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INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY (ICC) SURVEY 2011 Aim: To see how KBC may benefit from the missional community practices currently employed by Intentional Christian Communities (ICCs) in various locales around Australia. Goals: Having visited intentional community sites in Perth and Melbourne, the following report outlines each community’s various approaches, in turn highlighting opportunities and implications for our own KBC Community in the various zones. Out of this, particular growth groups in each zone may be enriched by these findings and intentionally move toward an Intentional Christian Community approach. In turn, a solid and beneficial partnership between the larger KBC base and its local missional expressions per zone may be sought. By planting ICCs, we will grow together as the community of God, for the sake of Brisbane.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Key Questions for Us ……………………………………………………………………………….2 Community Overview: Peace Tree…………………………………………………………………………………………3 Cheers…...……………………………………………………………………………………..…10 YWAM……...………………………………………………………………………………….…20 Crossway Baptist……………………………………………………………………………...…27 UNOH……………………………………………………………………………………..…...…37 Synthesis: Future Direction in Response to Overall ICC Survey……………………………..…….46 My Thoughts … space to record comments and questions………………………………………....48 N.b. More detailed notes on each community are available from david.benson@kbc.org.au upon request.

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THE KEY QUESTIONS FOR US What is Church?

What is its identity, and purpose?

If I were a cross-cultural missionary to Australia, would kind of Church would I plant?

 1. Realistically, the relevance and applicability to KBC of birthing ICC’s is …

2. The next step toward such a vision is …

3. Core changes KBC should consider for an ICC movement to succeed include …

4. Safeguards and structure we would need in place include …

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INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY (ICC) SURVEY 2011 COMMUNITY: ICC MODEL: LOCATION: CONTACT: DATE:

PEACE TREE Anabaptist Tradition, Environmental and Social Justice emphasis 35 Woolgar Way Lockridge 6054 (Perth, WA) Jarrod McKenna, Josh and Amy Fitzpatrick Thursday 7th July 2011

1. What purpose(s) drives this ICC? Summary: Peace Tree seeks to embody a Kingdom community as a peace witness that is subversive of worldly empires.

2. What are you hoping to achieve through this ICC? Summary: To bear witness in their life together to the Kingdom of God. It is less a program than a lifestyle.

3. What are the core values of this ministry and its members? Summary: Many! Paraphrased from Peace Tree’s own documents … ♦ What we hold to: practice of prayer and worship; practice of personal responsibility; reconciling and effective communication; discernment of God ourselves and each other; hospitality and generosity; a shared and daily life; caring for the earth; simplicity and justice in our lifestyle; creating and valuing beauty and joy; prophesying resistance imagining [commitment to speaking and living the truth of the gospel to ourselves, neighbours, enemies, mainstream church, and powers of our age with humility, and inviting them to share the new and abundant life of the Kingdom of God … evidenced by dialogue; investing in growth of others through internship; inviting those unfamiliar to Jesus into conversation; actively living a life modelling radical discipleship, dependent on Spirit; outworking of witnessing through prophetic, creative and non-violent and potentially arrestable actions following peace movement, discerned by core members; sharing in the consequences, e.g. caring for another’s children through ‘incarnational prison ministries’]; discipline

4. Where do you sense God leading this ministry? … What is it to become? Summary: To increasingly and faithfully embody God’s Kingdom community and the life of Christ, centred around the Lord’s supper as a family. In particular, PT is hoping to build links between a country and a city community.

5. What ideas or beliefs was the model based on? Summary: In particular, this model reflects the Anabaptist tradition, in line with desert fathers. In this mode, PT fosters an intentional peace witness, toward courageous non-resistance.

II. HISTORY 1. How has this ICC formed from initial idea and first expressions to its present expression? Summary: It began with dissatisfaction with traditional church models and an awareness of justice issues in the Gospels. The church often reacted against culture, but they sought a daily expression that was faithful to the life of Christ, engaging a hurting world. GROWING TOGETHER

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2. What were the main challenges of developing this ICC? Summary: The greatest challenge (arguably) was the range of traditions represented by the initial core members—Baptist, Catholic, Charismatic and Pentecostal, etc. Thus, deciding how to worship together, and also how to resolve conflict in a non-violent way was a challenging process. PT has also faced the challenge of constant relocation, only recently owning a property.

3. How did you address those challenges? What successes encouraged you to continue? Summary: Matthew 18:15-18 was crucial as a process for resolving conflict. Having Tuesday nights devoted to discussing community matters, and then taking seriously both the voice of the minority, and the loving fellowship around the Lord’s table on Fridays has been instrumental.

III. STRUCTURE 1. How does the leadership structure work in this community? Summary: PT recognizes various levels of involvement, from guests, through seekers (beginning to live with the community and its rhythms) through to core members. PT acknowledges the priesthood of all believers, thus sharing decisions with significant waiting on the Holy Spirit as to corporate direction.

2. What function or role does each member play within the larger model? Summary: There are shared responsibilities, but particular emphases (working groups) depending on each member’s heart, gifts, and interests. For instance, permaculture, local garden, community garden, social justice, resistance activities, food cooperative, Timor connection, prayer and liturgy, neighbourhood outreach, etc.

3. What does Christian discipleship look like in this community? Summary: Christian discipleship is less a structured program than a lifestyle built upon regular practices. Individuals are responsible for their own development within this structure, but the shared rhythms are the frame for transformation, and keep the group cohesive. In particular, worship takes the form of a Friday night meeting built primarily upon reflective/liturgical practices. Mission, as outlined above, takes numerous forms of community engagement and care. Evangelism, in particular, has come through the shared witness of a Kingdom community, but also through Jarrod’s youth work (non-violence training built upon the Sermon on the Mount, in schools) and preaching in churches.

4. What rules and rhythms guide the life of the community? Summary: There is no set vow made within this community. That said, there is an understood and shared commitment (which essentially functions as a rule) toward a peace-witness (especially regarding justice issues), an inclusive community, and a sustainable economy reflected in food, consumption, and finances (somewhat of a shared purse). In terms of rhythms, there is morning prayer, nightly prayer twice weekly, Tuesday community meetings (both for conflict, planning, and working teams), and Friday worship. Additionally, they share dinner together most nights, and have twice-yearly retreats (alongside ‘fun-treats’).

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5. How do you deal with conflict that arises within this community? What is the ‘glue’ that binds you together? Summary: PT deals with conflict according to Matthew 18:15-18 principles of reconciliation and non-violence/pacifism: “how to fight fair”. Commitment to Christ is the glue that binds this community together

6. What kind of structure(s) support the ICC—daily/weekly/monthly structures/gatherings, etc? Summary: There are daily morning prayers, twice weekly evening prayer, nightly dinners together, Tuesday night management meetings alternating community dynamics and direction with plans for working teams, alongside weekly Friday night worship. Additionally, there are twice yearly retreats, and occasional ‘fun-treats’ to build community.

7. What safeguards ensure that this ministry, and its leaders, maintain spiritual focus? Summary: The primary safe-guard is intensive community—it’s hard to hide. Mark and Mary Herst, a couple who pastor a Mennonite Church in Sydney, regularly speak into PT’s life. There are many influences upon whom PT have drawn for wisdom. That said, it was a recognized weak point, that PT has not explicitly invited personal and corporate accountability/scrutiny on any regular or structured basis, to ensure that they stay true to their purpose, and remain within the central flow of Christian orthodoxy.

8. Who participates in the community? How do people enter and exit this community? Summary: Anyone can participate in this community—inclusiveness is a core-value. People move from a guest, through a seeker (travelling with the community), and finally to a core member if the core group together discerns they are to live in community. A foot-washing ceremony (given a towel to symbolize conquering through serving and laying down one’s life) marks entry to PT. To exit—whilst granting someone could just leave whenever they chose— the recognized process is for both the individual and the group to wait on God and discern if one’s time in community has come to an end.

9. What might rule out a potential member from this community? Summary: Whilst inclusiveness is a core value, if someone doesn’t share similar values—like if they were in the military and lived without desire for a kingdom economy, living primarily on fast food, then they would most likely be in great tension with PT, and thus likely leave. Their desire is to represent the new humanity, so personal and corporate ethics are both relevant. Exactly what constitutes a lifestyle or belief that may ‘rule one out’ of community—and how this may be confronted--was unclear in the specifics, and a point of discussion for the group.

10. What responsibilities and commitments do members have to the community? What is the minimum commitment you require to be part of this community? Summary: The Tuesday and Friday night meetings, alongside a commitment to be at nightly dinners where possible, is highly prized. Additionally, core members must contribute to weekly responsibilities. Besides this, the commitment is essentially to Christ and an alternative, Kingdom lifestyle.

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11. What are the costs to set up and maintain this community, and how are costs met? (Cost could include money, people, time, resources, etc.) Summary: Other than the partially government-funded community garden and perma-blitz (which one group member largely runs), there are few ongoing costs to maintain this community. They have somewhat of a shared purse with a sliding scale for financial contribution (e.g. $150 per week roughly), with each expected to contribute as able. Given the emphasis on sustainability, food costs per person per week (primarily for dinners) have been reduced to around $18, thus minimizing both expenses, and the hours of work per week to provide—this frees up more time for volunteering within an area of passion, such as social activism.

IV. EVALUATION 1. In what ways are you connected with the wider, or mainstream, church? (That is, are you connected, and what accountability structures exist?) Summary: As above, formal accountability is somewhat minimalist. PT functions as a church, and whilst some members have association with other mainstream churches, there are no formalized links. Jarrod regularly speaks in churches (one a month), and mentors some pastors in Perth.

2. On your own terms, how do you define ‘success’ for this community? Summary: Success is faithfully living out the ideals of the community in following Christ radically in this world. Additionally, success is then inviting others into this lived reality.

3. What are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of this community? Summary: The greatest strengths of PT centre on a real and lived holistic kingdom community that isn’t reactive or counter-cultural, but that begins with Scriptural engagement and sensitivity to the Spirit, and flows into action. In this context, PT has a heart for those on the margins who often find no space within the formal institutional church. The non-violent stance has been a focal point around which this community has gathered, facilitating effective conflict resolution. The greatest weaknesses of PT centre on its potentially insular nature. Whilst each member has a heart for those on the margins, and is concerned with the non-representative demographic of most churches, by centring on a very tight-knit community with definite practices, it has in turn become a somewhat homogenous community that is hard to break into. Additionally, with PT being somewhat birthed in reaction to institutional/large-church weaknesses, they have perhaps formed weaknesses where institutional churches may be strong: process, intentional discipleship and training, and accountability.

4. What are the main opportunities and threats facing the ongoing mission of your ICC? Summary: The main opportunities facing PT is expansion of the non-violence training, refugee visitation in detention and advocacy, and expansion of the permaculture vision with expansion to a larger operation in a rural setting. The main threats to PT relate to diffuse efforts and fragmented community in the face of greater opportunity, alongside the community fracturing as people move into (potentially) a different phase of life, from young adult, to family. Additionally, the emphasis on a community defined by certain practices can—though does not necessarily—lead to outward forms without the Spirit’s power, or a new set of boundary markers fostering judgment rather than love and grace. GROWING TOGETHER

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5. Our context shapes who we become. … What would stand out about a Disciple of Christ formed through your ICC—different perhaps to discipleship in mainstream church? Summary: A disciple formed through PT would integrate their beliefs and behaviour as a kingdom witness across all aspects of life, with less compartmentalization. There is no sacredsecular separation. Additionally, they would find ways of living off less money, freeing up more time for significant community engagement beyond the church building. They would also have a sense of how our primary witness is our love for one another, as a community, rather than individualistic efforts at witnessing without a lived reality being necessary.

6. In terms of evangelism/community outreach via this ICC, what fruit have you seen? Summary: PT is centred on engaging with the local community, particularly through the community garden. Whilst perhaps 20 or so people regularly volunteer in the garden (including both an elderly group, and a group of people with disabilities), there are upwards of 70 people who regularly engage with this community, through workshops once a month on Sunday, pizza’s baked in the outdoor oven and served after the workshop, and then more people again through perma-blitzes (guiding others on how to do their own sustainable garden). There is some disagreement about the role of a spoken witness in the group, with all members aware of abused opportunities by many mainstream churches. As such, the primary emphasis is upon a lived kingdom witness that provokes questions to which the answer is the gospel. That said, they do desire that people enter the Kingdom life, so as opportunities present, they have invited others to journey with them as a community, through relationship. As an example of the fruit from PT, a number of local kids regularly come and stay with the community as a safe place for them. Also, because of the favour on PT as a Christian witness within the environmental and social justice movement more broadly, they are given many opportunities to speak into forums that few churches have, given the track record of the community.

7. What role have partnerships played in this community—with government, social services, business, education, neighbours, etc.? Summary: PT’s community garden is government sponsored, even as the community seeks a political voice that isn’t party based—kingdom politics challenges and affirms both the left and the right. PT partners with the South Pacific network of ‘Christian Anarchists’ (Jesus Radicals website), and local neighbours towards building a sustainable community.

8. What have been your most significant learning experiences in facilitating/leading and participating in this community? Summary: Not addressed, though the importance of conflict resolution and finding agreed and shared practices (such as forms of worship) has been critical.

