Today I’m very pleased to announce that 12Church, a long time theoretical concept, has finally come to some sense of fruition. At least the seeding of it has happened in that we have officially started our alternative model of church based on missional communities, with some other little tweaks to the set-up. The basic idea is we’re built around groups that have a heavy emphasis on evangelism.
We never plan to have a building. We never plan to have a full-time pastor. In fact, my role, even at this initial roll-out stage is just kept to 20 hours a week and we intend to keep it that way. It should be a lean mean, scalable, sustainable system.
We’re hoping we will do periodic monthly or quarterly larger celebration services, when we get to that place. Other modular online training, highly digital, really wanting to leverage time and energy. Basically it’s a reallocation of all the energy that’s poured into Sunday mornings or the weekend worship experience in most churches is time, money, energy. You know and I know that in most cases, far more than half, sometimes up to 80%, 90% of the resources of a church are about Sunday morning. We want to reallocate that and use it for making disciples; both reaching people and equipping people to be disciple makers.
So there’s a lot behind this. If you want to know more about actually how it came to be and what actually is happening, you can go to 12church.com. You can also find us on Facebook at 12Church Hub. You’ll find some information there.
On the 12Church site, you have a chance there to see a bit of a trailer that explains what we’re about, some of the core concepts and some key ideas. Basically it’s about asking the question, “If we were to make disciples in this time and place, if we were to reach people, make disciples in this time and place, how would we do it if we were starting from a blank slate?
It’s mission in the truest sense of the word. If we parachuted into this community, how would we do it? I guarantee that in most cases it wouldn’t be, “Hey, let’s get a corner lot and build a building.” That’s probably not the way we’d go about it today. We want to learn and humbly recognize that we are learning and are in process of learning what it means to be, and make disciples, in this era in which we live. So this is really just an announcement about that.
Some of you will know that I wrote a book called “DNA of a Christ Follower” which was really my answer to the question of “what is a disciple?” and I did a fairly major Bible study around that. I boil it down to eight traits which are lover of God, lover of people, holy, truth-based, God dependent, persevering, evangelistic, and focused on eternity. In my way of thinking, the way my head’s wired, that pretty much covers it. A lot of other things underneath that and that was my answer to what is a disciple.
The question has then been, how do we do this? There’s a lot of disciple-making efforts. There’s lot of discipleship efforts, training and things that, that aren’t actually about making disciples. Efforts that are about making church attendees and making well-behaved church attendees who serve in the church and give to the church. We’re talking about making disciples who make disciples.
By definition a disciple makes disciples, so we’re trying to figure out how to do that, and my answer to the how is 12Church. This is our how, and while we’re starting in a certain physical location, actually Fort St. John, British Columbia, where we live right now at this moment. We’ve lived a lot of places over the last decade and we’re looking at this area and region as kind of a starting point.
We hope it’s not the ending point of it as we want to make this a prototype. We want to make it reproducible and scalable, so I invite you to join us on the journey and follow along at 12Church.com. You can click on an icon there where it says 12Church Unwrapped, and that will give you some updates and fill you in on what’s going on.
The site itself will give you something to mull on and if you have ideas, challenges, questions about what we’re doing, please feel free to email me about that at firstname.lastname@example.org. That email will find me.
I just encourage you to think about whatever context you’re in, whatever stage of life or ministry you’re in to just honestly ask the question, am I a biblical follower of Jesus and am I reproducing myself? Am I a disciple who is making disciples? Is my ministry making disciples, people who make more disciples? That’s really what we’re about and looking forward to seeing how it rolls out. I will probably be sharing a bit about that journey on this podcast here.
Thanks for sticking around regardless of what you’re up to, whatever model of church you’re doing. Follow the right leader. His name’s Jesus.
Be a disciple who makes disciples. God bless and press on.