In my last “metric” for post-Christendom congregations, I suggested that the number of “joiners” that begin their experience of Christian community apart from visiting on Sunday mornings is a good indicator of missional health. It’s tough for congregations to imagine what this looks like when Sunday worship so dominates our experience of church.
I sent out an evaluation yesterday for the Streaming conference we hosted a few weeks ago. One suggestion for improving the conference was to focus more on what this minister would find practical or useful: preaching. I think preaching is important and am thankful for the conferences that do emphasize preaching. But in a post-Christendom context, preaching is not the most practical skill to emphasize. Learning to create third spaces for Christian community ranks ahead of preaching in terms of ministry skills in a new missional era.
The one place in our recent conference where this skill was observable was in the presentation made by Jessica Woods about Grassroots Conspiracy–the ministry started by Jessica and her husband, Ryan, in downtown Vancouver, WA. As a team, Ryan and Jess were amazing missional leaders and conceived of planting a church as an outcome of a rhythm of creating Christian community with others, with both Christians and non-Christians.
I haven’t edited the video from the conference yet, but wanted to put a clip from Jessica’s presentation here. For info on how to get all the video from our conference, contact Elizabeth (firstname.lastname@example.org)