9. How could your community both support/encourage and challenge the larger church? Summary: PT offers the larger church a sustainable model of Kingdom community that embodies much of what the larger church hopes for, and offers a positive solution to much of what others critique in popular culture. It offers a full and real vision of what it means to follow Christ, with intentional relationships, living out of the Biblical story in which we find ourselves. PT’s very existence challenges notions of what ‘church’ is, and inspires believers to move from consumer to contributor through the ‘dailyness’ of life together where all are open and real with each other—nowhere to hide. GROWING TOGETHER

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10. What legitimate critiques may a larger church movement bring to your community? Summary: The potential insularity, limited accountability, and homogeneity of this group may be problematic. Also, some would challenge the inclusion into core community of those not living according to the kind of personal morality in the Bible (addiction, sexuality, etc.).

11. What would be an ideal relationship for a larger church wanting to birth and support intentional communities like yours? Summary: Ideally a larger church may help sponsor the community to buy land, affirming this missional opportunity as a Kingdom expression, championing the smaller intentional community as perhaps a more authentic or essential expression of ‘church’. Rather than smaller movements splitting off from larger church, there could be a synergy for accountability and encouragement. Additionally (and importantly), the larger church may be able to cover this community in prayer, and offer wisdom and cross-pollination, toward a loving and supportive community.

V. APPLICATION TO KBC 1. The greatest lessons KBC can learn (both positive and pitfalls) from this ICC are … POSITIVE: Social Justice. They are keenly aware of, and actively responding to, injustice in this world, in areas the wider church often ignores—refugees, environmental degradation etc. Holistic Community Witness. They work together closely, with God’s love being seen in how they relate together, as they reach out to their local neighbourhood. Their witness is not simply (actually rarely) with words, but it begins with action on behalf of the least of these, so that people experience God’s love and Kingdom, before they hear about it, giving validity to what they say. Simple Living. By sustainable gardening, a common purse and food staples, and not buying into the economies of consumerism, they can afford to work 2-3 days a week, and give the rest of their time to intentionally seeking first the Kingdom and investing into their local community. Daily Rhythms. We could well do with shared meals in smaller communities, open to those outside, and simple daily rhythms of prayer and worship, drawing from a range of traditions. PITFALLS: Holiness/Accountability. By so emphasizing social justice—one element of the kingdom—they have perhaps devalued personal morality, such that what seems expressly unrighteous sexually (for example) in the Bible is permissible within even core leadership, under the rubric of not judging one another. Grace is good, but cheap grace is an affront to God, and undermines our corporate witness in the world. Insularity. Though they are outspoken about the lack in the larger church, and failure to represent the most needy in their demographic, this group is largely a more radical homogenous unit: white, middle-class background, radically oriented, highly educated. It lacks the diversity in gifts and culture that the wider church has. Also, given its practise-based orientation (e.g., not eating fast food, living simply, home made produce, etc.), it is quite a difficult community to break into, leading to a new insularity of a more radical nature. Judgment. Whilst they are slow to judge certain issues of personal morality that have alienated many in our culture from the institutional church, they are equally judgmental based upon their new boundary markers, towards Christians. This is dividing the body of Christ, rather than championing Christ and unity. First things must be kept first. GROWING TOGETHER

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Evangelism. They have done well to emphasize action preceding words, but in the process have devalued any words for fear of ‘coercion’ and ‘intolerance’. As such, the witness to Christ is blurred.

2. Elements of this ICC we can immediately imagine in the KBC community are … Social Justice. Taking our Australian SJ issues more seriously, and getting engaged … having homegroups focussed on regular outreach that touches these kinds of issues, rather than just talking about it. Economy. We could live far more simply, and therefore have more time to invest into our community. This could involve growing our own food, and community gardens with people of peace in the wider community. Permaculture. We have many gardeners who could easily offer their services (first modelling this) to help (on behalf of KBC, as a witness) people set up sustainable living and gardening. Community. We could easily encourage those with a heart to try it, to rent share-houses, or living within close distance of each other to share meals, morning prayers and regular rhythms that aren’t programs, but embody in everyday life kingdom values.

3. Elements of this ICC that will be the most challenging to KBC are … This is a radical community, that lives tight-knit, and seems to condone what we would view as sin—even as our own blindspot to social and corporate justice and ethics will be challenged. We are a highly consumeristic culture at KBC that has largely bought into economy no different to the world, in work patterns, in spending, in time. This is a huge change.

4. The greatest gain to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … There are many young adults attracted to living together in simple and intentional Christian community, with modified rhythms to life and greater community engagement. This would energize the wider church community, and offer a model of a different way to live.

5. The greatest loss to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … Perhaps the greatest danger, rather than a loss—as this would at most be a few groups taking on this model, not a wide-spread change—is that members of such a community may veer off ethically and theologically in directions that cause a two-tiered system within the church through judgment—those really serious about following Christ, and the masses perceived to be unreflectively supporting an unjust system.

6. Were such a community to be pursued, KBC would need to … We would need to provide a support system for accountability, yet with sufficient freedom for this to legitimately be seen as a genuine ‘church’ expression in and of itself—not paternalistic. Additionally, it would help if KBC placed a value on the environment, perhaps freeing up some resources for a community garden to be established. (We could also do with a pizza oven!)

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INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY (ICC) SURVEY 2011 COMMUNITY: ICC MODEL: LOCATION: CONTACT: DATE:

CHEERS Parish/Wider Community Population 30 Turquoise Loop, Banksia Grove, 6031 (north-west of Perth) Geoff Westlake (geoffwestlake@gmail.com; http://geoffwestlake.com/) Friday 8th July, 2011

I. PURPOSE/MISSION/VISION/GOALS 1. What purpose(s) drives this ICC? Summary: To share Jesus’ life with people in this neighbourhood, for community transformation in line with the Kingdom of God. In short, Cheers’ purpose is sharing the life of Christ in us with them.

2. What are you hoping to achieve through this ICC? Summary: Isaiah 65 and Luke 4:18-19 (in particular) inform a vision of the Kingdom of God—of shalom, flourishing, and right relatedness with God, self, each other, and the Earth. This desire for the Kingdom is hard-wired into every person’s heart, even as we also fight with a propensity toward destruction. Thus, Cheers is built upon the common ground across the suburb of Banksia Grove to build and sustain a great community. In turn, as those outside the Kingdom come to understand the drive and foundation for such a shared life, they may come to know the King.

3. What are the core values of this ministry and its members? Summary: In the broader meetings of the Round Table (with a range of community groups represented), the common goal and value of members is sufficient and holistic infrastructure to build a great community. In terms of Cheers, in particular, its core values include cheering for what’s positive in the community, building local community, praying for what’s bad and seeking sustainable action toward a change. They value an inclusive community where God does the work of dealing with sin, as the Christian members unconditionally love and accept all involved wherever they are at.

4. Where do you sense God leading this ministry? … What is it to become? Summary: Cheers is built upon responsiveness to God and the concrete needs of the local community. As such, it has no grand plan for future direction. That said, God-willing, Geoff and Sally would love to see this model replicated both on a smaller scale within Banksia Grove, by other concerned neighbours who are Christian, and also in other suburbs. That is, Cheers desires to multiply missionaries who build church around serving local community.

5. What ideas or beliefs was the model based on? Summary: Cheers is built on a Biblical and cultural deconstruction of what is the essence of the church, the ‘ekklesia’, as explored particularly in Luke-Acts. Following the model of Luke 10, Cheers seeks people of peace who desire the Kingdom (though perhaps don’t know the King), to partner with them, gradually looking at how they can better serve the community and grow in understanding of what is a great community, all founded explicitly on Biblical principles and the model of Christ. They are upfront about their Christian commitment, but never force it on anyone, offering various levels at which a person can interact without feeling threatened. GROWING TOGETHER

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Additional influences come from Dave Andrews (West End Waiter’s Union) concerning engaging the community and rallying support without coercion, and cross-cultural missionary practice. Essentially, Cheers has formed as Geoff and Sally have approached their local community as a foreign culture, looking to partner with locals for the blessing of their community, and embody the Kingdom of God in Banksia Grove.

II. HISTORY 1. How has this ICC formed from initial idea and first expressions to its present expression? Summary: Geoff was for some time a Baptist Pastor, but felt despite his best efforts that the people weren’t “getting it” … that that were largely consumers who didn’t demonstrate significant transformation within themselves, let alone transformation of the surrounding community. He and Sally stepped back from this, and applied a cross-cultural model intentionally when they moved houses into Banksia Grove, looking to foster a pared down church built around blessing the local community, as a missional church. At the same time, Scripture Union had birthed SUNO (SU Neighbourhood Outreach), a department wanting to foster missional community activities. On advice from Dave Andrews, Geoff wanted accountability financially and spiritually for this emerging church, without the administrative load of set membership and liability. So ‘Cheers’ (as it would later be known) came under the auspice of SU, as a working model. (Geoff teaches SUNO workshops.) In terms of Cheers itself, Geoff and Sally started an inquiry group based on the Luke 10 model, finding a person of peace, building networks, friends and family gathering around this, which evolved into the Tuesday night meetings/church. They connected in with a local playgroup, and the residents association, and then started dreaming with others about what kind of neighbourhood they wanted. They showed that this was Jesus’ dream, and the Bible gives a great foundation for many of the common values and aims they hold. They invited those sharing the dream (10 people, half were Christians) to a BBQ, to look at taking steps towards this dream. Out of this emerged their desire to “CHEER” for what’s good in community, and pray for what’s bad. For a time they experimented with a more expressive and weekly form of worship on the second Sunday, but found that it still reinforced participants being fundamentally consumers rather than contributors. So over time Cheers adopted the present form of CHEERS 13 (1st and 3rd Tuesday night, praying for the community and inspiration, and planning action), and CHEERS 24 (2nd and 4th week, “family time” with more Bible based learning … interestingly they have more non-Christians at this meeting)—roughly 20-40 people coming each week, with ~70 people associated with Cheers, and 150 with Round Table. All are associated by the action of Cheers, not necessarily coming weekly.

2. What were the main challenges of developing this ICC? Summary: Key challenges included whether to take up the Baptist Union on the use of a building/facility. After prayer, they decided to pursue a model that requires no financial support or buildings. The challenge of membership was solved by functioning under the auspices of SU. Also, direction of Cheers was gradually determined by a quarterly steering meeting, still facilitated by Geoff as the founder, which helps determine topics addressed by Cheers 24 and action emphases for Cheers 13. Whoever is most affected by a decision has the most say.

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3. How did you address those challenges? What successes encouraged you to continue? Summary: Continual discussion is key to a common identity. Some of the initial evangelistic fruit was perhaps more a result of excitable people than deep commitment, though eight years on, many of the initially suspicious people are now more committed as they see this isn’t a bait and switch, and Cheers is still going strong blessing the community—so there is wide-scale support for what’s happening. The main challenge has been conflict resolution, as different agendas come into play, so helping the whole group think together from the same angle, and then another perhaps competing angle (rather than just taking sides) has been important. Given that Geoff and Sally have been upfront about their Christian commitment and the Biblical foundation for Cheers, most participants have been comfortable choosing their level of involvement, though at times some have taken offense as Geoff offers a (usually once yearly) course in the ‘core stuff’ to go deeper into Christianity for those who are relatively new, or seekers.

III. STRUCTURE 1. How does the leadership structure work in this community? Summary: Geoff and Sally have set up the core aims and practices of the group, which guide decisions within a relatively flat leadership structure (consensus). Leadership is largely by example, with each ‘specialist’ primarily informing a related discussion, and those most affected by particular decisions having the greatest say in the final verdict. The steering meetings (twice yearly) are the time for influencing the major directional decisions.

2. What function or role does each member play within the larger model? Summary: This is a broad network at the round table level, so responsibility and role depends upon particular expertise/passion.

3. What does Christian discipleship look like in this community? Summary: Cheers 13 (prayer and action) is more of a core meeting, whilst Cheers 24 (family time, which includes worship) carries more of the discipleship aspects, and reaches about half Christian, half non-Christians—it functions as an ekklesia, even as a number of members keep tight links with other churches—kind of a cross between a home group and a church. All aspects of Christian discipleship are intended to move people from consumer to contributor … no-one is forced to contribute, but all are asked every week, so this has over time formed a group where it is normal to be engaged. The community is always prayerful, but Cheers 24 worship is typically reflective (engaging times of silence, meditative prayers, occasionally singing, but often engaged activities to cultivate worship through use of art and the senses. Discipleship is Scripture centred, with each person in preparation reading the same chapter of Scripture (including kids) coming with something to share or do (action emphasis) related to their local community. Occasionally Geoff will offer more indepth teaching as the primary person trained in theology, but it is always interactive, and family based. Mission (care and evangelism) is the heart of this group’s focus, with all contributions seen as a gift to Christ—so everything revolves around how to serve their local community. Through much greater time invested into local networks—and by being upfront about their Christian commitment—many conversations open up about Christ.

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Additionally, once a year they will run through ‘core stuff’ of the Christian faith, designed for seekers. The group has also brought in positive witness through ministries like Watoto children’s choir to perform in the local school, with a clear gospel message. It was emphasised that for a community like this to remain missional, at least one central person in leadership must be an evangelist and have a heart for the lost, lest the mission aspect diffuse. In terms of community, though the meeting together formally one per week or fortnight is minimalist, they cross paths often in the context of serving the community, and have more time freed up for spontaneous fellowship. Sally sells Avon partly for this purpose also. As a group, they encourage simple lifestyles, such that they are able to work less (e.g. 4 days a week) to have more time to invest into community.

