Tactics are methods, the practical means or methods of carrying out the mission and vision. Methods are flexible and may change and be adapted. What follows is therefore a starting point that will develop and change over time.
- “Love” is our only ministry. Identity is established in Christ, not through ministry– While we do talk about “methods” or “tactics” of ministry, two things which are really only one have to be established. Our only ministry is to love others in the love of Christ. Without love there is NO ministry, no matter what spiritual gifts we may possess or tactics we may use. God’s love flows through us as we become established in our identity in Christ. We don’t get our identity from our ministry, our gifts, or how God may use us. We get our identity from Jesus Christ. Ministry is a practical overflow of God’s love that flows from being rooted in Christ to help establish and encourage others in this same gospel reality.
- Reproducible, Relational, and Participatory Ministry Methods– We model ministry that every believer can attain and emulate at all levels to promote the multiplication of the Kingdom through the ministry of every believer. We are Word directed, Spirit led, and relationally responsive, not program driven. Our priority is not to use people to serve in programs in the church. We are equipping, connecting, and releasing people to serve Christ in the community.
- Mobilize De-centralized/ Relationally connected ministry in Discovery Groups, Foundational Discipleship Groups of 2 to 4 and Life Teams. People typically discover God and commit their lives to Jesus through Discovery Groups. Foundational discipleship takes place in groups of 2 to 4, usually for 6 months to a year, as believers commit their lives to Jesus. Ongoing discipleship takes place in Life Teams which are typically groups of 6 to 24 people that grow out of Discovery groups and Foundational disciple-making. Life Teams are micro-churches, spiritual families, that support equipped disciple-makers for ongoing spiritual growth and ministry as they work together to start new discovery groups and mentor new believers in groups of 2 to 4.
- Rapid Disciple Multiplication by Foundational Discipleship through personal relationships- Every believer will be equipped with a solid foundation and begin to repeat this process with others within one year through personal mentoring. Foundational Discipleship establishes new believers with the truths and skills to 1. Start in Christ, 2. Grow in Christ, and 3. Reproduce in Christ. Implementation and lifestyle change, not mere knowledge, is the focus for Foundational Discipleship. (It is not uncommon to stay on one lesson for several weeks until implementation has taken place.)
Advantages of Multiplication through mentoring
1. Relevance– foundational equipping essential for new believers, adapted to the work of the Holy Spirit in the individual
2. Relationships-Enhances personal support and personal pastoral care and solidifies assimilation into the body of Christ
3. Rapid– New believers can quickly become self-feeding, empowered, and equipped for ministry.
4. Responsible– Matures the body of Christ as believers become disciple-makers
- Permeating society with the gospel by working through (not against) existing relationship networks- In the New Testament, the gospel spread primarily along the lines of pre-existing relationship networks (friendship circles). We equip believers to saturate new pockets of society with the gospel by adopting this same approach. In other words, instead of trying to pull seekers and new converts out of their pre-existing relationships to get them to come to church (which disconnects them from pre-existing relationships) we place a higher priority on coming alongside receptive seekers and new converts to bring the gospel into “their world” through these relationships by starting new Discovery Groups, resulting in new groups of disciples, expanding the church organically as an ever increasing network of spiritually and relationally connected believers that permeate all levels of society with the light of Jesus.
- Life Teams-Ongoing discipleship will take place in de-centralized Life Teams that function as spiritual families, brothers and sisters in Christ that are watched over by spiritual fathers and mothers. Life Teams typically grow organically out of Discovery Groups as they commit their lives to Jesus and answer His call to become His body on the earth together. Life Teams are lay-led Christian fellowships, spiritual families, made up of primarily of trained disciple-makers (believers who have been mentored in foundational discipleship training) that meet for ongoing growth, support, encouragement, and mission. Life Teams work together to fulfill the mission of the Kingdom and to multiply disciples.
