When we gathered in Boston (pic above) last week Jon and I had a talk with our NewThing Lead Pastors and described several key shifts that are taking place in NewThing. These are necessary shifts for the NewThing Networks to achieve the dream that God has for us: a catalyst for a movement of reproducing churches. Here are four of those shifts:
- Shift from NETWORK to NETWORKS. If we are serious about catalyzing a movement it will not happen through a single network. To create a movement it must be led by reproducing leaders of reproducing churches that are a part of reproducing networks. When we asked the question, “what will it take to help 1 billion people find their way back to God?” it was obvious that the answer would require reproducing networks. For that very reason NewThing is now composed of three different networks that will continue to reproduce.
- Shift from an APOSTOLIC LEADER to APOSTOLIC LEADERS. If apostolic leadership is required to lead a single network and the future of NewThing is reproducing networks, then NewThing will be led by many apostolic leaders each leading a network.
- Shift from FRIENDS to the TOP 5%. When we launched the NewThing Network the most significant requirement for planting a NewThing church was that you needed to be a friend of ours. While NewThing will continue to be a relationally driven network we will be looking for church planters who are high capacity leaders. We are looking for leaders in the top 5% who pass assessment, show the ability to reproduce more than one church and “get” NewThings culture and values. In the early days of NewThing identifying leaders who have the potential to lead not just churches, but networks is crucial.
- Shift from CENTRALIZED to DECENTRALIZED. NewThing has been built upon and through Community Christian Church almost exclusively. However, for NewThing to be a catalyst for a movement it will require that there is a shift from being centered around CCC to be decentralized through multiple networks and multiple churches. In the future training will happen at and through multiple churches. In the future new affiliates will be approved by any of the networks. The future of NewThing will not be through just one church or one network, but decentralized through many churches and many networks.
Over the next six months we will be making these shifts all in an effort to accomplish the dream that God has for us – “a movement of reproducing churches.”