January 23, 2003, 12:54 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

Bootcamp Reflection #3

Out of the various versions of church planting bootcamps that I’ve seen out there, the reason that I chose to go to the Acts 29 bootcamp was that the churches being planting though them seem to have a strong grasp on actually applying missional concepts to their communities. They have done the hard work of deconstruction when it comes to the gospel and culture, and the harder work of reconstructing a version of church. The thing that puzzled me initially about their version of church, though, is that on the surface, it doesn’t look all that different than the version of church that we’ve come out of. I have to be honest and admit that I’ve never been with an A29 church, and that what I’ve heard about them is that when you go to one of their worship gatherings, there’s a very noticeable difference in the air. I hope that’s the case. But again, on the surface, we’ve got our service with a great band over here, and our children’s programs over there, and our women’s groups over there, and I’m sitting here trying to figure out if there’s something beyond the candle light and the casual clothes and the volume of the music that’s actually changed.

I was talking with Rick, the lead pastor at Imago Dei in Portland, Oregon about this stuff. He confirmed that they had done a lot of thinking about what church really is, and that much of the reason things look the way they do is purely pragmatic. I understand that, but I’m really hoping that of the churches that get planted in the next several years, we see some visible changes being made. One of the obvious changes that’s already happening is the house/simple/organic church approach. But what about the transitional forms of church that bridge the gap between the “institutional” and the “simple?” What shifts need to take place? Missional churches seem to be doing well with the whole culture and contextualization thing – but are we making progress in actual communal transformation?


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