Unpacking the Exponential Conference

Last week I and five other guys traveled to Orlando for the Exponential Church Planting Conference.   With pioneers from ministries like 3DM, Soma, and Adullam leading workshops, and some unexpected challenges from unexpected leaders, we drank from  spiritual fire hydrant.   Although I’ve Kevinized some of the notes from workshops, I’ve attempted to put my points I found incredibly relevant in bold and  personal thoughts in italics.

Mike Breen & David Rhodes, 3DM- Launching a Missional Movement

The two foundations- Matthew 7:24-27

Two questions disciples should always be asking:

  1. What is God saying?
  2. What am I going to do about it?

Hearing God’s word and putting it into practice provides the foundation that your life will not be shaken by the storms of life.  Just asking “what is God saying?” does not produce this foundation.  The fool is the one who hears what God is saying and does nothing in response.

A multiplying movement of discipleship requires a reproducible system.  
Simple + repeatable= reproducible (if your system is too complex for a blue-collar fishermen then trash it)up, in, out diagram

Jesus focused on three relationships:

  1. UP- the Father- scripture, prayer, response
  2. IN- the disciples or spiritual family
  3. OUT- the community, those who did not yet follow

Most people understood UP.  The began to grasp how to do IN.  Living the out was little bit more tricky- it required Breen as a leader modeling and inviting others to imitate.  It required him doing something beyond his comfort level.  “Unless I gave people a bold and courageous model of what I found most difficult to do, people did not get it.”

Symbols communicate simple reproducible systems.  Breen’s people could draw this triangle  on a napkin at the pub and say this is what I’m doing.  They had a simple system to evaluate whether they were growing as disciples.
Have we given our disciples something they can carry to other disciples?  This is required if we want reproducing disciples and a disciple making movement.

We have to learn to become movement leaders and not institution builders.  Are the people we’re huddling with, huddling with others… who are in turn huddling with others?  This is the beginning of a movement… This reproducing huddle movement became the largest church in the UK.  Real question: Can we make disciples who make disciples?
Language creates culture.  It frames our worldview- our context for questions and answers.  If your worldview cannot explain how to make a disciple then your worldview needs to grow.

We need to use the same language repeatedly to create a discipling culture- requires consistent and intentional language.

Vehicles are also important- how can people live out the language?  They don’t need to just be told what to do but modeled how.  We also need to help people see the vision behind the vehicle so the vehicle does not become the vision.

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