Had an interesting conversation with a Christian friend yesterday regarding churches in our greater metro area. He noted as many as 60 have banded together to adopt a uniform missional platform that involves the same curricula—in this case, Mike Breen’s 3DM—essentially turning these churches into “cloned” sister churches of each other. My friend named all the “hottest” churches in our area as being in on this movement to one degree or another.
In the past, I have been aware that individual local churches of various denominational and nondenomination affiliations have joined one “paradenominational” umbrella group or another (such as the Willow Creek Association), plus many have attempted to mimic the ministry styles of successful local churches, but I have not heard of organized efforts to unify local churches around the same ministry philosophy or curriculum. In truth, I was shocked by this revelation.
Are you seeing anything like this in your local metroplex? If so, what are the details? And what is the unifying philosophy/curriculum?
Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
3 thoughts on “One “Local” Church: A New, Concerted Movement?”
Interesting. I have been saying for some time that dividing the churches in a geographic area into competing subgroups is unbiblical and harmful. On the other hand I think it would be extraordinarily difficult to make this work in practice. We are too wedded to our pet traditions to be unified in any substantive way, not to mention the hold that money has on churches with mortgages, upkeep and salaries that need to be paid.
The varied and distinctiveness of so many churches may reflect both the ever present work of God to create “new wineskins” to hold all those people He brings into His kingdom alongside man’s own ambition, divisiveness, and need to be different There is also a cultural aspect to so many churches in the US. We have a entrepreneurial outlook to life that impacts how we approach church. Just create a better one if you don’t like the churches out there. Other cultures wouldn’t even think of that as a 1st step. I am not sure the idea of trying to eliminate distinctions between churches would really work. If they are pooling resources and unifying to impact a larger community, that would be wonderful.
I think that you should read the following blog post and the 200+ comments made on the post for some interesting reading on the 3dm methodology, Mike Breen, and the Order of Mission.