Unit 6.2 How can we have a church without worship at the center of all things?


Another approach would require us to find an example of a fully functional discipleship system entirely unattached to a Aworship wing.@ In order to do this, the discipleship system would have no public worship service, no church bulletins, no church building, no budget, no paid staff, no programs, no committees and no governing structure. It would need to be complete with an equipping track, a  management structure that only networked leaders and the demonstrated ability to mature converts into disciple makers. As these disciples make disciples who will make disciples, a generational mathematical multiplication begins to take place as the number of persons doubles again and again. These cells would convert people known to them interpersonally prior to visiting a worship service, as there would be no worship service.

In agricultural genetics in the midwest, seed companies breed pure strains of plants like corn. Generations of inbreeding result in less diversity and more uniformity; while plants with superior characteristics are selected, inbreeding also results in weaker plants and smaller harvests as genetic recessive traits emerge. Astonishingly, when two very inbred, genetically uniform corn plants are cross bred, the resulting hybrid is robust and fruitful. This has led to what is frequently called the Agreen revolution@ as at least 20 percent more corn is produced on 25 percent fewer acres than in 1930, when hybrid seed corn first became widely available.[1]

We have plenty of inbred, pure examples of worship systems exemplified in thousands of plateaued and shrinking traditional churches throughout the United States who operate with virtually no discipleship system. Is it possible to find a discipleship system with virtually no worship system in order to achieve a bountiful harvest by crossing them and achieve a robust, disciple making hybrid?

The answer is Ayes.@

How can discipleship systems with no institutional church succeed in making disciples?

How can we have a church without worship at the center of all things?

Steeped as we are in the traditional church worldview, we cannot imagine church without the public proclamation of the gospel, let along all of our western concerns for what is essential to have a growing church.

[1]Agricultural Research Service, AImproving Corn,@ U. S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/timeline/corn.htm. This link is in your Workshop Materials folder.

NOTE (my response)



The quote is from Major League Disciple Making: An Overview of the Best Research on the Cell Church, an online course developed for the Institute for Discipleship at www.BeADisciple.com in 2009. Course materials, including these lectures, can be downloaded here: http://www.disciplewalk.com/IFD_MLD_Class_Links.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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