Strengthening Churches

 

Generate Ministries, through the Strengthening Local Church area, helps churches stay on the mission God gave us to make disciples who make disciples.  Here are some of the areas we help churches with:

  • Embracing the Mission of Jesus. Looking at how Jesus made disciples to give us clues how to do this.  Recapturing the idea of training and sending, not just preaching and teaching.
  • Changing What We Care About. To stay On Mission requires several attitude shifts about the church and its people.  We look at some of these, along with how we can best set an environment where God can transform minds, hearts and behavior.
  • Recognizing the Responsive. Going off the four kinds of seeds Jesus talked about, we apply this to working with people: how can we connect with those seeking God, how do we help people discover the real Jesus, how can we help people grow as disciples of Jesus, and how do we mentor and train disciples to go into the harvest.
  • Intensifying Multiplication. In On Mission we deal with two areas here: how do you change your church without blowing it up and how do we take the church to where the people are: apartments, neighborhoods, schools, business, hangouts, etc.
  • Unleashing Communities. There are multiple approaches to going to the community, like multi-site (yes, even small churches), church planting, home groups, etc.  There are also many kinds of expressions for doing this, like The Table Network, Xcellerate, Field USA, Real Life Discipleship, Missional Communities, etc.  We help leaders in established churches see what might best fit their context and vision.

 

Here is some of the support system we can deliver:

  • Training. Training events help people build awareness to new concepts.  This training can take many different forms: weekend training events, one day training events, workshops at local churches on various topics, web training events for leaders, etc.  Training can be customized to fit the timeframe and need.  Our two main training events which touch on most of the On Mission topics are On Mission Basic and On Mission Advanced
  • Pastor Clusters. Monthly coaching events on video calls to encourage and equip pastors in various On Mission
  • Individualized sessions for pastors to help them short term (3-6 months) work through a selected On Mission area or to consult on a church assessment.
  • Coaching for local church leadership teams.  These sessions are a couple of hours monthly on site or by video call to help leadership teams work through the On Mission principles.

For information, contact Dan Riemenschneider at
(317) 448-8568 or danremo@mcusa.org

The following two websites will give you great resources for your ministry:

Verge Network.  This website has all kinds of articles and videos on discipleship, disciple making and missional communities.  Many are free when you create a free account.  You can also take online courses on disciple making featuring some of the well known pastors, speakers and leaders in this area.  These usually have a fee.

Building Church Leaders.  Anything related to the church you will find here.  Over 500 training tools.  Usually the first stop when looking for resources to lead the church forward.  Each training module is around $15, but the best deal is an annual subscription for $149.95. With this you have unlimited downloads all year.


The books below will help you with a deeper understanding of some of the On Mission topics.  Many of these resources will also give practical implementation ideas to help you live the concepts out in your life as well as equip others.

Believe Series (30 Key Areas for our Christian Life)

  • Believe: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus. Randy Frazee.
  • Believe Study Guide. Randy Frazee.
  • Think, Act, Be Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ. Randy Frazee.

9 Arts Series (Q Place)

  • The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Walking Alongside People Who Believe Differently. Mary Schaller and John Crilly.
  • Practicing the 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations. Q Place Primer.

Grider Series

  • Starfish Movement: Unleashing the Unstoppable Mission of Jesus. Dan Grider.
  • Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap. Dan Grider.

Putman Series

  • Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches That Make Disciples. Jim Putman.
  • DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church Make Disciples Who Make Disciples. Jim Putman.

Game Plan: Developing Intentional Missional Ministry.  Tim Roehl.

Stay the Course: Seven Essential Practices for Disciple Making Churches.  Grandon Guindon.  Free ebook from discipleship.org.

While no church is likely to ever say, “We’ve arrived!” when talking about their spiritual journey, there are churches happy to say, “We’re moving in the right direction!”

But how do you know where your church is spiritually if you have no means of measuring the issues that bring transformation to lives and communities? Fortunately, quality church assessment tools can help leaders identify strengths and weaknesses in your church and where your church is following Christ and living on mission.

Here are four that can help you:

Transformational Church. In 2012 hundreds of churches participated in LifeWay’s Transformational Church initiative, giving their congregations an accurate look at where they believe they are in their spiritual journey. LifeWay developed Transformational Church by surveying thousands of churches from multiple denominations that are leading examples of spiritual transformation providing a biblical framework for the Transformational Church Assessment Tool (TCAT). This framework helps churches evaluate how they are doing with a new scorecard.  The TCAT helps churches get an honest look at how their members perceive they are doing in relation to spiritual transformation. The results provide them with a snapshot of perceived strengths and perceived challenges based on the seven elements of a transformational church: missionary mentality, vibrant leadership, relational intentionality, prayerful dependence, worship, community and mission.  The entire congregation is invited to participate.  There is a cost.

Reveal. Churches are in the business of partnering with Christ to see lives changed. Often, though, it is hard to measure their effectiveness since spiritual growth is very hard to quantify.  REVEAL for Church: Spiritual Life Survey measures spiritual growth. Born from state-of-the art research tools and the expertise of our veteran research professionals, the REVEAL for Church: Spiritual Life Survey provides you with a proven way to know whether or not your people are growing—in their relationship with Christ, and in their Love of God and others.  The entire congregation is invited to participate.  There is a cost.

Evaluating Church Readiness for Change  The Change Readiness Assessment is designed as a practical tool for church leaders to ascertain how much “pain” they can expect from any improvement plan they intend to implement in a church. This has been field tested in numerous congregations around the country, but is not based on hard research. The goal is primarily to use it as a rough estimate as well as a discussion starter for church leadership teams.  Free. 

Natural Church Development.  NCD started and continues as the largest biblical and empirical research project into the principles of healthy church growth in the world. It is about the non-negotiables of church development when all else is stripped away. It aims to put a stop to the toiling and spinning that so often pervades church life and replace it with unforced healthy growth based on the lessons we can learn if we take the time to ‘see how the flowers of the field grow’.

The NCD Survey for local churches draws upon the research and implementation learnings from over 70,000 churches in 86 countries. In so doing, it is able to lighten and simplify your ministry workload by showing you exactly where your time, treasure and talent would be best spent right now for maximum fruitfulness. For example, it will show you which of the following essentials of church life currently come most naturally to your church, and which do not…

  • Empowering leadership
  • Gift-based ministry
  • Passionate spirituality
  • Effective structures
  • Inspiring worship service
  • Holistic small groups
  • Need-oriented evangelism
  • Loving relationships

Rather than conforming your church to a particular model, NCD’s principle-based approach brings out the unique identity and purpose of your church so it can be all that God intends it to be. Just like a beautiful healthy forest, a healthy church is unique and rich in fruitful diversity.  A selected team of 30 individuals is invited to participate in this survey, attempting to get a cross section of the church body.  There is a cost.