4. What rules and rhythms guide the life of the community? Summary: The central rhythms guiding this community are the weekly or biweekly meetings (if they come only to Cheers 13, or Cheers 24), alongside the family camp once a year.

5. How do you deal with conflict that arises within this community? What is the ‘glue’ that binds you together? Summary: This community is bound together by a care for their local community. This has made conflict resolution skills crucial for Geoff as at times agendas collide and relationships fracture (such as with the local Principal in recent times). They foster open communication of hopes, desires, frustrations and fears at their various corporate times together.

6. What kind of structure(s) support the ICC—daily/weekly/monthly structures/gatherings, etc? Summary: See above. ♦ From the website: How “big” is Cheers? Depends how you look at it. Currently, at the collaboration level, it’s a network of over 150 people across Banksia Grove, many of whom don’t each other. At another level, over 70 people would identify themselves as part of Cheers in some way. At Cheers 24 (Family Time) there’d be over 20 regulars. At Cheers 13 (prayer & action-plans) just a handful. Special interest, & Steering meetings are attended by whoever is most affected by the decisions.

7. What safeguards ensure that this ministry, and its leaders, maintain spiritual focus? Summary: Being under the auspice of SU, tied to SUNO, accountability is excellent: at least once a year tough questions are asked of Cheers to keep focus. Additionally they are closely linked with Mt. Hawthorne church who provide prayer support and wisdom without seeking to control how they run, and Geoff and Sally have membership at Banksia Baptist, who support them as missionaries. Additionally internal accountability (with a flat leadership structure) has helped, where people are comfortable asking the tough questions of leadership.

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8. Who participates in the community? How do people enter and exit this community? Summary: People find out about the community usually by word of mouth (they don’t attach their name to self-promote at events), or through the web-link. Anyone with a heart for the local community can join, and be involved as they see best. If they don’t want to contribute, then they will most likely self-select out, as it’s uncomfortable to join their regular practices without a common heart. In terms of people exiting community, there is little accountability or follow up—they’ve preferred people to take responsibility for their own commitment, perhaps erring on this side to not be controlling and avoid a consumer attitude that can tend to manipulate other members. That is, they are not tight enough to warrant an exit strategy for those involved.

9. What might rule out a potential member from this community? Summary: As above, without a heart for the community and to participate, people would rule themselves out. At times, though, under the duty of care through SU, people need (for example) a blue card to play certain roles. Anyone teaching must fall under the SU statement of faith (particularly Geoff), but by all contributing to discussion, there are checks and balances against false teaching.

10. What responsibilities and commitments do members have to the community? What is the minimum commitment you require to be part of this community? Summary: There is no minimum commitment. People engage at a level that fits them.

11. What are the costs to set up and maintain this community, and how are costs met? (Cost could include money, people, time, resources, etc.) Summary: There are no set costs to maintain this community, given that there are no buildings and ongoing programs, other than camps. The widespread community links means that other groups/networks often provide funds collectively to make things happen, e.g. Watoto performing at the local school. All positions are voluntary.

IV. EVALUATION 1. In what ways are you connected with the wider, or mainstream, church? (That is, are you connected, and what accountability structures exist?) Summary: As above, accountability is strong, both through links with two local churches, and Geoff’s association with SU. Cheers is an emerging church expression, functioning as a church, such that many members see this as their primary place of worship. That said, the Tuesday night meeting doesn’t interfere with participants also connecting in with a Sunday gathering at one of the sponsor churches (Banksia Baptist, and Mt. Hawthorne), so they can do both if they prefer. (It would perhaps be wise for the group to encourage a visit once monthly to a local and larger fellowship, for greater diversity and a sense of connection to the body—though this may be perceived as a conflict with the following web-statements re: Cheers ‘not trying to ‘get people in’ to something separate.)

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♦ From http://geoffwestlake.com/cheers/, re: “Is CHEERS a Church”: No. It’s a network of friends in the neighbourhood. Cheers has no institution, no hierarchy, no staff, no buildings. It’s not trying to ‘get people in’ to something separate, but rather to ‘get people out’ towards each other, to encourage one another. However, this may be a legitimate substitute for church. The community development ethos of Cheers does come from a Christian basis, which is inclusive: anyone can be involved. Technically, Cheers is an ‘ecclesia’ – an Old Greek socio-political term, for when locals gathered to consider how to make their whole community a better place. Is Cheers really meant for Christians? No. The Neighbours’ Network (CNN) involves lots of people who wouldn’t call themselves Christians – but they like Cheers’ ethos, action, and spirit. You don’t have to come to Cheers get togethers to be involved in other ways, but anyone can come to those for inspiration too. So, why a “Christian basis”? We’re upfront about Cheers’ basis, but every community group has some basis or another. As an inspiration and a foundation for wholistic community development, it’s hard to beat the life of Jesus – his way with people, his Spirit, his concerns, his notion of community life… is pretty much everyone’s dream. Plus, if God’s real then we need to pay attention to that! Besides, why not a Christian basis: you don’t have to be a “Christian” to want to emulate Christ.

2. On your own terms, how do you define ‘success’ for this community? Summary: ‘Success’ is modelling the life of Christ and seeking first the kingdom for the local community, inviting others to get in on it.

3. What are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of this community? Summary: The greatest strength of CHEERS is its responsiveness to the needs of local community and heart of core members. It is truly incarnational, and keeps the core elements of a deconstructed church at the fore, such that it is well positioned for a changing culture. The weakness of cheers is the flip side: being so responsive, it is fragile, and could fold if people choose not to involved anymore.

4. What are the main opportunities and threats facing the ongoing mission of your ICC? Summary: The primary opportunity for Cheers is multiplying missionaries to replicate a similar cross-cultural missional opportunity in their own community. The primary threat is fractured relationships through conflicting agendas, and people drifting off given minimal structure and pastoral care (even as they are very engaged in each others’ lives outside meeting times).

5. Our context shapes who we become. … What would stand out about a Disciple of Christ formed through your ICC—different perhaps to discipleship in mainstream church? Summary: Disciples formed through Cheers would have a missional faith built around the core practices/beliefs of following Christ, without a lot of the cultural accretions of institutional church. Additionally, they would take responsibility for their own walk with Christ, lived in community, being contributors rather than consumers.

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6. In terms of evangelism/community outreach via this ICC, what fruit have you seen? Summary: We didn’t ask this question, as from multiple testimonies (in conversations, nonChristians regularly engaged, and blessing of the community), this was a particularly strong area for Cheers.

7. What role have partnerships played in this community—with government, social services, business, education, neighbours, etc.? Summary: Cheers, especially as it facilitates the Round Table meetings, has linked with all local agencies. Partnership tends to focus around particular actions points, however, such as developers and government for local housing and facilities as Banksia Grove (a newish suburb) was established.

8. What have been your most significant learning experiences in facilitating/leading and participating in this community? Summary: The need for conflict resolution skills as a leadership, and being up front about the Christian basis. The initial decision to operate under the auspices of SU was a God-send.

9. How could your community both support/encourage and challenge the larger church? Summary: Cheers is challenging to many churches by centralizing community engagement. They are at the coal face to articulating and embodying the gospel, with countless conversations about Christ over the last eight years coming through freeing up time to just be with neighbours for the blessing of the community. In Sally’s words (loosely quoted), “if more Christians put some energy into their community rather than their church, imagine what their community could look like … far less social mess in here if the Christians didn’t just go to their church for 50 meetings a week, but their community is a mess … imagine if they got involved with the local kids out till midnight—just that one thing—all the Christians doing that one thing—what a transformation.” Cheers offers a prophetic voice challenging insular and self-consumed Churches for the difference they can make when they simply “drop one church activity, pick up one community activity” without being more busy. Additionally, the missional emphasis catalyzes both worship and discipleship, as people seek out real life answers from the Scriptures as they bring their questions and struggles to God in prayer. This model has largely broken the consumer culture and moved members toward contributing and owning their own faith.

10. What legitimate critiques may a larger church movement bring to your community? Summary: With few meetings, and no natural pastors in the group (more APEs, being Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists), group cohesion could be better.

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11. What would be an ideal relationship for a larger church wanting to birth and support intentional communities like yours? Summary: A larger church could function like SU, offering an auspice to protect local community groups, and freeing their time to actually invest into serving their suburb. Church members could be encouraged to drop one church activity and pick up one community activity without being more busy. Cross-cultural missionary training should be offered to core leaders of these movements, deconstructing the core elements of ‘church’ to take on different forms in response to the local context, incarnationally. Additionally, each community needs someone gifted (and trained) as an apostle, prophet and evangelist, with pastors and teachers being an asset, but in part covered internally by the group through close links socially and shared Bible studies where all contribute. Each group does need at least one person with some theological expertise, so all are confident the group is genuinely ‘church’ and isn’t drifting from orthodoxy.

V. APPLICATION TO KBC 1. The greatest lessons KBC can learn (both positive and pitfalls) from this ICC are … POSITIVE: Incarnation. By centring ourselves out in the community, rather than requiring them to come to us, more people will be reached (roughly 10% of this community are part of this network, whereas perhaps only 3% of Banksia Grove as a whole are Christian) … they are very responsive to local needs. Persistence. Instead of one-off, or fleeting community outreaches, this community has a sustained and proven track record of actually caring for their suburb, and making a difference. This lends incredible credibility to their verbal witness. Time. By deconstructing the essentials of ‘church’ and freeing up people’s time with a less involved program, each of their people (including non-Christians) have more energy and intentionality to embody the Kingdom of God locally. Attitude. By basing all of their meetings around participation and living out what they learn, centred on the Scriptures, they have seen a shift of their people from consumer to contributor. Mission genuinely catalyses all they do, including worship, community, and discipleship. Additionally, each person is an ‘expert’ in a particular area (e.g. theology, mechanic, networker, etc.), so their reinforce each other for the blessing of the community, which is empowering. Money. By operating out of local members’ houses, and partnering with other organizations, all under the auspice of SU, they have few if any regular ‘overheads’ … this is a sustainable community financially, which could be done with people still working full or part-time. This is also helpful given financially tight times, where churches are seen to want money and give little back to the community in return. Scripture. By basing this group around the Scripture, particularly the life of Christ, they each are discipled missionally, and also ensure that even without an expert teacher, they will grow as the Spirit opens the Scriptures to them. The further away from trained leadership groups like this move, the more important that they work out of the Scriptures, rather than just setting topical agendas. We would also need to train key leaders to be theologically aware and skilled.

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PITFALLS: Follow up. There is essentially no process for entrance to and exit from the community, and while they are ‘tight’ socially, people can easily drift off from the group as it is a loose network. Depth. Unless groups like this have someone with theological expertise (which Geoff does), then they may become shallow in their discipleship. Geoff’s use of the “Core Stuff” series greatly helps this, so perhaps use of set materials from outside, once yearly for core discipleship, is key. Diversity. Groups like this require someone with an evangelistic heart/gift to be centrally involved, lest this become a baptised rotary group. That said, you ideally would have not just evangelists and pioneers (apostles), but also a pastor, teacher, and prophet involved for balance across the 5-fold team, if this is to be a legitimate substitute for church. Regularity. Essentially this church meets once a fortnight. Granted, there is other social contact outside this time, and numerous spiritual conversations occur. But this is perhaps too far a swing from the busy-ness of institutional church, such that growth is slow and community is loose. Were we to employ such a model, a weekly gathering of Christ-followers is better. Purpose. There is perhaps a central problem with such a model, that the ‘ekklesia’ was based around a core purpose of serving Christ as Lord. Out of this flowed their service to the community. By making service of the community primary, and only then helping elucidate the Biblical/Christological foundation to such service, they are arguably serving two masters, or putting the cart before the horse. It would seem to make light of the need to repent and align with Christ, and affect the corporate witness of the ‘church’ as they are not united under His Lordship in holiness.

2. Elements of this ICC we can immediately imagine in the KBC community are … There may be some missionally minded leaders of current home groups that would like to adopt such a model, under the support/auspices of KBC Pastors for training. We could commission them as missionaries to invest into their local community, making time for group involvement, or tie in with rotary and the like > birth a similar model. We could also encourage, or even require, each home group to take on one community based project, partnering with others investing into the community.

3. Elements of this ICC that will be the most challenging to KBC are … It requires people to drop significant KBC internal commitments, and step out to take up community based commitments—this will be challenging, both for congregants, and leaders losing key people. It will also be challenging as we alter our model of ‘what is church’, recognizing that such local expressions are legitimate forms of Christians gathering. It will also be challenging to shift a group’s centre of gravity from consuming, to contributing based around the Scriptures (not just another series) and to apply everything to local expressions missionally.

4. The greatest gain to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … More people in the wider community will come to know about Christ, engage with Christians, and see that the church genuinely cares for the community. This validates our witness in the local regions.

5. The greatest loss to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … We could lose resources internally, both people and money, as key leaders launch out.

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6. Were such a community to be pursued, KBC would need to … We would need to: a) Identify key leaders/apostles who have a heart for such an initiative, and cast the vision b) Use some of our current pastoral time to train and mentor these people, and help form a team for each that represents the five-fold gifts for church planting c) Agreed oversight for how this group would keep focus, and the nature of its connection to KBC (e.g. meeting corporately with the larger body once a month) d) Champion the work and fruit of such groups, as they invest into the community e) Challenge all of our people, and each home-group, to drop one insular activity (if they are overly-involved) and use this same time (rather that becoming busier) to invest into and partner with a community based project in their local area. In all of this, KBC would function as an overseeing entity, allowing these groups to operate under the auspice of KBC, without being overly controlling or paternalistic as to exactly what form ‘church’ and community outreach should take.

