Here are four reasons why I’m excited about the GCM Collective Conference, which is just two months away Oct 28-30!
(1) Practioner-tested Missional Community Training: There’s a lot of talk about missional communities but few are planting, multiplying, and leading missional communities with time tested results. Drawing on years of experience, many of the breakouts specialize in training people in missional community leadership. Whether you have missional communities or not, these breakouts will equip you to lead a more missionally effective church.
(2) Top Notch Theological Reflection on Mission: With the emergence of the Missional Church, do we truly know the state of mission in America? Who do we need to engage with the Gospel? How can we engage them effectively? Are there missional structures and approaches to discipleship that have proven effective? Ed Stetzer and Jeff Vanderstelt will address these issues from the stage, while breakouts push these insights through into everyday practice.
(3) The Collective Experience: The Collective experience has the power to equip and galvanize gospel movement well beyond the conference! It groups missional leaders together who share an affinity in their mission, i.e. megachurches, urban context, small church plants, house churches, suburban context, helping them to process GCM conference content through their similar challenges and experiences. This shared learning will encourage and strengthen people in their mission. Plus, an online community will be available for the shared learning to continue!
(4) The Centrality of the Gospel in Mission: The conference will not make best practice central to mission but our grasp and communication of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We will devote an entire plenary to clarifying what the Gospel is. In confusing times, this will help us clarify and clasp this remarkable good news we have been entrusted with.
Ed Stetzer will be presenting on the current state of mission in Austin today. After completing a multi-month research project on the:
- State of the Church
- Receptivity to the Gospel
Ed will offer an analysis of his research to help inform church planting and missional strategies in the city. This is a unique opportunity. The Impact Austin seminar will run from 3:30-8:30. Register here. Come for as much time as you can spare!
Continuing the Prologue to MissionSHIFT, Ed Stetzer raises some important questions about the scope and focus of salvation. He writes:
Should the definition of “salvation” be expanded beyond personal redemption of sins to include social justice through the reformation of economic and political institutions? We are not debating here whether we think social justice is right or wrong but rather should it be included in what we mean we we talk about “salvation.” Evangelicals have generally said no and mainliners have generally said yes.
Another way to ask this question is:
Are social justice, political reform, cultural renewal implications of the Gospel or actually part of the Gospel?
What do you think? What does the Bible teach on this?
Others participating in the conversation:
Rick Meigs: The Blind Beggar
Bill Kinnon: kinnon.tv
Brother Maynard: Subversive Influence
David Fitch: Reclaiming the Mission
Tiffany Smith: Missional Mayhem
Jared Wilson: The Gospel-Driven Church
Check out the helpful interview between Stetzer and Vanderstelt regarding the upcoming MissionSHIFT conference. Jeff will be leading a lab at the missionSHIFT Conference titled, “Transitioning a Church to Missional.” An excerpt from the interview gives us a glimpse into the “real time” mission going on in Jeff’s live. He’s not just a theorist; he’s on mission:
This looks like meals together with believers and unbelievers 2-4 times a week; cleaning up the yard of our widowed neighbor next store; serving at the elementary’s auctions, community events and after school programs; going through “The Story of God” 1-2 times a year with unbelievers to introduce them to the Gospel; sharing our house for others to live with us and join us on the mission; having an “open door” policy to our neighbors and friends; throwing parties regularly to meet more people who we hope will also come to faith in Jesus; etc… We focus on demonstrating the change the Gospel makes in our lives through tangible expressions of serving and declaring the reason why we live this way by sharing the Gospel.