This is the sixth episode of a ten-part series focusing on Reaching the Unchurched. In this episode, Dr. Kent Hunter looks at dynamics seven and eight. In these dynamics, Kent talks about the need to redefine the mission field and reverse the direction when it comes to outreach, moving from inviting people to church to taking church to the people.
This is the fifth episode of a ten-part series focusing on Reaching the Unchurched. In this episode, Dr. Kent Hunter looks at dynamic six. He talks about how you can put focus on the culture of God’s Kingdom.
- Who Broke My Church? 7 Proven Strategies for Renewal and Revival
- Who Broke My Church? Discussion Guide
This is the first episode of a ten-part series focusing on Reaching the Unchurched. In this episode, Dr. Kent Hunter talks about the importance of using Jesus’ teaching on Kingdom Culture being your spiritual compass and gives an introduction to the 12 Dynamics of Reaching the Unchurched.
Mildred shared a “God story” in Bible class, because, for five weeks, I simply asked, “Before we pray, anyone want to share what God has done in your life this past week?”
- Mildred didn’t know the terminology, “God story.”
- She didn’t realize she was an “early adopter” in a movement that would transform our congregation.
- She had no clue this would eventually grow our church to five times its size in a few short years.
Before moving on, think about changing culture: not by preaching at people, or shoving yet another program down the throats of a group of Christians who are already too busy with church stuff.
- It was just a question: a powerful way to change culture: “Anyone want to share what God has done in your life…?”
- The words for this approach are: “Interrogative influence.” It is influencing by asking questions.
- You may remember, Jesus used interrogative influence. Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say I am?” Then He asked, “Who do you say I am?” Jesus built Kingdom culture by, among other approaches, asking questions.
Remember, in the parable of the Good Samaritan story? There was a question: “So who do you think was neighbor to the man who fell among thieves?” Interrogative influence!
So, back to Mildred: Mildred was the first one to respond to my question in Bible class.
- I doubt anyone noticed a dramatic cultural change in our church that occurred with her, unrehearsed, not so smooth, powerful story, which she shared from her heart. It was profound!
- On God’s calendar, (not the church’s), that day marked the beginning of a movement.
- There was no flash of lightening, no big deal. Mildred was the only one to respond that week. Yet, she, and God, launched a movement that very Sunday.
- It was the beginning of a movement of witnessing.
So what happened next?
- The following week, no one had a story to share.
- The following week after that, however, two people shared stories.
- After seven months, I had to cut off the sharing at fifteen minutes so we would have time for prayer and the teaching lesson!
Soon, I began to ask for God stories elsewhere around church:
- Elders meetings
- Congregational meetings
- Church council meetings
- Everywhere our people gathered, except for worship.
What do you think happened next?
- That’s the most important chapter of the movement.
- We’ll look at that tomorrow.
This is the fourth of a nine-part series focusing on the 95 Theses for a New Reformation. In this fourth part, Dr. Kent Hunter discusses Theses #25-33. To read the entire list click here.
- Resource references
- Who Broke My Church? by Kent R. Hunter and Tracee J. Swank
Every renewal movement in churches has its own “refreshed” culture of Christianity.
Culture is a complex mix of functioning that gives identity to the spiritual movement called Christianity.
It is like a DNA helix – all the parts and pieces intermingle and overlap.
- Together they imprint Christians and churches with spiritual renewal.
The five elements of Kingdom culture include:
- Values – What you consider important.
- Beliefs – What you demonstrate you believe is truth.
- Attitudes – Your posture toward God.
- Priorities – What you almost always will do first.
- Worldviews – How you see the world and the way the world works.
An important ingredient to culture is the language that is used.
One of the new language areas God is using for renewal in churches today is the leadership square.
The square is like an icon or shape, so it reflects the thinking of postmodern communication.
During the reformation, vehicles for communicating the basics of the faith were called “catechisms.”
The square is one of many approaches to teach Christians about renewed faith.
- Another is Alpha – an approach that is used world-wide to introduce Christianity to unbelievers.
- Yet another tool that is valuable for renewal is the video series Healthy Leaders Thrive.
What new terms do you use as vehicles to propel the never-changing Gospel into our ever-changing world?
- In my next blog post, we will get specific about the leadership square.