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INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY (ICC) SURVEY 2011 COMMUNITY: ICC MODEL: LOCATION: CONTACT: DATE:

YWAM Missional training in community 150 Claisebrook Rd Perth 6000 Ari Sloots (arjans@ywamperth.org.au; 0401 397 637) + founder, Peter Brownhill Saturday 9th July, 2011

I. PURPOSE/MISSION/VISION/GOALS 1. What purpose(s) drives this ICC? Summary: To know God and make Him known.

2. What are you hoping to achieve through this ICC? Summary: YWAM is working towards the “Magna Carta”, describing six ‘rights’ implicit in the gospel. That is, everyone on earth has the right to: 1) Hear and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ 2) Have a Bible available in their own language 3) Have a Christian fellowship available nearby, to be able to meet for fellowship regularly each week, and to have Biblical teaching and worship with others in the Body of Christ 4) Have a Christian education available for their children 5) Have the basic necessities of life: food, water, clothing, shelter and health care 6) Lead a productive life of fulfilment spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically We commit ourselves, by God’s grace, to fulfil this covenant and to live for His glory. … More particularly for the Perth base as an ICC, they are hoping to create a transformational environment in the context of ‘family’, through which people are discipled and live out the mission of Christ.

3. What are the core values of this ministry and its members? Summary: For YWAM, everything centres on family. Out of this flows everything else. Their key values are worship, holiness, witness, prayer, and fellowship … these embed in everything YWAM does. This works itself out in 17 DNA within four areas: A) Abiding in Christ a. Know God b. Hear God’s Voice c. Have a Biblical Worldview d. Practise Worship and Intercessory Prayer B) Bearing Fruit a. Make God Known b. Practice Hospitality c. Be Visionary d. Do First, Then Teach e. Exhibit Servant Leadership

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C) Valuing People a. Value the Individual b. Value Families c. Be Relationship-Oriented d. Champion Young People D) How We Function a. Rely on Relationship-Based Support b. Function in Teams c. Be International and Interdenominational d. Be Broad-Structured and Decentralized

4. Where do you sense God leading this ministry? … What is it to become? Summary: The YWAM base is currently relocating to a new premises, which will continue the same work (toward the same aims of discipling and transforming, previously stated). In this new base, however, they hope to extend the homeless ministry with space for temporary accommodation, and extend the primary school education beyond children of base members, to people in the community, offering Christian education cheaply to all who want it. They are also planning to get a Bible into the hands of every home (in partnership with other organizations) in Perth.

5. What ideas or beliefs was the model based on? Summary: The primary influences on YWAM as a model were the Salvation Army, and the Moravians, with sacrificial and holistic mission.

II. HISTORY 1. How has this ICC formed from initial idea and first expressions to its present expression? Summary: This is a long story, but it began with Loren Cunningham waiting on God, hearing His voice, and seeing a vision of thousands of young people heading all over the world to the nations on mission (Mark 16:15). They began simply evangelizing people in the local region, which led to many conversions, and the need to disciple them toward further evangelization and mission. The DTS (Discipleship Training School) is the foundation of what YWAM does.

2. What were the main challenges of developing this ICC? Summary: As the movement grew, a major challenge was allowing vision and values and mission, rather than strict adherence to ‘rules’, to unify various bases, whilst allowing them to take on their own incarnational identity in response to the local community, and gifts of those on base toward international mission. Finances for facilities has always been a challenge, but as they’ve waited on God and trusted His provision, YWAM Perth in particular has seen God’s favour.

3. How did you address those challenges? What successes encouraged you to continue? Summary: The emphasis on ‘family’ in all they do, and embodying the DNA intentionally in every activity, championing the vision at every opportunity, has created a common ethos. For instance, every birthday is celebrated (400 people on base) and meals are together, so that people are constantly interacting with leaders, who regularly champion what they’re about. In terms of direction and finances, prayer & waiting on God’s particular leading has been a key. GROWING TOGETHER ICC SURVEY 2011 21


III. STRUCTURE 1. How does the leadership structure work in this community? Summary: There are upward of 100 students per quarter coming for DTS or second level training. There are around 70 full time staff on mission within various departments, and then there are 24 people in the core leadership, all working as families. There is a base director who ties it all together, but there is a fairly flat leadership structure built around regular meals, Tuesday meetings for planning, and much prayer, hearing God’s voice as to direction. Whatever they do must support the YWAM Global Leadership direction, toward the Magna Carta previously stated.

2. What function or role does each member play within the larger model? Summary: There are various portfolios, with full time staff under them, supporting the running of the base, and the various ministries.

3. What does Christian discipleship look like in this community? Summary: This community is built around Christian discipleship. Everything they do is bathed in worship and prayer, running 24-7 across the base. Set corporate worship times are on Friday nights. Over 30 discipleship courses run through this base, with instruction time and application (do before teach), all missionally focused as the catalyst for worship, discipleship and community, most courses running for six months. Every course and group has an evangelistic edge, getting students involved in sharing the gospel. And in terms of community, they share lunch and dinner together each day, with the family environment created by fellowship around the table, rather than set programs.

4. What rules and rhythms guide the life of the community? Summary: Shared meals and times for chores are the primary rhythms of the community. Instruction/classes usually operate in the morning, with a shared lunch, and then activities/jobs/mission in the afternoon before a shared dinner.

5. How do you deal with conflict that arises within this community? What is the ‘glue’ that binds you together? Summary: ‘Family’ is the glue that binds them together.

6. What kind of structure(s) support the ICC—daily/weekly/monthly structures/gatherings, etc? Summary: See above.

7. What safeguards ensure that this ministry, and its leaders, maintain spiritual focus? Summary: YWAM Perth is held accountable by the vision of the international team, with set accountability processes. On the base, the base leader holds core leaders accountable, and each member of community has an accountability partner who is expected to ask the tough questions of all others. They are very proactive with discipline toward discipleship, by highlighting values and vision, and then confronting when people miss the mark in love.

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8. Who participates in the community? How do people enter and exit this community? Summary: Anyone can participate in the community, provided they are committed to Christ, and are prepared to commit to the discipleship process, living in community. People enter by application to a central committee, with reference letters (as it is missionally focused), and agree to keep to base rules (re: no relationships while in community on the DTS, no drugs or alcohol etc.). Once the DTS is over, about 80 percent of people leave back to their church, 20 percent do further courses, and of these half end up working for staff. If someone has broken the base rules, then they are taken through a process of discipline (e.g. moved dorm location, or mission group etc.) and may be eventually excused from base.

9. What might rule out a potential member from this community? Summary: Each member must commit to living in community, and submit to accountability toward Christian discipleship. Lack of finances for a program may also affect entry to community.

10. What responsibilities and commitments do members have to the community? What is the minimum commitment you require to be part of this community? Summary: As above.

11. What are the costs to set up and maintain this community, and how are costs met? (Cost could include money, people, time, resources, etc.) Summary: With the emphasis upon relationship based support, all people involved at YWAM Perth are full time volunteers, unpaid. Many sponsorships and donations help offset costs, and food costs (given bulk buying and food cooperatives) sits at about $2 per person per day.

IV. EVALUATION 1. In what ways are you connected with the wider, or mainstream, church? (That is, are you connected, and what accountability structures exist?) Summary: Whilst YWAM effectively functions as a church for those in DTS, and meets all the components of ‘church’, they do not position themselves as such (rather parachurch). They encourage (essentially require) each person to keep contact with their home/support church (e.g. not baptising someone while at YWAM so as not to cause denominational conflict), and to tie in with a local church on Sunday. They work hard to help people see their role as serving the local church, partnering with local churches, and eventually returning to a local church, not to be compared with the YWAM experience which is far more intensive and community based.

2. On your own terms, how do you define ‘success’ for this community? Summary: Success is that through the life of this community, each person comes to know God (and reflect Christ), and in turn learn how to make God known.

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3. What are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of this community? Summary: The greatest strength of YWAM would be its family environment combined with a missional heart, out of which everything else flows. Its greatest weakness is perhaps in application to the larger church, that all are full time volunteers, so without support of a local church, this is not sustainable. Also, though its strength is in mobilizing youth, its weakness is perhaps a pooling of youth, not being as diverse to draw from wisdom of those further along in their walk. (That said, there are many who have served the YWAM community for decades … it’s more a point about the average attendee, and thus the community lacking some diversity. It is, however, far more diverse in nationality and culture than almost any other community.)

4. What are the main opportunities and threats facing the ongoing mission of your ICC? Summary: The main opportunity facing YWAM is to continue expanding programs, and extend education and services to the local community. The greatest threat facing YWAM is perhaps financial implosion if they overextend beyond what God is particularly calling them to, and perhaps lack of wisdom re: discipline on boundary markers and standards to remain part of this community.

5. Our context shapes who we become. … What would stand out about a Disciple of Christ formed through your ICC—different perhaps to discipleship in mainstream church? Summary: The family emphasis, and mutual accountability as a normal part of following Christ is key. Additionally, everything is directed toward missional discipleship, in the environment of prayer and worship, which cultivates an intentional listening to God’s voice on behalf of the world.

6. In terms of evangelism/community outreach via this ICC, what fruit have you seen? Summary: Every member of YWAM has numerous stories of sharing the gospel with those outside the church, and seeing people respond to grow in faith. Their fruit is literally staggering, far beyond any other community we visited.

7. What role have partnerships played in this community—with government, social services, business, education, neighbours, etc.? Summary: YWAM often receives referrals from various governments and other agencies to help practically with, e.g., short-term emergency care of struggling families, or drug-alcohol support, or school talks etc. With an emphasis on excellent service, and also being upfront about their Christian commitment without being coercive in their sharing, they are generally respected by the wider community.

8. What have been your most significant learning experiences in fascilitating/leading and participating in this community? Summary: The importance of constantly sharing vision and using every opportunity to inculcate this in the community. Also, as the movement has grown, it has been key to appropriately link birthed movements to the YWAM base, so they are not controlled, but are clearly directed and owned in such a way that the large and small work well together.

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9. How could your community both support/encourage and challenge the larger church? Summary: By such intentional discipleship in community, they break down many unhelpful cultural expectations (such as autonomy without accountability, and consumerism), returning to the churches youth with skills and a heart for mission. Additionally, the missional emphasis can partner with churches in reaching particular groups that many churches may struggle to reach.

10. What legitimate critiques may a larger church movement bring to your community? Summary: If YWAM doesn’t communicate well with the local church, they may be perceived to steal the youth of churches, rather than bless the local church. Other than this, a legitimate critique may be that this environment of full time mission as a supported volunteer—as great as it is—is unrealistic to what most people have to do everyday, with full time work. This may create unrealistic expectations, and disappointment with any other type of Christian life, and compartmentalization of mission and secular work. That said, YWAM works hard to help youth see every aspect of their life as for God’s glory, addressing the seven mountains of society and how they can be an agent of change. Others may also challenge YWAMs heavy emphasis on cold-contact evangelism/street-witness, as perhaps overly forward in a culture that is tired of the hard sell.

11. What would be an ideal relationship for a larger church wanting to birth and support intentional communities like yours? Summary: YWAM Perth founder, Peter Brownhill, shared much of great wisdom toward this end—worth reading over these notes. His essential points were these: 1) We need to wait on God for people to emerge with solid character, an apostolic/pioneering spirit/gift, and loyalty to the values and vision of the local church, so their ICC and the broader church don’t part ways, but work synergistically together. 2) We would need a clear MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) defining how the large and small movements would work together, giving sufficient clarity, but also freedom, for each movement to take on its own shape. 3) Zone leaders could then help oversee the ICC and give accountability and support, marrying what they do to the local needs. 4) Mission ultimately flows out of community. Get the family aspect right—particularly sharing rhythms of life, especially meals, rather than more events/programs to attend— and the group will meld and move out.

V. APPLICATION TO KBC 1. The greatest lessons KBC can learn (both positive and pitfalls) from this ICC are … Positive: Family. That all ministry and mission flows out of a sense of family, which centres around shared meals. Pitfalls: The more intense and entire an ICC is (e.g. full time voluntary mission), the more conflict will arise, and the more difficult it will be for those exiting to integrate back into regular cultural norms.

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2. Elements of this ICC we can immediately imagine in the KBC community are … Meals. We could easily integrate some of our corporate gatherings with everyday necessities like meals, which makes for a family Missional outreach together. We can participate in community outreach projects with small group communities. Accountability and discipline. Holiness matters, and holding each other accountable in love, relative to a common vision of the kingdom life (i.e., not about breaking rules, but about living toward the fullness of Christian life) is crucial, and we could be more intentional at this. Hospitality. Their sense of inviting others in embodies the love of Christ. We could practice hospitality intentionally via temporary accommodation provided by KBC members (a register).

3. Elements of this ICC that will be the most challenging to KBC are … Intimacy and accountability. We are very autonomous and don’t like being told what to do. Living in close community will bring this out, and many will resist. Living arrangements. Our people tend to congregate by programs, not geography, and requiring people to live together, or within walking distance, and to catch a vision for the importance of this, may be difficult. Mission. We are typically more consumers than contributors, and being required to do outreach as a central formative experience will encounter resistance. We are more centred on the corporate gathering than holistic mission—this would need to be a shared vision, championed by the leadership.

