Hugh Halter and Allie Harding of CRM stopped by Community Christian Church for lunch a while back to talk about how to organize movements. Since writing The Tangible Kingdom, Hugh is getting a lot of demand for training missional church planters and wanted to discuss what we have learned through NewThing about structure and networks. Currently, NewThing has three networks, but it looks like very soon we will be doubling and going to six networks. After I confessed to having not read his book (but I have it with me now!) and he admitted that he'd never seen the list of question e-mailed to me from his people, we got down to business. I'm not sure how much we helped Hugh and Allie, but it was great to hear Hugh's story and pick his brain He is clearly a passionate evangelist who loves Jesus. I hope that our paths continue to cross.
The most helpful part of our conversation was when Hugh talked about the three main phases of missionary life and church formation. The three phases are as follows...
- Cultural engagement - The church planter must think like a missionary and find ways to engage the community in means that are fitting for the context.
- Community Formation - Once the planter has found the means to serve and love in their context they will begin to function in ways that bring people together to form communities.
- Structuring congregational forms that stay missional - These missional communities started by the church planter are then structured in a way so that they continue to stay on mission.