Some churches emphasize parntership/membership in the New Year, so I thought I would update on our material for our Partners on Mission class. The material previously listed under Tools for Missional Church is outdated, so I’ve updated that link. All material is under a Creative Commons License, which means use it, adapt it, but give credit. Merry Christmas!
Taught our first Partners Class last night. Here is an overview and an outline of the class. Before jumping into things I shared three reasons why we are having a Partners Class. Then, inbetween coffee and brownies in the Schwedland’s living room, we all went around and shared something that has shaped our story and how we got connected with Austin City Life. That was the best part.
Why A Partners Class?
1. Why Partners not Members? Some churches do members classes; we have a Partners Class. There are some really good members classes out there, but there are also a lot of jacked up ideas of what it means to be a member of a church, especially for de-churched or unchurched people. So, we decided to go with “Partners class” to clearly communicate that the church is a partnership of Spirit-led disciples who follow Jesus.†The church isn’t a country club bound by exclusive membership; it’s a missional community bound together by the gospel. Everyone is invited to be a partner. Itís about responsible partnership, not exclusive relationships.
2. Three Reasons for a Partners Class
o Cultivate Community: lets us get to know one another more intimately, ask questions. It also allows us to shepherd you more effectively, so you arenít just some random person in a seat (1 Tim 5:9; 2 Cor 2:6-7).
o Clarify the Gospel: allows us to communicate clearly the gospel of Christ and what we consider essential and non-essential doctrines of the church.
o Communicate Mission: fosters sense of mission through ACL vision and explore how you can fit into that mission.
3. What to expect: In addition to Gospel, Community, & Mission, we will:
o Share the History and Vision of Austin City Life.
o Upon completion of the class we will not issue certificates. We will ask that your City Group Leader indicate your participation in the life and mission of your community. Your participation is evidence that you are, indeed, a partner in our mission.