I got round to reading the book Exponential: How to accomplish the Jesus Mission, by Dave and Jon Ferguson.
A few things that the book sparked in me in no specific order:
1. Scale: despite the more ‘organic’ nature and aims of the book, the size examples from the USA needs contextualising for the UK!
2. Resources: Church planting and church development takes immense resources of people, money and time. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mad. The rest of life gets immense investment, and if seeing churches grow and people come to faith through them is our primary investment for life, that should reflected in our resources and investments; from all involved.
3. Strategy: Churches don’t grow by accident (well some might seem to). But vision, values, the related allocating of resources and commitments takes a lot of hard work and strategic development.
4. Organic: Even the most relational of churches requires all of the above.
5. Leadership: People willing to lead and bring others into leadership/apprenticeship/what ever you want to call it, takes time and focus and commitment. Again this doesn’t happen by accident.
6. Exciting: All the above can creative and exciting.
7. Artists and Strategists go together: This book is worth the purchase for the one chapter on how and why we need artistic communities and how they can work with strategists in Church.
8. Simple and Complex: I was reminded that the more things grow the more there is a need for simplicity and complexity. A simple and clear vision and understanding of what our church vision and mission is about, at the same time as an ability for those leading cope with increasing complexity and ambiguity.
9. What’s our focus for mission?: What’s our focus for mission and church? Therapy for what we don’t like about church, or confidence in the Gospel and our mandate to bring others into an experience of Jesus and his mission?
10. Reproduction: Already indicated in no.9 above. Are we reproducing and what are we reproducing? The need to take a long hard look at what we becoming and leading others into becoming in our church communities is needed at all times.