4. The greatest gain to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … Shared Mission. We may together reflect the heart of Christ, rather than mission being sporadic gatherings within members’ homes. It’s a more holistic emphasis. Holiness. A shared life that brings up our issues, in the context of accountability and conflict, would produce great growth and deal with issues of pride and consumerism.

5. The greatest loss to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … Two-tiered lifestyle. Who’s living it fully, and who is not? … may breed comparisons. Compartmentalization. That mission can only be done full time in this format, rather than an emphasis on e.g. workplace mission or your own family where you’re planted. It’s a very intense experience that may be hard for members to translate back into ordinary life. Drain of those with an evangelistic heart. Many of our most passionate evangelists and those with a heart for mission will be especially attracted to this kind of movement, perhaps taking them out of circulation of regular homegroups where they may be most needed to change culture. Financial loss. The home church would carry a large financial pressure to provide for these people being full time missionaries in a local context. Diversity. If we emphasized youth (like YWAM), then wisdom and diversity may be an issue.

6. Were such a community to be pursued, KBC would need to … Buy up or rent nearby facilities. YWAM relies upon shared meals in a common locale … affects food provision, infrastructure, etc. Prize doing alongside or before teaching … i.e., applied models. We tend to talk and consume, without requiring people to do—this is a radical change in attitude to discipleship. Establish an MOU to determine how the missional movement relates to the larger church … e.g., is it a church, is it a homegroup, do they take tithes, what values and vision would guide their movement, what accountability structures and training are required for the core leadership of such a movement, etc. GROWING TOGETHER

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INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY (ICC) SURVEY 2011 COMMUNITY: ICC MODEL: LOCATION: CONTACT: DATE:

CROSSWAY BAPTIST, HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT “Movement Paradigms” (MP … a less defined house church plant) Melbourne, Blackburne (http://www.crossway.org.au/movement) Dave Lawton, Tim, Mark, Andrew (all Pastors at Crossway) Monday 11th July

I. PURPOSE/MISSION/VISION/GOALS 1. What purpose(s) drives this ICC? Summary: The “movement paradigm” (MP) is to plant the church in the harvest, using the networks of the “person of peace” to make disciples who make disciples, making Christ known.

2. What are you hoping to achieve through this ICC? Summary: Multiplicative missionaries who have eyes for the harvest, rather than fixing most of our attention on the corporate gathering. The are also hoping to see Christian disciples, and then disciple-making (through a type of informal house church), formed in all communities across Australia, planting seeds of the gospel through front-line evangelism.

3. What are the core values of this ministry and its members? Summary: Their core values (whilst not explicitly stated) are very similar to YWAM: family, meal, priority of relationship and being Spirit led over a set program/process, prayer, direct evangelism, using the networks of those they’re reading, reading the Bible through the lens of mission (Biblically centred) … they also value inclusive discipleship of the pre-Christian

4. Where do you sense God leading this ministry? … What is it to become? Summary: God-willing, there will be discipleship movements (movement paradigm, MP) planted not just across Melbourne, but across Australia. It is always birthed by asking God for an area, dividing up the post-codes, prayer walking each area, and asking for the person of peace with whom they may begin discipleship. They have already done this across Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth (with a partner in Boonah, Qld), and the next day about 5 of the Pastoral team were flying to Darwin for prayer-walking.

5. What ideas or beliefs was the model based on? Summary: MP is based upon YWAM experience in India, and Pastor Joseph’s approach in Mumbai, sending his whole church out prayer walking each post-code (all lay leaders) and starting small group discipleship with pre-Christians on their own turf, in turn seeing 50,000 first time commitments within a couple of years. This prompted reflection on Jesus’ own model of multiplication in Luke 4, and sending of the 70 in Luke 10, finding the Person of Peace. Matthew’s conversion is key, also, where Matthew begins discipleship (as a pre-Christian), and immediately Jesus is on site at Matthew’s house, with Matthew’s networks, having a party based around food, and making more disciples. He works as a cross-cultural missionary. It is the Pharisees and religious ones wondering why He hasn’t brought them to the synagogue to make good religious people out of them, to pay their tithes and give them proper programs. Similarly, in Acts, we see a pattern of challenge to the synagogue to follow Christ and be about making disciples, then having eyes for the harvest, bathing the whole process in prayer. GROWING TOGETHER

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Beginning with those who respond to direct evangelism (not worrying about those who reject us), they form small discipleship movements, usually in a house church, and appoint local leadership very early in the piece. Paul left Timothy in place within 3 months of being in Philippi, and then would mentor Timothy through letters to help deal with the real messiness of a young church, trusting the Holy Spirit to guide them through. (We often focus on the church so much we think the church is large and the unsaved culture small … but in reality, we are small—like the original 70 commissioned to reach the whole world—and the harvest is large … so we are to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers, and plant ourselves in the harvest … and we are often more concerned about our large movement growing larger, even when it yields relatively little evangelistic fruit, rather than moving into the neighbourhood [John 1, Message] as Jesus did, taking on local forms, reaching people where they’re at, rather than requiring them to take on the culturally distant forms we practise in our corporate gatherings.) Additionally, the following books were highly recommended: And: The Gathered and Scattered Church by Holter and Smay Building a Discipleship Culture by Alex Absalom 3DM … unsure if this is a book or web-site, but these materials are recommended as perhaps best for moving a large church to a more missional model built around discipleship. Discovery Bible Studies (unsure of original source) is a key, also.

II. HISTORY 1. How has this ICC formed from initial idea and first expressions to its present expression? Summary: As explored above, the condensed version is that Dave Latwon was a YWAM worker in India, planting churches in poor communities and seeing great growth, built around prayer and Scripture Engagement, where God would often bring about power encounters through the Spirit to see that God is real. He was sought out by Crossway to work for them, and took on the role, only to find himself in an office, expected to spend most of the day working on a computer, using systems and attracting people to programs, for the purpose of ‘church planting’. They tried many models for a few years (satellite churches, bringing e.g. ‘beer and Bible’ guys from a pub who showed interest into Crossway’s services, etc.) but found that most pre-Christians seeking, and new converts without Christian background, would quickly fall away as it seemed too artificial an environment, and pulled them away from their networks. Additionally, whilst some of the satellite churches grew somewhat, they discovered it was a net loss for the Kingdom in that area, as the new people were from struggling smaller churches (not new Christians by-and-large), which further weakened these churches and caused dissatisfaction, and then some moving to the larger church would also fall away as the intimate friendship networks they’d formed over years were now gone, so if they didn’t connect in well, they wouldn’t keep attending, and were unlikely to return to the original church. Overall there was a loss of connected people across the region. And it seemed a form of religious imperialism (even arrogance) to assume that their ‘formula’ or ‘franchise’ should work equally well on different soil, without really having God’s heart for these particular people, especially those outside the church—the majority, being the harvest. (In 2002-2006 Melbourne Young Adult population declined 30% [Rob Isaacs, Transforming Melbourne], yet as Dave noted, there are so many churches talking about reaching people, but so little actually doing it. We must get out.)

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SO … eventually Dave asked for less time in church based responsibilities, but would keep Dale (senior pastor) in touch with stories from what he was doing … very little fruit to show for some time … he would get outside the office, seek God, and prayer walk. Eventually it moved into the present model of training disciple makers to prayer walk areas (postcodes/regions/workplaces), seek the person of peace (a la Luke 10), doing very simple DISCOVERY BIBLE STUDIES with them (unpacked later), and encouraging them to link in others who may be open, by modelling what they’ve seen done (just like Jesus doing, and then calling the disciples to emulate … “imitate me as I imitate Christ” said Paul. Greater structure formed—addressed below—but this was in essence the form the model developed into. Crossway has continued running its regular deal—though has intentionally scaled back their program to free people’s time for greater connection with their pre-Christian contacts—but as the fruit has been seen in this MP, more people have got involved, as they are seeing God move more outside the church (in healings, in conversions, etc.), on the front line of mission, than they are inside church based programs.

2. What were the main challenges of developing this ICC? Summary: Current Church and Christians were the main challenge. Crossways busy program tied up people’s time and passion so they were largely disconnected from the wider unsaved culture, and were too thinly spread to invest into front-line disciplemaking. The church environment was so comfortable and safe that most were reluctant to get out. Andrew said plainly that it was harder to make a disciple maker from a person entrenched in the church, than starting again with someone from the harvest. Dave lamented that even whole series preaching on these themes yielded essentially no fruit of people getting involved … he had to go out and do it himself, for a model to emulate, inviting others to join, rather than simply trying mobilize people to do what they’d never seen and were scared of.

3. How did you address those challenges? What successes encouraged you to continue? Summary: Modelling. By devoting most of his work hours to actually walking the talk … praying > connecting > making disciples with 1, 2, up to 5 families, then bringing others along for this, some would catch the vision and get out into the harvest. Now they have ~60-80 trained multiplying agents, all networked together, who pray together and do the Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) in their own time together (having the same DNA and modelling all the levels down), each of whom has anywhere from 1-5 mutiplying communities they are reaching … so I would guess conservatively that there are ~500+ pre-Christians and new converts (perhaps up to 2000 or so people) who are being discipled, outside the large church setting— including a Muslim convert now running DBS with some friends in a mosque, exploring from the Koran “who is Issa [Jesus]” … the front line discipleship and mission throws the leaders and participants back into the Scriptures and worship and community, as they grapple with what it means to follow Jesus in the everyday, beyond the predictability of a church program. All the way through, it has been key for Dave Lawton to have the support of the Senior Pastor, even as what he’s doing in some ways could be perceived as taking energy and people and finances from Crossway’s larger community. They keep open channels through sharing stories, all of which is only possible because Dale (senior pastor) has a heart that beats for the lost, and understands we must go to them, rather than building the church around them coming to us.

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III. STRUCTURE 1. How does the leadership structure work in this community? Summary: Dave Lawton has challenged each of the Pastors to be reaching out and discipling as part of their regular role in the church. He is accountable to the Senior Pastor. In turn, he now has around 60-80 multiplying agents (disciple-makers) who are seeking to reach particular communities, whether university, work place, neighbours, or even random people they reach through street evangelism. Most of those are full- or part-time workers outside the church, so this must become a lifestyle and will not work if they are busy with multiple church activities. The 60-80 meet together 3-4 times a year for the GDC (Global Discipleship Community) for intentional training (often doing intensives over a day or two with guys like Floyd McLung from YWAM, on reaching the city) … heavy emphasis on prayer, evangelism, and Scripture Engagement. Then there are more regular “Engine Room” gatherings of leaders by zone/region (or cause, e.g. university workers), to do exactly the same as what the smallest units do, sharing the good, the bad, praying, opening the Word, re-wording it, and looking at what it calls you do live out/practice (obedience based) over the next week. These Engine Room gatherings meet weekly for prayer walking (usually outside, in their region), to which they invite anyone being discipled. The individual multiplying agents the meet with their 1-5 people in a kind of small group which for them is church, running Discovery Bible Studies, and helping build a community of accountability toward faithfully following Jesus. … Accountability and mentoring work up through each of the levels. In order for someone to become part of their leadership team and be changed, five conditions must be continually met: 1) need a mentor who is a practitioner/disciple-maker; 2) be in a team, preferably with the 5 fold gifts in that network/zone; 3) intentionally in the harvest every week, prioritizing time for outreach; 4) attending GDC training 3 times a year, bringing along their disciples who have a heart to live this out, eventually multiplying to their own group; 5) prayer, once a week in all areas.

2. What function or role does each member play within the larger model? Summary: Each member is to be disciple making, so leaders are quite similar in this regard. Mentors offer extra accountability and context-dependent support, for prayer coverage, and wisdom as situations come up. Dave Lawton, as the head, is responsible for organizing training and bringing stories to Crossway’s ministries to mobilize more multiplying agents, even as he continues as a practitioner, reaching 2-5 communities himself.

3. What does Christian discipleship look like in this community? Summary: At the smallest level of discipleship (take Andrew with his 4 university guys), worship looks like praying to God and praising Him for who He is, and thanking Him for answering particular prayers as He makes Himself known to them. Discipleship is continual, and looks like opening the Scriptures together in the Discovery Bible Study … sharing what’s good for you right now, then what are the challenges [in life in general], committing to prayer together, then asking God to open the Bible as they read > read a chapter with a missional lens, especially through the Gospels, but starting with whatever fits best for that particular group > share back what this is saying in their own words and discuss what it means > challenge points for how to live this out in the next week, which they discuss the following week for accountability, and closing in prayer … without encouragement to join the prayer walk midweek … so discipleship of pre-Christians toward commitment, and then continuing discipleship in this context afterwards. It also looks like attending GDC for further training. GROWING TOGETHER

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Mission looks like caring for and sharing with each other (as the people involved generally are pre-Christian), and then living out what they read each week, toward mission. It looks like the disciples prayer walking an area, and immediately (even before saved) sharing what God’s doing in their life with friends, family, and neighbours, in practical evangelism … imitating what they’ve seen. Community looks like the weekly gathering, and ongoing communication and support mid-week. They base the meetings around a meal, in a family type setting, and share life across the week just by staying in touch. Additionally, once a month they gather together for a more combined time of worship, perhaps with Crossway, or a combined University gathering, with song, teaching, etc., so they have some sense of connectedness to the larger body, perhaps over time wanting to connect in with this form of ‘church’ to serve, and access particular training.

