Phil is one of my oldest friends and the co-founder of CMA. One of the most radical organic thinkers on our CMA leadership team, Phil also happens to pastor a well established church of between 300-400 people. Because he is a Shepherd on our APEST (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher) team he will stay with his flock and has been a catalyst for much change. This one church has sent off four networks of organic churches over the last 15 years. He has learned in the trenches and paid the price to function organically in a traditional church climate.
Many might ask why I, a church planter, would write to established churches. Prior to starting churches, I led a well established church for almost a decade. During that time we raised up leaders from within and sent out church planters. I learned a lot in that context of what to do, and not to do, which not only informed my church planting, but will be pertinent to this book.
The Book's Content:
The first part of the book puts forth the idea that change is impossible with men, but possible with God. While there are many books available on church transition, we believe that it takes more than a assessment of where you're at, a new direction, a better set of bigger goals, a refined mission statement and a new logo and building campaign to truly change a church from within. As any who have read our material already know, the key to health, life and reproduction is in the DNA. If your church is already established and it obviously does not have a complete DNA is it possible to change? How do you change someone's DNA? Well, that is truly the realm of science fiction today...but so is the resurrection. With men these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible. This sort of change, however, is more than a church transition, it is a church transfusion. Healthy DNA must be released into the body to replicate, influence and even replace the unhealthy DNA from the inside out. The first part of this book examines what it takes to do this and presents several real examples of such churches that are each very different in their journeys to transfusion.
The second part of the book is about how to implement successful transfusion. Chapters cover practical subjects such as
- Dying to live
- The leadershift necessary
- Detox from dependency issues
- Releasing and empowering people
- The price a healthy church must be willing to pay
- Healthy disciple-making
- How to pilot change in a "skunk-works" type project
- How to reproduce rather than simply clone
- New ways of measuring success
- How to equip people for influence in the world (not just the church).
Church Transfusion should be released in 2012 from Jossey-Bass/Leadership Network.
Our first training opportunity will be Friday and Saturday, Sep 23-24, 2012 at Los Altos Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach CA. You can find detailed info and register for it here. There is still room available.
There will also be a half day workshop in Singapore Friday October 28th for those in S. Asia.