Since we’re working our way through the Five Practices at Centre Grove, the event was partly review for me, but it was also good to hear Bishop Schnase teach on the practices live and in person.
Bishop Schnase divided the day into three sections: (1) discussion of the five practices, (2) congregational systems, and (3) personal systems.
Bishop Schnase began with a summary/overview of the practices, then discussed how systems within the church are conducive (or not) to fruitfulness. The day concluded with a discussion on individual responsibility, from leaders modeling the practices to the members living as authentic followers of Jesus in the world.
I won’t say much about the summary/overview since I’m blogging the five practices elsewhere, but here are a few statements (which may or may not be exact quotes) that especially challenged me:
Mission happens at the margin. Where does my life intersect with people at the margins?
Imagine if one-fourth of your congregation had a spiritual conversation once a month. We can’t make those conversations happen; we just have to be receptive. When we become attentive to God’s calling (what God wants us to do), doors open.
Doing these things doesn’t guarantee that growth will happen, but it won’t happen without them!
Good stuff. Bishop Schnase noted that the Five Practices are not a church growth strategy. Rather, it’s about living out our theology. It’s who we’re called to become.
Centre Grove began discussing the Five Practices in January 2009, and it’ll probably take us most of 2010 to get through all the practices. In 2010, I plan to devote an entire sermon series to the Five Practices. By then, a lot of the practices will actually already be in place or well under way, and the series will (hopefully) help to shape the spiritual/missional DNA of the congregation.