4. What rules and rhythms guide the life of the community? Summary: Few rules, but accountability to join weekly gathering which includes prayer, and to live out what they’re learning, asking for God’s help on the way through. It recognizes that God is working through a process with these people, and even before they’ve made a definite commitment, His grace can draw them and help them live out what they’re learning as a way of confirming God’s reality and Jesus’ power through His Spirit (see John 7:17—live it out and see that this teaching is from God).

5. How do you deal with conflict that arises within this community? What is the ‘glue’ that binds you together? Summary: The clear mission of being in the harvest and making disciples tends to lesson unnecessary conflict in light of a larger and more important goal. We didn’t discuss the question specifically, but it seems that conflict is dealt with through the mentors and wider accountability with zone “engine rooms” and GDC, during the time of discussing (in a DBS) what is good and bad. Increasingly the sharing time is filled with reports of good being conversion, and bad being barriers to witness, showing that the ‘glue’ binding the community together is a passion to reach the lost and see more workers mobilized for the harvest.

6. What kind of structure(s) support the ICC—daily/weekly/monthly structures/gatherings, etc? Summary: See above.

7. What safeguards ensure that this ministry, and its leaders, maintain spiritual focus? Summary: See above.

8. Who participates in the community? How do people enter and exit this community? Summary: Anyone can participate in the community, as it begins with pre-Christians who express openness to the gospel. Often people enter this community as the ‘person of peace’ in turn shares what’s happening for them with their immediate friends (explicitly encouraged to reach out to others), gradually forming a group. People exit this community at will, though they are followed up on a pastoral care level by the multiplying agent. The group itself may morph into something else, or end, or birth new groups, when the discipler feels they are ready … so they may each move to the level of multiplying agents as part of the GDC and Engine Rooms, forming their own groups.

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9. What might rule out a potential member from this community? Summary: In terms of leadership, they must be a follower of Christ demonstrating a walk with God of faithful obedience (which is emphasized every gathering of the small groups), open to accountability, and committed to the weekly prayer (see above re: training qualifications of key leadership). This is risky in one sense, but essentially what Paul did with all of his missionary communities, only changing approach e.g. in Titus when the house church community was in disarray (appointing the most experienced). This requires a high level of communication, ongoing support/mentoring that asks the tough questions, and teachability.

10. What responsibilities and commitments do members have to the community? What is the minimum commitment you require to be part of this community? Summary: There is no minimum commitment, in the sense that no-one’s arm is twisted to come (at the lowest level). That said, the group folds unless at least one person is regularly meeting for discipleship. Their responsibility within group time is to be open and honest, and pray together, and engage the Scriptures to live it out—experientially oriented.

11. What are the costs to set up and maintain this community, and how are costs met? (Cost could include money, people, time, resources, etc.) Summary: Financially there are few if any costs for regular weekly gatherings … no buildings, just buying/sharing a meal together and opening the Word. This makes the movement flexible for changing times, different cultures, and hard times economically. For the larger gatherings, they need a house or building sufficient for them to meet together, which is often in partnership with the larger Crossway church, e.g. using their café. But Crossway sees this as a missional extension of all they do.

IV. EVALUATION 1. In what ways are you connected with the wider, or mainstream, church? (That is, are you connected, and what accountability structures exist?) Summary: Accountability exists down the chain from the senior pastor. Each of the small groups functions as a ‘church’, with the monthly larger gathering serving to connect them into the body of Christ, e.g. with Crossway and more traditional worship. That said, there is no expectation that these multiplying paradigms must eventually lead to attendance at larger church gatherings. We didn’t speak about tithing/giving, but it seemed that this was not even on the radar—it seemed a minor concern in light of the missionary opportunity to reach the harvest.

2. On your own terms, how do you define ‘success’ for this community? Summary: Multiplying movements based in the harvest.

3. What are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of this community? Summary: The greatest strength of MP is that it reaches the lost, within their own environment, and builds off these networks to reach others outside the church. It forms missional disciples who in turn share their faith and live for the Kingdom, without the need for expensive infrastructure and large programs.

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The greatest weakness of MP thus far is leadership. It’s early days to see how effective this will be, though there are already more people outside the church being reached in a sustained way presently than there have been for Crossway in the 5 years prior. But the sustained movement requires deep leaders who are well formed; it’s working in the first generation of outreach, but it remains to be seen how well these new Christians will step up and become multiplying agents. In terms of organizational structure, Dave has a 5 point check list: 1) clear end vision that is compelling; 2) create passionate prayer; 3) clear training of multiplicative workers in the harvest; 4) clear accountabilities (e.g. are you in the harvest); 5) teams of purpose. From our perspective, evaluating weaknesses, I would add that these smaller groups perhaps lack the gift-mix and diversity of the wider church body, so could do with some more connections corporately. It also seems that the leaders are working by themselves at the group level, which lacks the 5-fold gifts for equipping the saints, and doesn’t reflect the love of Christ so well (how believers love each other demonstrates God, not just an individual believer loving a group of pre-Christians).

4. What are the main opportunities and threats facing the ongoing mission of your ICC? Summary: The main opportunity is further expansion across communities over Australia. The main threat, partly explored above, would be lack of depth for second level leaders, and disconnect from the wider Crossway body, such that it lacks the contribution of evangelists, all taken out into the field. (Though, arguably, this is what the larger church is supposed to birth, so perhaps we’re letting the large church be an end in itself, the tail wagging the dog, rather than seeing the church as a missionary movement to point to the Kingdom.)

5. Our context shapes who we become. … What would stand out about a Disciple of Christ formed through your ICC—different perhaps to discipleship in mainstream church? Summary: Each disciple would remain connected to their non-Christian networks, as further evangelistic opportunity, rather than becoming more insular through busy church involvement (e.g. now having 2-3 more nights out than they did prior to expressing interest in Jesus). They are discipled into regular obedience around Scripture reading and prayer, and begin evangelising from the get-go, in a sense even before consciously following Christ. Baptism, then, becomes the key marker of choosing to follow Christ, sharing their testimony with friends and family outside the church, rather than the time when a Christian gets ‘really serious’ about following Jesus.

6. In terms of evangelism/community outreach via this ICC, what fruit have you seen? Summary: Lots! See above. Just hearing Andrew’s story—former young adults Pastor at Crossway, now doing part-time uni and part-time missional agent at uni, he reached Anthony who readed Ed who reached Billy, none of whom had any prior involvement with ‘church’ or ‘Christians’ but were open to checking out Jesus … they all meet together now, and are sharing with their friends and reaching out … it’s a slow process, but collectively hundreds and arguably thousands of people are being reached who never previously were, and not just reached incidentally, but intentionally discipled.

7. What role have partnerships played in this community—with government, social services, business, education, neighbours, etc.? Summary: Essentially no role … this is discipleship at the smallest level, and perhaps lacks the corporate witness of the larger church challenging institutional structures and partnering toward systemic change. GROWING TOGETHER

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8. What have been your most significant learning experiences in facilitating/leading and participating in this community? Summary: The need to be in the harvest, and not just talking about it.

9. How could your community both support/encourage and challenge the larger church? Summary: By reminding us of our primary purpose, reaching the lost. It would challenge the number of hours we spend in closed Christian community, and how white are the fields for harvest, but how few are the labourers. In turn, as stories of conversion and growth are filtered back through the larger church, people will be excited, in turn reaching out more. The stories and practical living it out by Pastors and identified people with an apostolic heart was the starting point for a cultural change, not simply preaching about it from the front.

10. What legitimate critiques may a larger church movement bring to your community? Summary: The primary critique may be that each community lacks the diversity of the wider church, and attracts like-minded/gifted leaders … they need to be more in partnership with a gift-mix at the lowest level to form viable communities that multiply. They need some of their rhetoric challenged, about perhaps the ineffectiveness of the larger church (which has been supported) when they haven’t yet seen generational multiplication through to the 3rd plus multiplication, to genuinely be a multiplying paradigm. Thus far it’s showing first generation fruit, but may well be promising given the overall decline of the church in the aussie mission field. Something radical is needed, and without a turn ‘outwards’ toward the harvest, it is only time until even the largest churches struggle. Mission energizes the church, and is our core reason for existence.

11. What would be an ideal relationship for a larger church wanting to birth and support intentional communities like yours? Summary: They need the open support of key leaders, freeing up time for this to happen both in work hours, and for average congregational members—rather than speaking in terms of loyalty and growth to the larger church, we need to not put the lid on passion with competing agendas, but emphasize the call to reach the lost and plant ourselves in the harvest. This vision of making Jesus central, reaching the harvest, and multiplying, resonates deeply if we give it birth and champion this more than internal successes.

12. Any final thoughts, comments, or advice, for the leadership of a larger church wanting to support such movements? Summary: We inspire others to do it when we’ve first seen it done … we can’t just preach about it, but most model it: “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” The risk is perception, that we don’t have big programs to show how successful we are. But collectively, when we’re out doing our core business of discipling the nations, the fruit will come. We mustn’t put the lid on this by being concerned about tithing, or numbers, or program size … if we seek first God’s kingdom, everything else will be taken care of by the Father, who wants to bless us when we’re about His core business of making disciples.

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V. APPLICATION TO KBC 1. The greatest lessons KBC can learn (both positive and pitfalls) from this ICC are …

♦ Positive: KBC would do well to remember our missional calling and act on it- not just talk about it. This means that from the leadership we need to model what it means to share Christ in our everyday lives and perhaps even do this within our work hours. ♦ Pitfalls: This type of movement seems to attract evangelists/apostles and could potentially sacrifice the breadth of what it means to be the church representing the full range as a sign of the kingdom.

2. Elements of this ICC we can immediately imagine in the KBC community are … 1) Pastors start modelling this strategy around Kenmore/suburbs, and reporting back successes to the wider church 2) Encourage those with gifting in this area, perhaps in pairs/teams (for 5-fold gift mix) to work alongside Pastors, so this takes on a lay model 3) Intentionally wind-back/scale-down the busyness of KBC internal program, so people are not only free, but exhorted to prioritize reaching the harvest and planting themselves therein 4) Offering ongoing missional training, using creative ideas of what gospel outreach can be, for those who are currently doing it … rather than wide-scale teaching for those just wanting to be more informed … so proven track record.

3. Elements of this ICC that will be the most challenging to KBC are … Time. Presently most of us (especially Pastors) are so involved within the church context, that becoming more involved in the harvest seems an imposition or practically unworkable. Comfort. For all the challenge we offer in preaching, there is presently little accountability in any of our discipleship (across the board) for actually living it out in a missional way. Priority. This model requires that we build our identity (increasingly in a corporate way) around mission, to catalyze worship, discipleship, and community. This is presently not the case. Skill. Many of our people, whilst having heard how to share the gospel (e.g. Big Story), have not spent intensive time as part of their home-groups, actually practising sharing their story or the gospel, or going out to do so e.g. with friends and acquaintances, and even on the street, in a way that is not coercive, but nor is it hiding our faith. People will find this very threatening, and need significant training and encouragement and modelling (perhaps most of all). Following YWAMs model, this requires that we do before we teach, i.e., engage people in obedient activity, then reflect on it later, rather than almost exclusively teaching, and hoping they do.

4. The greatest gain to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … The will ultimately build the backbone of the church—overall we are not growing as we’re not reaching the lost in a sustained way. We need new wine-skins, and people to come to Christ, as an important end in itself, but pragmatically this is crucial for growth of KBC as a whole in the lead up to a location shift. Granted, this MP model does not build essential links between the smaller units and the larger church, but if we were to have once a month these disciples join the regular KBC community on Sunday, it is likely that over time many of these people would connect in. Either way, if we seek first the Kingdom, we should have faith that God will provide. This seems like a good missiological shift for our church. GROWING TOGETHER

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5. The greatest loss to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … Programs. Whether in the short-term, or long-term as key leaders move into discipling in the community, there would be a loss of volunteers and mentors for some of our prized ministries and programs at KBC. This will be a challenging shift, especially given each of these programs have good reasons/rationale for operating as they do. This should not be seen as a threat, but rather as an opportunity to see more people catch the vision. Staff time. Such a model requires pastors to actually get out (not just the evangelistic pastors) and engage the community within work hours. The time has to come from somewhere, which may mean being less on top of administrative/email duties, and having to scale back some of our present commitments to make it more sustainable, rather than an extra commitment on top of an already busy schedule. Attendance. In the short-term, attendance and offering may decrease, as some key leaders for instance decide to only attend the corporate gathering once a month—church for them, then, primarily being the weekly gathering and prayer outings. That said, because they aren’t tithing to this group, which has no overheads, this may not shift their overall giving (if we keep tight links between the wider church—through training and prayer support—and these local movements). In the long run, however, it is likely that such a strategy will bring a number (perhaps many) of these new converts into the larger church context.

6. Were such a community to be pursued, KBC would need to … See above. Opportunity (time etc.) must be given for each Pastor to get out in outreach and discipleship. We may also need access to growth groups (tied in with Connect One home, perhaps) to cast the vision and find key leaders (especially pioneers/evangelists/apostles) to join in this outreach, sent by their current ministries as a missionary of KBC locally. They should be championed at every opportunity.