- Leadership Multiplication through Apprenticeship and Results– Every believer will be mentored to become an effective disciple maker, but only those showing the character and calling to serve the body of Christ will be invited to be apprenticed as a Life Team leader. Every Life Team leader will have a goal to apprentice at least 2 future Life Team leaders, spiritual “Fathers and Mothers” who are looking after their spiritual families. Life Team leaders and apprentices will be part of a leadership community which supports ongoing personal development for leaders and connected/coordinated corporate growth. Leadership Apprentices become “leaders” when they produce results of starting and shepherding their own Life Teams. No one is made a leader by being given a “title” or a designated role, nor is leadership designated by “seniority”. Leadership is relationally recognized as people are built up, encouraged, and helped by your ministry and become influenced by your life and teaching as an example of following Jesus Christ.
- Family and Hospitality– We support the nuclear family and relate to one another as God’s family. We will encourage hospitality. We don’t choose between family and ministry. Ministry starts with family. Ministry also includes the family. We do Kingdom living with our families and include them in a lifestyle of mission, service, and connection in the body of Christ to the degree that it is appropriate and possible.
- Intentional Compassion– We intentionally engage those trapped in darkness without fear to bring liberty and life to the captives, the helpless, and the hopeless. Every Life Team and/or group of 2 to 4 will be encouraged to prayerfully set goals and to execute a regular plan to advance God’s Kingdom among the lost.
- Intentional and Diverse Evangelism, Outreach, and Service. Every believer is included in the command to preach the gospel, live as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, and to make disciples. Therefore, we equip believers in a multitude of approaches to share Jesus intentionally and as a lifestyle to enable every believer to find their unique style.
- Some of the approaches & skills equip believers to employ include:
- Starting and Leading Discovery Bible Studies
- Sharing Testimonies
- Power Evangelism
- Simple Gospel- 3 Circle Gospel Presentation & Good Person Test
- Friendship Evangelism
- Interactive Prayer Walking/ Stranger Evangelism
- Service Outreach/ Evangelism
- Crisis Intervention/Support Evangelism
- Basic Apologetics (Answering Objections)
Both Centralized and De-centralized
- Connect and Serve the whole body of Christ Rather than Compete and exclude- We are a relationally connected movement that transcends organizational and denominational boundaries by focusing on “off campus” expressions of the church, decentralized ministry in homes, coffee shops, the streets, and the market place. We promote Christ, not ourselves, and the building of His Kingdom, not “our own” ministry. We happily connect, serve, and honor believers on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ regardless of whether they are “part of our ministry” or not. While many who participate in this ministry identify this as “their church” others remain connected in their own local churches. We encourage people to remain part of their current local church and to participate to whatever degree they want and to freely implement what they learn from us in their own context. We build up and bless the whole body of Christ with a Kingdom-minded perspective and expect the “water level” to rise for the whole region as a result.
- Love One Another as Christ Loved Us- We seek to live in contrast to the self-centered, consumer oriented, program driven, personally disconnected version of “church” that is often prevalent in today’s modern American church. Instead, we will make growing in the love of Christ our chief aim, which requires authentic Christ-centered relationships and the determination to believe the best of one another, serve one another, to speak the truth in love to one another in the Spirit of Christ, and the predetermination to forgive one another for our short-comings as we grow in this endeavor. We seek to be vessels of Christ to one another and to treat one another with the honor the gospel requires at all times.
- Develop Lifestyle of Worship, Communion with God, and Prayer– Without prayer, we work. Through prayer, God works. Prayer, worship, and enjoying fellowship with God is central to our corporate and personal lifestyle. We are priests unto God and living sacrifices of worship.
- Radical Generosity- Because God is amazingly generous and people are incredibly selfish, our journey towards godliness involves a radical shift in our hearts that will result in spontaneous, cheerful, and a purposeful lifestyle of generosity with our money, our possessions, our talents, and our hearts. We will foster a lifestyle of overflowing generosity by walking in freedom from greed and selfishness by developing a collective culture and personal lifestyle in which generosity is clearly motivated by faith and love (not guilt) and empowered by joyful freedom (not pressure or obligation).
