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The Connecting Church. Source: Randy Frazee, CCN Seminar, October 2005. Why “connect?”. Restructuring our relationships and time is the solution for crowded loneliness. Why “connect?”.

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the connecting church
The Connecting Church

Source: Randy Frazee, CCN Seminar, October 2005

why connect
Why “connect?”
  • Restructuring our relationships and time is the solution for crowded loneliness
why connect3
Why “connect?”
  • “The biggest challenge for the church at the opening of the 21st century is to address the fragmentation and discontinuity of the American lifestyle.”
    • Lyle Schaller
where did fragmentation come from
Where did fragmentation come from?
  • Blame Dwight.
    • 1941 creation of the interstate highway system and the acceleration of mobility in our culture
    • The average person in suburbia has 35 “worlds” to manage
      • Which makes “quick and shallow” the order of the day
the car is king
The Car is King
  • The average family has 13 “commutes” per day.
    • Robert Putnam
  • Results:
    • Health problems
    • Hurry sickness
    • Isolation
is church helping
Is church helping?
  • Sometimes, no.
    • Sometimes church structure (ie. our small groups) adds one more commute and appointment
what can a church do to help connect
What can a church do to help “connect?”
  • Four “flip-flops”
  • Worship -> Community
  • Believing -> Belonging
  • Program -> Relationship
  • Community in Church -> Church in Community
1 worship community
1. Worship -> Community
  • We no longer put worship as the first front door that leads to community-formation, but that worship becomes a support to already-existing communities
2 from believe belong
2. From believe - > belong

No longer make “arriving” at belief the prerequisite for entering into community

3 program relationships
3. Program -> Relationships

Don’t create programs that work by promotion, with the hope that people will then form relationships

Rather, build ministries out of already existing relationships

4 community in church church in community
4. Community in church -> church in community
  • The goal is not to get people into the church, but to get the church into the community
  • The final measure of success is not church growth but church dispersion
how communities form
How communities form
  • “S.A.F.E.”

Spontaneity

Availability

Frequency

Eating meals together

  • Repetitive, unplanned and planned informal contact
launching communities
Launching “communities”
  • Intentional creation of “neighborhoods” geographically
    • People who want to eat together, play golf, form small groups, play and commute together, etc.
  • Think of a church as a collection of these communities
when forming neighborhoods
When forming neighborhoods …
  • Be prepared for the issues that arise when believers and non-believers begin to be part of communities together
    • i.e. Matthew parties
be prepared
Be prepared …
  • For when something bad happens.
    • It is inevitable in collections of people
    • This is the point when non-believers get to see believers in action – and be moved by faith that makes a difference
    • The locus of ministry moves from the church building and staff to the neighborhood
what this will look like
What this will look like
  • No longer will people come to church as a stranger among strangers, but as part of a community or neighborhood
first steps
First steps
  • Personally model community as a leader.
  • Start in your own immediate neighborhood.
  • Name the discontent of disconnectedness.
  • Map attendance clusters in church neighborhoods.
  • Start sharing stories.
  • Find peers or mentors.
the connecting church18
The Connecting Church

Dr. John P. Chandler

The Ray and Ann Spence Network for Congregational Leadership

www.rasnet.org

John.chandler@vbmb.org