N.B. SEE THE FULL REPORT FOR MANY RELEVANT COMMENTS FOR KBC AT THE END OF THE QUESTIONS, UNDER “GENERAL OBSERVATIONS/COMMENTS” (PP 63-66)

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INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY (ICC) SURVEY 2011 COMMUNITY: ICC MODEL: LOCATION: CONTACT: DATE:

URBAN NEIGHBOURS OF HOPE (UNOH) Urban monasticism with the poor. Melbourne, toward St. Kilda Ash Barker and Peter Blair (pblair@unoh.org) Tuesday 12th July

I. PURPOSE/MISSION/VISION/GOALS 1. What purpose(s) drives this ICC? Summary: UNOH exists to raise up followers of Jesus who help release urban neighbourhoods from poverty in the Asia Pacific region.

2. What are you hoping to achieve through this ICC? Summary: Spurring local expressions of Christ-centred community

3. What are the core values of this ministry and its members? Summary: 1) Presence … living in the neighbourhood; 2) Partnership … with other agencies in the neighbourhood; 3) Discipleship … of self and neighbours; 4) Worship … being the expression of a Jesus-centred community; 5) Team Health … the glue that binds UNOH together; 6) Advocacy … to raise awareness of the broader church

4. Where do you sense God leading this ministry? … What is it to become? Summary: UNOH is looking to birth additional context specific expressions in Asia-Pacific slums, not simply at home in Australia.

5. What ideas or beliefs was the model based on? Summary: UNOH is based on Interchange, Franciscan/Celtic & radical discipleship movements. ♦ Monastic order based on John Hays from Interchange (American community, in SanFransisco, now in Boulder Colorado), Ash’s mentor … they are still considered an incarnational order … drew most from Franciscans as a model, also Celtic monastic movement, St. Patrick etc. … more recently, some influences include Ched Meyers (leading scholar of radical discipleship), Wes Howard-Brook + Athol Gill (House of the Gentle Bunyip) … Recommended reading: Jonathan Wilson Hargreaves, The Wisdom of Stability, re: the importance of staying where you are for a sustained missional impact

II. HISTORY 1. How has this ICC formed from initial idea and first expressions to its present expression? Summary: UNOH began with Ash and Angie Barker, wanting to reach the urban poor in Melbourne. They ran a number of programs, but realized that—while based in a middle-class suburb—they weren’t really impacting lives in a sustained way (on a retreat/advance model), so they pursued a more incarnational mode, moving into the neighbourhood with the poor. They had an open home, making space for anyone needing a bed.

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Over time, others came alongside with a heart for the same approach, which great into UNOH. It began with a very flat leadership, with group decision making, than as it grew, with regional groupings (e.g. Melbourne, Sydney, etc.). But they often got caught up on trivial decisions, so eventually moved from anarchy to a clear organizational structure with Ash and Angie directing the movement which was united by monastic vows and sustained commitment, with a 3 year induction process. This produced stability, and led to suburb based teams so that they could take on whatever form was most appropriate to their context, in living out UNOH’s core values and purpose. Eventually they birthed new movements in other cities (usually with a 5 year commitment each time), and overseas, reaching to Thailand and Cambodia. The process is much the same regardless of region: a small number of UNOH full time workers move into a needy area and rent/buy, making room for others with an open house. They pray through the area, find major needs, and build relationships toward partnering with others addressing similar issues. It then builds up, and eventually (often 5 years) results in birthing new movements whether in adjacent troubled suburbs, or further afield.

2. What were the main challenges of developing this ICC? Summary: Structure. The anarchist, minimalist flat leadership structure seemed good theoretically, but in practise did not give sufficient direction and strength or form to the community to save time and energy so it could be directed outwards.

3. How did you address those challenges? What successes encouraged you to continue? Summary: The strong leadership structure, under the auspice of Churches of Christ, with minimal hierarchy, functions far better. The success was that people were coming to Christ, and misfits on the fringe were being connected, as real needs were met.

III. STRUCTURE 1. How does the leadership structure work in this community? Summary: New leaders go through a 3 year intake process, starting with interviews, then through a ‘submerge’ year which is accredited through Tabor (stressing non-academic assessment, e.g. orals, to help those lower in literacy ... this counts toward Pastoring, also, which is a flight path for indigenous leaders). They take their monastic vows of poverty etc. at the end of this time, with supervision, to launch out on their own community. They draw heavily on Richard Rohr’s work on formation for men: through training, they lead each person from ideal to ordeal, through to a new deal in community. Ash Barker largely sets the direction for the ministry, but each group—while answerable both to the leadership and an independent Senate put together by Churches of Christ—has relative autonomy within the vision of UNOH, to take on the particular form most relevant to their context. Most workers are full time on faith support. There are now 37 or so full time-workers, and 25 members. With the emphasis on commitment and taking time for formation, people tend to stick around rather than fall away after a brief stint.

2. What function or role does each member play within the larger model? Summary: Members work in teams based around suburbs, and roles from that point vary depending on their heart and skill-set.

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3. What does Christian discipleship look like in this community? Summary: This community does not function as a church—though it has birthed the Rainbow Church within Nobel Park, overseen by UNOH but led by the locals, including a worship songbook, shared teaching (on a roster) built around Scripture, and the like. But for UNOH team, worship looks like sharing together once a week with all the team in a combined meal (this is a minimum, as often they share meals every night), praying to and praising God. Discipleship looks like the ‘Submerge’ program for accredited study with a practical obedience orientation. It also looks like (for instance) one of the members, Jono, running weekly interactive Bible studies with his house mates, each of whom come from the community outside the church, often from centres treating those with drug addiction or mental illness. Mission is the lifeblood of UNOH, meeting with locals at the grassroots level, and running a range of programs that address genuine needs: a foodbank, skills training, perhaps forming a catering business with the Burmese who may struggle with English so they don’t get appropriate jobs. Community is through shared meals, daily interaction with the community, and weekly gatherings for prayer and direction.

4. What rules and rhythms guide the life of the community? Summary: The monastic commitment is built around poverty (at the Henderson Poverty line, e.g. $3000 per month for a couple with 2 kids), and the other core values stated earlier.

5. How do you deal with conflict that arises within this community? What is the ‘glue’ that binds you together? Summary: The glue binding this community is it’s clearly stated purpose and values, and the common desire to live among those on the margins and example the Kingdom of God from within. Conflict often arises in share-houses as people with significant issues come together in close community. They try and be streetwise about who to take, and how to house them, being generous but not dumb, so giving warnings if (for example) people steal, or threaten.

6. What kind of structure(s) support the ICC—daily/weekly/monthly structures/gatherings, etc? Summary: The whole UNOH team (internationally) get together at least once a year for a prayer retreat, and are regularly in contact with each other over the phone and email. Locally, each branch meets at least once a week for prayer, direction, and meals, alongside some worship. Various weekly programs are formed out of this structure to care for the community. In terms of the open homes, they will often have daily shared meals, and morning prayers/devotions, and a weekly Bible study, getting them busy within the local community, as many people are unemployed or on long term disabilities support/pensions. It is built around the ideals of celebrating local community in fellowship around a meal, incarnation into the community, and an open home for anyone needing support and wanting to change.

7. What safeguards ensure that this ministry, and its leaders, maintain spiritual focus? Summary: UNOH members are accountable to their branch leader, who is accountable to Ash and Angie Barker, who in turn are accountable to an independent ‘senate’ largely run under the auspices of Churches of Christ, Australia. The clear monastic commitments are also a safeguard, helping leaders maintain their spiritual focus. Each member is strongly encouraged to connect in with a local church on Sundays, to be fed, and to continue building networks, feeding back into the local church from the ground level to better serve.

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8. Who participates in the community? How do people enter and exit this community? Summary: Anyone can participate in the community, though they are wise about who to admit into a shared house—for instance, a single woman with young kids, cannot take in a single man. They are careful to invest their energy into those who have expressed a clear desire to change and grow and transform. This is a hand up, not a hand out. For people wanting to lead, there is a 3 year process through ‘submerge’, and they are commissioned for UNOH at the end of this. They exit community in discussion with the whole team, and particularly Ash.

9. What might rule out a potential member from this community? Summary: At the house level, if they demonstrate little/no commitment to change, they will be ruled out. At the leadership level, they must complete the submerge course (one year) at a minimum, and then live in community with them, and be interviewed, tested by scenarios as to how they would act/decide.

10. What responsibilities and commitments do members have to the community? What is the minimum commitment you require to be part of this community? Summary: The minimum commitment for leaders is to 5 years living in a local community, in team with other UNOH members. They are also committed to raising faith-support through local networks (which is channelled through UNOH). Drawing from Jonathan Wilson Hargreaves’s book, The Wisdom of Stability, they recognize a key need is for people to stick around long enough, in the community, to build links and see genuine and sustained change.

11. What are the costs to set up and maintain this community, and how are costs met? (Cost could include money, people, time, resources, etc.) Summary: Supported full time at the poverty level, there are few ongoing costs to set up and maintain this community. They work in partnership with other groups, which minimizes costs for buildings. The Rainbow Church, birthed through UNOH, collects few tithes (given the status of those attending, mostly on pensions), but directs these entirely to the food bank.

IV. EVALUATION 1. In what ways are you connected with the wider, or mainstream, church? (That is, are you connected, and what accountability structures exist?) Summary: UNOH is not a church, and prizes its connection to the wider body. This involves accountability with Churches of Christ, partnerships with local churches, regular involvement for UNOH leaders in a local church, and towards the goal of advocacy it also involves regular speaking in other churches. By nature, most organizations are more sensitive to central concerns of those in positions of power. UNOH, by nature, exists on the periphery, so it represents well those on the margins and like the nervous system transmits these voices and experiences back to the centre for action.

2. On your own terms, how do you define ‘success’ for this community? Summary: Success for UNOH is inspiring faith-dialogue, and seeing the poor being reached and touched by the Kingdom, to in turn touch others.

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3. What are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of this community? Summary: The strengths of UNOH are many. Perhaps greatest of all is its incarnational locatedness among the poor. (Shane Claiborne in Irresistible Revolution found that among committed Christians, 80 percent agreed that it is Biblically important to care for the poor, but only 3 percent said they personally engaged with the poor—UNOH is about closing this gap and putting Christians back on the front line in a daily walk with the most disenfranchised people, by living as they do.) Perhaps the greatest weakness for UNOH is that as people ‘move up in the world’, rather than sowing back in (starting a movement), they tend to move on, even as they continue to have an impact but in a different community. So the challenge is how to birth a movement.

4. What are the main opportunities and threats facing the ongoing mission of your ICC? Summary: The main opportunity facing UNOH is multiplying missionaries and sending more into the growing urban slums in the developing world, particularly Asia-Pacific. The largest slums typically have the fewest Christians—when Ash and Angie moved into Bangkok, to one of the slums, there were perhaps 100 Christians among 200,000 people. The main threat facing UNOH is burn out of key leaders, as it’s very tough living on the front line, particularly as they have kids and want to keep them safe. It was encouraging, however, to see how many families are involved.

5. Our context shapes who we become. … What would stand out about a Disciple of Christ formed through your ICC—different perhaps to discipleship in mainstream church? Summary: Through UNOH, a disciple of Christ would equate following Jesus with walking alongside, and caring for the most oppressed and poor in the world.

6. In terms of evangelism/community outreach via this ICC, what fruit have you seen? Summary: Lots! In the last year in Nobel Park alone (one of ~12 UNOH plants), they have 30 attending the Rainbow Church (comprised of ‘misfits’ who are unlikely to attend a regular church), 350 people connected through various weekly programs (including a boys and girls group, food bank, cooking group, and more). Just walking with Peter down the mainstreet, we discovered how connected they are, knowing many everyday people, in shops, on the sidewalk, the homeless, and so forth. In the last year alone they saw 10-15 first time commitments (mostly through Jono at the share-house), with 2 baptisms just last Sunday, one of whom (Morris, from a Cambodian Buddhist background) was picked up by Jono from the psych ward (which he regularly visits, just to say hi to whoever is in), soon moving into the share house, joining the weekly Bible study, and later coming to follow Jesus. The evangelistic success of these movements, however, depends heavily on building each base on an evangelistic ethos, not simply a social action model.

7. What role have partnerships played in this community—with government, social services, business, education, neighbours, etc.? Summary: Once UNOH has determined the key needs in a community and how they can help the most marginalised, they look for other groups in the community (regardless of race or creed) who they can partner with. For instance, one community group dealing with Sudanese women who are single without support and are pregnant of with new babies. They ring UNOH and ask if they can offer short or long-term accommodation in their houses. UNOH also raises awareness with local churches as to the very specific needs, so that they can be more engaged on the fringe with needs of those outside the church. GROWING TOGETHER

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(KBC, for instance, could make a register of everyone willing to offer a bed for a night, or short/long term to someone in need … we could then care for those in our own community needing help, and extend this to partner with other organizations in the zones.)

8. What have been your most significant learning experiences in facilitating/leading and participating in this community? Summary: Perhaps the most significant learning experience in UNOH has been the need for stability—staying in the same community for a number of years and mixing with everyday people on the streets. Trust and credibility take time, and can’t be a short-term fix to make us feel good. We must start with the needs of the people, and work towards genuine change that gives people a taste of the Kingdom coming near.

