A beautiful day in Chicago!! And of course, we were inside all day. Today was the first day of the multi-site practicum at Community Christian Church in Naperville. We started the day learning about the 7 "moves" to multi-site. It was very interesting information and presented very well, but there wasn't a plethora of new or "light bulb popping" stuff. The information did propel us into some great discussions in our breakout sessions.
I think our team would agree that we are past the "affirmation" stage of multi-site. God has lined up too many things for this idea to be a coincidence. The best parts of the day were the brainstorming/strategy sessions. We laid some great foundational groundwork to some issues that have been "swimming" out there in the minds of many of us. It was neat to see it unfold on paper and for all of us to be on the page (literally!) together. The next step will be to flesh out our top 5 (or six in our case) most important or critical objectives.
One thing is for sure...we have a lot of work to do to get ready for a launch. The next 6-9 months will probably be one of those defining moments in the life of a church when you look back on some monumental decisions. The Gospel no longer functions simply as a mouth to ear transaction but is now focused on an experiential movement from God that encompasses all senses. AND, for the first time in decades (dare I say centuries?), we'll find opportunities to take the Gospel TO the people, but in new and exciting ways.
The business world has long taken biblical principles to help sell their products, but we have had this aversion to using marketing principles to help propel Jesus into the spotlight. I know there will be many people that disagree with me on this issue and it is probably left to a better explanation at a later time, but I don't understand why it has taken the church so long to adopt simple business practices of marketing. If Starbucks can create an "experience" with coffee, then why can't we talk about Jesus in a creative and compelling manner?
Day 2 tomorrow!