These Three Things We Do

3 04 2008

The best methods and models are usually quite simple but all the theological and philosophical wrestling, testing and wandering that takes place behind the scenes can be a difficult process.  But we’re at a point now of great simplicity in our model so I want to see if I can explain it with one picture and a brief post.  In our church model we only do three things (and in a new work they are done in this order) –

  • Train Disciples
  • Grow the Body
  • Release the 5-fold Ministry

That’s it.  Kingdom ministry can and should involve a lot more activities after these things are done well and the work is mature but to launch a healthy, self-sustaining, reproducible work you only need to do these three things.

So if you look at this picture – the first thing we develop is the Discipleship Training Center. simplechurchmodel.jpg Trained disciples form and deepen healthy bodies and as body members are continuously trained and living in community we release those with a special 5-fold calling on their life (from Eph. 4 Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers) to start and strengthen other works.

So I’ve been teaching my kids this because, if my 4-year old can understand it, it passes the simplicity test.

And you can see why each part is essential.  A body (house church) without a clear discipleship training process both lacks a front door and a way to deepen and unify our one faith.  A body and training center without releasing the 5-fold has no way to properly steward the unique calling given to the 5-fold.  If someone with a 5-fold gift is not released the body will be so imbalanced by that gift it will build itself around one man’s gifts and personality (picture Mark Driscoll only using his full gifting in a house church for 10 years and you get the idea).

So it’s that simple and we know it works to bring back to the church three of the things remaining to be restored –

  • Radical Discipleship
  • Interdependent Community
  • Exponential Expansion

For the first time in my life I feel I know both WHAT to do about the church and HOW to do it.  I’m super encouraged!



4 responses

4 04 2008

Me too! God is really using you, Jeremy. Keep up the good work.

6 04 2008

wooooohoooooo. i feel the same way….

6 05 2008
Jacob Vanhorn

Hello Jeremy, I just found my way over here through Steve McCoy, so I may be a bit behind your thinking curve. And you may not have gotten this far yet, but can you elaborate on each of the levels.

Is each DTC a separate house group? Does growing the body mean both quality and quantity? Are the Apostolic Teams made up of trained members who become their own apostolic team? What is actually taking place at each level?

If you are not that far yet, feel free to tell me so. Blessings.

11 05 2008

Hey Bill,

DTC = regional training center (not a house church)
Growing the Body = both quality and quantity. We use the progression Paul’s describes in Eph. 4 – Christ gives the 5-fold -> 5 fold equip the body -> body builds itself up -> until it attains to the fullness of Christ.
Apostolic Teams are made up of 7-12 guys who have 5-fold gifts led by an Apostle (architect).

What takes place at each level?

DTC – Disciples are trained
Body – Interdependent life being build up by all the gifts (1 Cor. 12)
Apostolic Teams – New works are launched and existing works are strengthened.

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