soon, the church service is going to become central.  Everyone, even non-christians recognize that a weekly gathering is an activity of the Christian.  For most, it’s the only activity and mark of a Christian’s life.  We want our energy and passion to focus on reaching the lost.   If we launch too soon, the majority of our energy will have to go into a service rather than the mission. 
  2. We need discipleship structures in place so we have enough leaders to disciple a large influx of attenders that is typical of a launching a service.  We have been working hard to create a new kind of church.  If we don’t have the disciples/leaders in place to help disciple new members, our identity will soon become watered down and new Christians will fall into a passive understanding of the Christian life (i.e. “Jesus/the church is here to serve me and I’m here to serve me too” or “Being Christian just means I sit here an hour on Sunday morning”)
  3. We Don’t want our DNA watered down.  As i mentioned above, there is usually a large influx of attenders when a new church launches a public worship service, many of these people are disgruntled church hopping Christians.  You need a DNA strong enough that it remains primary and doesn’t get replaced by what your visitors expect to receive from church.  It would be a great shame if after all this work, we launch a church that ends up being filled with people of the same mentality where only 20% want to help in any way and 80% are largely passive.  It would be even a greater shame if these people we all just transferred from another congregation.
  4. We want to see people coming to Christ before we start a service.  In the New Testament, churches are started as a result of people responding to the Gospel.  If we start a service before we start seeing conversions, the service again will become about us and our wants and desires rather than about reaching the lost.   Unchurched people have more relationships with unchurched people than those who are faithful church goers.  The more people we can win for Christ before the launch, the more unchurched people we can invite through them.

The purpose of this is not to give an exhaustible definition of the church.  Rather it is simply to describe a couple of the dimensions of church that are pertinent to why we would put off holding a weekly service.  If you have any thoughts on what could be included in what the church is or in the reasons why we should or shouldn’t put off having a service, feel free to leave a comment.

Missional Training #15 – The Importance of Showing the Gospel Through Service

In this Short 3 Minute Video below, Jeff and Caesar talk about how to make disciples.  What they have to say is really important to starting, sustaining, and growing Missional Communities. 

We’ve spoken before about inviting people into our lives before we invite them to our churches or to our MCs.  Jeff and Caesar encourage us to invite them into the life of the disciple before they even become committed followers of Jesus. 

  1. Why is it important to connect our acts of service to the people who we’re making disciples of? 
  2. How does leading people in the ways that Jesus tells us to help open the doors to Gospel Conversations?
  3. How are you and your MC serving the unchurched around you and serving with the unchurched around you? 
  4. Think of the neighborhoods, the people groups, the organizations in which your prospects live, work, and interact.  How can you serve in those contexts and how can you invite others along?
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