Becoming a church planter within the community of Mission Alive is a process of discerning the will of God, equipping for ministry, planting Christ-formed communities, and reproducing this process. We will walk with you through a step-by-step process of discipleship and mission and offer coaching and encouragement along the way.
Church planting requires new instincts of life and practice rooted in biblical theology. Our Mission Training (link) provides practical training through interactive equipping labs, Huddles, and personal coaching. The equipping process occurs in four relational spaces emphasizing essential elements that must occur in every church planting initiative.
How does Mission Alive equip leaders to renew and plant kingdom communities on mission with God? The task is not easy! Most churches are not organized as disciple-making, missionary churches. Mission Alive's equipping emphasizes that the mission of God must be carried out in four relational spaces: (1) Huddles, (2) Missional Communities, (3) Worship Gatherings, and (4) Transformation Groups.
The Huddle: Space for Leader Equipping in Discipleship and Mission
A Huddle is the structured time of leader equipping. Currently, Mission Alive leads multiple huddles for church leaders and church planters, who are growing as disciples in order to disciple others, and as a result, learning how to go on mission as Christ’s ambassadors. We in Mission Alive believe, however, that our role in leader equipping goes beyond the structured huddle. It also involves giving leaders access to our lives, which amplifies and illustrates what is being learned in the Huddle. In addition, church planters must give access to their lives as they go on mission in their contexts—the relational networks or neighborhoods where they live.
The Missional Community: Space for Mission and Community
The second essential task is beginning communities on mission with God in neighborhoods and relational networks. We will call these Missional Communities. This task is related to the previous one because ideally Christian leaders are equipped in a Huddle to launch Missional Communities.
Thus in all generations and all places where the church grows, Christians become community builders. This is what happened in the early church! The extended family community became the launching pad for incarnational mission. The early Christian church lived in daily connection, eating together, enjoying each other, and inviting others into their community. It was evident that the Lord was working to add to their number as they lived out the Christian way in community. They were a community on mission with God.
The Worship Gathering: Space for Inspiration, Teaching, and Vision
The third essential task is to begin (church planting) or refocus (church renewal) the Worship Gathering to reflect the functions of teaching, inspiration, and vision-casting.
The church is both gathered and scattered. Christians gather to hear the Word of God, receive inspiration, and gain vision for continued focus on discipleship and mission. They scatter for mission in the neighborhoods and relational networks in various Missional Communities.
The Transformation Group: Space for Disciple Formation
The fourth essential task is focusing relationships on the few to change the world. This training, like that of Christ, must be personal and imitative. We must humbly say, “Follow me as I try to faithfully follow Christ.”
Searchers (or Christians) who come into Missional Communities and Worship Gatherings must encounter the Gospel in such a way that it forms and shapes their lives. This happens in small transformation groups that are part of the larger Missional Communities.
These four relational spaces are developed as a part of the church planting or renewal process, which is ultimately the work of God through and within us.