Monday, March 26, 2012

3dm discipleship & mission workshop

This past Thursday, Friday and Saturday I attended a 3dm workshop in Fort Wayne (it was actually New Haven). Jane and Joan also attended from our church, as well as Steve and Tom (my cohorts), and our regional director (Bob E.). It was held at the beautiful Grace Gathering church building. There were supposed to be around 150 people in attendance.

The event started at 2 pm on Thursday. We began with some worship (the music was fantastic!), then Mike Breen taught on the idea of Covenant & Kingdom (from his book). At 4 pm we spent some time with our "social space" group (of which there were two) and worked with our teams and discussed our particular church's SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and threats). We were to record our Frustrations, Failures, Breakthroughs, and Battles. Then we broke around 5:30-ish. At 7 pm we had supper. We were split into two groups and each went to someone's home. We went to ours, and it was a huge home not far from the church. We had lasagna and salad, water and wine. The three of us sat together (me, Joan, Jane) and pretty much just chatted amongst ourselves.

Friday started with worship again at 9 am. Mike Breen taught again, on Spiritual Feudalism. Then we broke into "Huddles" from 11-12:30. Our huddle had 13 (which was too many) and was led by Chris Norman (the pastor at Grace Gathering). Tom was also in my huddle, along with Dave DeSelm from Fellowship Missionary (near our house). It was interesting hearing other perspectives. We then had lunch on our own from 12:30-2 pm, and the three of us went to Subway in New Haven. We had another Social Space from 2-3, then were dismissed until supper at 7 again. No one else we knew was going to supper tonight, but we did. However, when we showed up at our designated house, they told us we couldn't use the house, so everyone had to go to the other house. I guess it was a good thing a lot of people didn't attend, as the other house wasn't near as big. At any rate, we had pulled pork sandwiches, chips, and potato salad. There was also plenty of water, beer, and wine to drink. We sat in the garage with some guys from Milwaukee, as well as Andy & Trish Booth (children's ministries directors at GG). After we ate Ben Sternke led us in a little missional community exercise. We were supposed to have had communion, but we ended up just breaking into groups of 4, sharing something, and praying for each other. Jane and I were with one of the guys from Milwaukee and a girl from Cincinnati.

On Saturday we started at 9 and went straight into teaching. Jo Saxton talked about the "cultural earthquake." Then we met in our huddles, and then met together for some final thoughts and a time of worship. We were done around 12:30 or 1 pm.

It's really hard to put everything into words for some reason. 3dm is a disciple-making organization. They utilize three basic books (I think): Building A Discipling Culture, Covenant & Kingdom, and Launching Missional Communities. They use "huddles" as a vehicle to disciple and reproduce leaders. They also equip churches through "Learning Communities." These are a 2-year process where they come alongside church leaders and help them engage in mission and discipleship. It sounds pretty similar to the Missional Leadership Initiative, only maybe a little more focused (or a lot) on making disciples. It's kind of like this is the legs of what the MLI was missing. Maybe.

At any rate, it left Jane, Joan and myself full of ideas and excitement. We're not at all sure how to go about starting huddles, or missional communities, or small groups... but we're pretty sure we need to do something. Of course, everything 3dm offers costs money. To lead a huddle you're supposed to be in a huddle first. But we are thinking of me just going ahead and starting one anyway. The huddles utilize the method of teaching discipleship as outlined in the two books - which involves teaching things around "shapes" (circles, squares, triangles, etc), and relationship & responsibility.

So... at this point, on a Monday afternoon... it seems pretty overwhelming right now. But it was a great workshop, and I really hope we can do something with what we learned.