9. How could your community both support/encourage and challenge the larger church? Summary: UNOH regularly speaks into local churches to help them see practical needs and concrete directions they could go to better serve their community. Their solid connection to the church, however, means they have not just a prophetic voice, but a positive voice: they highlight needs, champion social justice, and offer models of different ways of doing life that serve the church and community simultaneously. UNOH functions like the nerves for a centrally oriented church, giving voice to those on the margins such as indigenous people and the poor and disabled. Being at the edge, they experience how life breaks down and the systems don’t work, giving greater sensitivity to brokenness. In turn, they can help churches wisely channel their resources for change.

10. What legitimate critiques may a larger church movement bring to your community? Summary: Given the close connections with the mainstream church, UNOH often hears more complaints from other groups that they are too much like the church and not radical enough!

11. What would be an ideal relationship for a larger church wanting to birth and support intentional communities like yours? Summary: Phil McCredon (spelling?) from Northern Communities Church of Christ in Melbourne has tried a similar move with a large church. It’s hard to move a larger church in UNOH’s direction, as top-down it’s difficult for a whole church to catch a vision of such a different way of being. It requires the church leadership to facilitate experiences of engaging the community, to catch the vision locally and birth ideas, in turn sharing these stories centrally, so others are mobilized. That said, KBC could easily function like UNOH central leadership (groups acting under our auspices, like Churches of Christ), birthing groups in each zone with those who have a heart in this direction. Each zone could perhaps sponsor one person (zone leader?) to work 1-2 days a week (or even full time) in finding the local needs, building partnerships, and then helping deploy growth groups towards meeting these needs for greater community involvement. It is crucial that these groups be seen as a different expression of the church (KBC), not separate and isolated.

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12. Any final thoughts, comments, or advice for those wanting to form their own ICC? (Processes/practical advice) Summary: Pete expressed his concern that often churches use community care as a bait-andswitch, just doing enough to be noticed and trying to get people on the fringes into their program. But we must be people of integrity, not embarrassed about what we believe or playing at community work to increase numbers. Rather, we must be incarnational, living in community with the poor and partnering with them to make long-term sustained change, regardless of recognition.

13. Any final thoughts, comments, or advice, for the leadership of a larger church wanting to support such movements? Summary: Ash suggested that most larger churches are regional, not local, so they hardly know each other let alone being connected to the needs on the ground in communities. Churches must move to the periphery rather than centralizing with a specialist leadership. The more local expressions there are, the better—operating more on a parish model, shifting the centre of our identity and commitment to the local, with the larger gathering being a celebration time, not the main hub. Rather than waiting for a top-down directive, we should encourage small changes that free up people’s time for a missional heart to flourish: Live simpler to work less: work four days a week and devote the fifth to investing in community. Share meals: establish shared rhythms with those living nearby, rather than adding programs. Switch off the t.v.: decrease t.v. time to be more aware of the world we’re in and local needs. We need some foundational challenges to lifestyle changes, pulling back the busyness of the church program so people are championed for getting into the local community, rather than adding this as just one more weekly commitment (drop and swap). And we need “boots on the ground” long enough in one place to truly know a community and see a change.

V. APPLICATION TO KBC 1. The greatest lessons KBC can learn (both positive and pitfalls) from this ICC are … POSITIVE: Incarnation. To reach the community, we need to live with and engage the community. Persistence. It takes a regular and sustained commitment to a suburb to make a difference and gain credibility. Sacrifice. The greater our sacrifice, the greater our witness. Our western, consumerist lifestyle is at loggerheads on many fronts with the mission of Christ. Something needs to change. Listening. We cannot come in with a one-model-fits all paternalism. Instead, we must seek God and listen to the leading of His Spirit expressed through the concrete needs of our neighbour. Open Home. Perhaps the greatest fruit has come from inviting the broken into our lives, making a space in our homes, living in simple community together and sharing in a meal and Scripture. Commitment. The monastic vows and slower, deeper discipleship initiation to leadership correlates with the length and depth of someone’s UNOH role … build it well. PITFALLS: Leadership. It is hard to find a balance of freedom/autonomy for a local group to respond faithfully to their particular context, with appropriate structure and accountability for sustainable impact that lasts. A clear vision, and supportive but strong leadership with accountability is crucial. Wisdom. There are more needs out there than we can ‘fix’ so we need appropriate safeguards to make sure any efforts are sustainable. GROWING TOGETHER

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2. Elements of this ICC we can immediately imagine in the KBC community are … Immediately, we could challenge our people to opening their homes (maybe forming a register of who will offer a bed, whether for a night, or short/medium/long term to those in need), sharing meals, living simpler, switching off the t.v., working a day less, and connecting into the local community. We could identify those with a heart in this direction, and guide a growth group that is willing to greater community engagement. We could find local organizations in each zone with related goals, with whom we could partner. Additionally, we could take more stories of success from the fringe and champion them in the weekly gathering. In the Colossians series (term 3, 2011), we could highlight what a subversive kingdom community could look like, and encourage an experimental attitude to reaching out, highlighting many models and ideas with stories, so that people are inspired to change.

3. Elements of this ICC that will be the most challenging to KBC are … Presently we are (by-and-large) a middle/upper class community that has little to no direct interaction with the poor, needy, and marginalized in Brisbane. We are tight on time, and people may see such a challenge to decrease in-house activities and take up community work as an imposition outside their skills and calling. Many of our people are resistant to commitment and accountability, so covenanting to live together, or serve for a number of years, will be countercultural. Also, most of our growth groups don’t have an outreach aspect that brings them in contact with the brokenness of our culture, so we would need to alter this focus.

4. The greatest gain to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … We would clearly be faithful to the Biblical mandate to care for the poor (e.g. Matthew 25:31-46). In turn, we would be more in touch with the brokenness in our world, which reveals the heart of God and how we are to respond missionally. Generosity (such as an open house for the needy) begets generosity, and we would genuinely bless the community, additionally validating our witness.

5. The greatest loss to KBC by birthing and supporting this type of ICC would be … Financial loss, were we to adopt UNOH’s model entirely, would be an issue. Zones may nominate one person with a heart for the community to work part- or full-time on community connection, to then mobilize growth groups, so this giving may reduce central tithing. As with most of the other communities, UNOH would likely challenge people’s use of time, asking that they reduce central involvement to give out to others, which may affect what we run.

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6. Were such a community to be pursued, KBC would need to … KBC would need to a) Model and inspire people to make some core lifestyle changes (live simpler, work less and dedicate a day to community, switch off the t.v., share a meal, open your house) b) Cast a vision for a different kind of community at the local level, and inspire experimentation with a range of approaches c) Take a register of those with an open house, and perhaps partner with community organizations needing accommodation d) Ask God for at least one person/group in each zone who might experiment with community, and mentor them through the process towards unique expressions that bless the most needy towards embodying Gods’ Kingdom e) Find major ways to partner with community groups (e.g. volunteering in a café, helping tutor etc.) and how to get involved, promoting these to zones, that each growth group may be encouraged to take on one community project. f) Take all the success stories and feed them back in centrally in combined gatherings, to inspire. Perhaps in 3-5 years we’ll have clear priorities and 10 models on the ground level (or 13, one per zone), then in 5-10 years this will take form to be effective, and 10-20 years will lead to a widespread change in church culture toward greater community involvement.

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SYNTHESIS ~FUTURE DIRECTION IN RESPONSE TO OVERALL ICC SURVEY~ 1. Realistically, the relevance and applicability to KBC of birthing ICC’s is …

♦ ICC are authentic to the Christian faith itself, in the way they live as FAMILY, blessing their neighbours locally, as they are discipled by Christ ♦ Our core people are often quite busy, attending programs to build community and run our ‘outreach’ … we cast a vision for outreach, but perhaps hamstring with programs. The ICCs reduce nights out for ‘programs’ but achieve perhaps deeper community and local connections through sharing everyday rhythms like meals, and opening their lives to their neighbours. This could help with burn out, and simplify people’s lives—whether for a season or for good—to more naturally follow Christ. It is more authentic discipleship in community, transformative as people cannot hide their struggles or strengths when they ‘do life’ together. ♦ It allows KBC as a large regional church to have on the ground incarnational ministry tailored to local communities ♦ KBC is positioned for an excellent synergy between the ICCs and larger church models … the larger church offers resources, depth of teaching, expertise, financial support, and diversity from which to form the ICCs, alongside accountability. The ICC then becomes a more missional outpost, that can help participants for a season discover how all encompassing it is to seek first God’s kingdom in a culture like ours. This is empowering, a forced maturity, requiring consumers to become contributors. The opportunity to grow is very significant. Additionally it is highly holistic. ♦ The exercise of forming an ICC requires us to act as cross-cultural missionaries within a local community, rather than just practising the same forms of church we always have … it celebrates diversity and drives us deeper into ecclesiology.

2. The next step toward such a vision is …

♦ The next step is prayerful journeying with the SLT to see how God would have us respond, and asking for pioneers to be raised up who may want to experiment. ♦ With the research done, and one model almost up and going (in Kenmore), we are positioned to experiment with a range of models … e.g. Colossians Remixed as a way of casting a vision, work with SLT for agreement, speak to growth group leaders at huddle nights and those of interest to present the idea, and with those interested give them a ‘relationship agreement’ between larger and smaller ‘church’ alongside key concepts/reading/manual, equipping those wanting to do this perhaps alongside an Acts/Community series at the beginning of 2012. Additionally, we could work with the 13 zones to seek one ICC movement in each, likely birthed out of Growth Groups desiring to connect with local needs. There are no limits in terms of what form these ICCs may take—it must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. ♦ We need a number of core tenets that would be common to all KBC birthed ICCs (see UNOH Melbourne for an example), e.g. open house (for people needing accommodation or help), family (that we share rhythms of life), hospitality (based around meals), simplicity (cutting back), service (of using your gifts to bless the community), and a context-specific practise of a deconstructed church, i.e., celebration, community, cultivation, communication, and care … so what do each of these look like in the ICC … a worksheet could help to get clarity on each of these aspects. We would encourage each ICC to collectively attend KBC services at least once a month, even if they fulfil all the functions of a church.

3. Core changes KBC should consider for an ICC movement to succeed include …

♦ KBC may need to cut back on peripheral programs, so that our people as a whole are not so busy/occupied with centralised events and administration.

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♦ The Pastors at KBC would need to give time to training and equipping identified members of the ICCs in their particular gifts, especially the 5-fold ministries, e.g. pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet, apostle/pioneer … otherwise these ICCs will be weak. If each group perceived true support from KBC leaders, then individual members would be more likely to continue tithing when they attend KBC services perhaps once a month. ♦ It will take some active time in the KBC Sunday service to cast a vision, and highlight successes/fruit of the ICCs, and opportunities to participate, rather than always prioritizing what happens here at home base ♦ We will need greater Growth Group alignment, that the vision would be cast, and groups as appropriate may step up with support to take on this challenge ♦ We will need to release some of our ministry’s core (volunteer) leaders to (for a season) live within these ICCs for deeper growth, rather than retaining them within their current post as core volunteers ♦ This is more of a grass roots movement, something we’re encouraging by sending them out into the community as a missional outpost, rather than a top down program … we don’t expect everyone to ‘buy into’ this. The larger church then can be a primary discipleship place for new believers, e.g. through Alpha or Steps, etc.

4. Safeguards and structure we would need in place include …

♦ MOU (memorandum of understanding, see sample from YWAM Perth), i.e., core statement for each group member in commitment, tying the ICC to KBC, driven by vision ♦ A KBC overseer for accountability as a whole (schedule meetings once per 6 months with the community/leaders to ensure it is still on direction in the 5 C’s), and for Pastors to train/equip selected group members in their particular related gifts (e.g. worship, teaching, prophesy, etc.) so groups remain healthy ♦ Training in the lead up, and a testing period to make sure it is healthy, with the church’s approval … a discernment process. ♦ Pat’s proposed ‘Radicalis’ training may be a fantastic process, but we want the emphasis to be on “doing before teaching” (or at least doing and teaching together), without adding extra time-commitments to those in the ICC that work against their whole reason for being.

5. Key pioneers in such a move may include …

♦ Ryan Vallee, Dave & Nikki Benson, Glenda and Max Condon, Jason Brown, Travis Rule, Katie Jenkins, Ros Wafer, Astrid Hawke

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MY THOUGHTS … PEACE TREE

CHEERS

URBAN NEIGHBOURS OF HOPE

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YOUTH WITH A MISSION

CROSSWAY BAPTIST HTTP://WWW.CROSSWAY.ORG.AU/MOVEMENT

“Praxeis is the church planting ministry of Crossway Baptist Church. We dream of church planting movements spreading throughout the nation of Australia and to people all over the world. Praxeis is an unusual name isn't it? Praxeis is the Greek word for the book of Acts in the New Testament. It speaks of adventure and action. It means to take the truth of the gospel and put it into action. Our goal is to establish teams to plant churches in every community of our nation and beyond. When it comes to making disciples, Jesus is our example – with radical sowing of the gospel, power encounters and with discipleship focussed on the harvest. The book of Acts gives us a powerful picture of what mission and multiplying communities of faith might look like.”

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MY THOUGHTS … What I like most about KBC is …

What an average KBCer likes most about KBC is ...

What I dislike most about KBC is …

What an average KBCer dislikes most about KBC is ...

CELEBRATE

GROWING TOGETHER

CARE

CULTIVATE

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Growing Together  

Planting Intentional Christian Communities (ICCs) through Kenmore Baptist Church

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