- Congregation of Spiritual Families- We believe our spiritual families (Life Teams) are central to our congregational life together. Rather than a congregation of individual attenders, we will be a congregation of disciple-making teams (Life Teams). In other words, the congregational meetings exist to strengthen and support the Life Teams and not vice versa. Congregational gatherings are supplements to the main meal, which we “eat” in our life together in spiritual families (Life Teams). As such, we will adjust the frequency and focus of our congregational gathers to maintain this focus.
- Celebration and Testimony- We will encourage regular public sharing of testimonies to highlight what God is doing through regular believers out in the world as a means of provoking one another to love and good deeds and as an opportunity for celebration, praise and thanksgiving to God. We celebrate steps of love and obedience, not merely “success”.
- Unleash the Power of God’s Word by employing a balanced mix of preaching, teaching, and practical equipping. As a general practice, we will preach through complete books or longer sections of Scripture to help us to be faithful and balanced in our teaching by requiring us to address passages and topics in context as they arise in the Word and not merely play to our own biases. Furthermore, we will have regular opportunities for Questions and Answer sessions so that issues that are important and relevant to the congregation can be addressed. Lastly we will also have regular sessions of hands-on-training that will impart skills that are important to the Christian life and ministry so that we are practically equipped with the know-how to be effective in our faith and not merely people who hear the Word.
- Christ-centered ministry- Jesus Christ is the center of God’s plan, the fullness of God’s self-revelation, as well as the foundation, center, head, supply, and connection of His body, the church. Paul said, “I preach Christ, to present everyone complete in Christ.” We don’t merely preach Bible verses, or Scriptural principles. We preach a living and present Savior, a glorious fully divine and amazingly human person, who is our Lord, our Savior, our Prophet, our Priest and our King, the one through whom and for whom all things exist, who is Alpha and Omega, in whom is hidden all the wisdom of God, who has become to us righteousness, sanctification, salvation, healing, deliverance, provision, protection, and joy, the one who now, by the Holy Spirit, dwells in us to live through us, our hope of glory, the one whom God says IS our life, our true identity to the Father and one another, in whom are all the promises of God fulfilled, through whom we have been redeemed, adopted, and eternally blessed… we preach Jesus Christ, that we may know Him and be found in Him, in the power of His resurrection, in the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to sacrificial obedience to the Father and love for His enemies… He is our ALL in ALL. As such, Jesus Christ shall be central in our lives, our ministry, and our messages, so that every topic from every verse in Scripture is seen in it’s connection to Him, for He Himself is the very Word of God made flesh.
- Christ-centered Authentic Contemporary expressions of Musical Worship, Media, and Arts- We are not in the entertainment business and congregational assemblies are not a show. However, creativity can be a powerful expression of God’s glory when done in the right spirit and combined with authenticity, virtue, and truth. We will worship God in Spirit and truth with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs with percussion, strings, all manner of instruments, and voices. Songs that express God’s Word through the Holy Spirit must also flow from our heart. Therefore, we value corporate musical expression that fosters, supports, and expresses authentic heart-engagement with God over the performance itself, and value spiritual substance over tune or technique. Dance and drama can also have a place in expressing our hearts to God and portraying Biblical truths to illustrate the gospel. Visual arts (painting, graphic arts, videography, photography, etc.) can also inspire devotion to God. We embrace it all but allow all artistic expression to be directed, governed, and limited to the degree that God’s glory rather than our performance, remains the focus. We will remain ever dependent upon the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel to grow the church and refuse to be caught up in “entertaining the flesh”, or trying to attract attenders by a “good showing in the flesh”, nor on the other hand will we be held back in our congregation by fear of man that is rooted in religious tradition. Rather, as the Holy Spirit leads, we use our talents to freely express our love for God, to encourage the body, and to demonstrate God’s glorious grace with godly freedom.
- Body Ministry- We will equip and deploy the body of Christ so that Jesus can express Himself through His people to respond to God and to minister effectively to one another in love not only as we are scattered, but also as we are gathered corporately. Centralized expressions of the body are important but the primary focus of our energy will remain focused on living in Christ and the ministry of believers out in the world. We will adjust our corporate gatherings to maximize our effectiveness at making disciples.