Recently, my wife and I attended a 3DM workshop in Minneapolis. I was expecting this to be another one of those 3-day church conference trips, get away from the office, meet a few new people that I’ll never see again, buy a couple of meals on the expense account and try to sleep on a lumpy bed…wow, I was wrong. For the first time in a long time I was able to really connect with the message that was presented. Now, it was nothing new, but it was communicated in a way that just made sense. It’s all about relationships, disciplemaking, and being on mission as a community of believers. It’s based on how Jesus discipled and conducted his ministry and relationships, including his relationship with his Heavenly Father. I was a bit skeptical going into the workshop, some of the material I’ve been reading seemed, well, very elementary and sometimes a bit aloof and hard to grasp…in a post-modern/post-Christian sort of way. After seeing the hearts of those attending and hearing what the speakers were saying, I have to confess that I have been guilty of overlooking the obvious when it comes to discipling relationships. I’m beginning to understand why I’ve been frustrated in ministry and relationships at times. This experience with 3DM has fundamentally changed how I see and approach relationships and disciplemaking! I don’t know what this means for my ministry or church yet–and I don’t want to get the cart ahead of the horse–but I’m excited to see how God will use this experience to further the effectiveness of our church in reaching our community with the Good News of Gospel.
To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, visit the 3DM site or read what one of our 3DM teachers had to say in his blog today.
From Doug Paul:“There has been no shortage of ink spilled or caffeine spared over endless conversations about “being missional”, re-imagining ecclesiology, the attractional church, doctrine, praxis, orthodoxy, etc. All of these are incredibly important aspects and ones we should attend to. But I can’t help but wonder if we spend far too much of our time and energy searching for the perfect answer and far too little time trying to find the answers through experimenting in real life and reflecting afterwards. It’s great that we can write and discuss missional life, but honestly, I haven’t met many people who can live up to their own lofty ideals (myself included). Too often I wonder if we fall into the Cartesian trap of believing that knowing about something and knowing something are the same things. What would happen if we spent even HALF of the time stepping into the uncomfortability of the unknown as we do poking, prodding, and engaging in this discussion? What if we became bold again? Whimsical? Playful in learning? What if we didn’t have to be experts before we started to imagine what the future of the church could look like? What if we put down our intellectual swords down long enough to truly engage the world God is already at work in?”