God is up to something incredibly significant across this continent. Defying the old measurements of success, there is a movement happening on-the-ground in real neighborhoods and communities. It is happening across denominational boundaries and outside of church buildings.
As this work of the Spirit grows, the old systems and solutions are unraveling, and past ways of leading no longer seem helpful. It is becoming clear that we have been trying to answer the wrong questions. “How do we fix our churches? How do we make them more relevant? How do we get our congregations growing again?” These question are no longer the place to begin.
The Spirit is inviting us to ask a profoundly different type of question. “What is God up to ahead of us in our communities? And how do we join with God there?” We are seeing an emerging movement of leaders who are shifting the focus away from “fixing” their churches. Instead, they are leading their people to discern what God is doing in their neighborhoods and how they might faithfully enter in.
Lead-Local: Joining God in the Neighborhood
Many of you have caught wind of this new question and want to make the transition with wisdom and discernment. You understand that this new space is full of relational complexity and that it requires adaptive learning, prophetic imagination, and deep collaboration across boundaries. To this end Parish Collective and The Missional Network are partnering together in a new organizational initiative called: Lead-Local: Joining God in the Neighborhood.
This initiative will begin with a series of Lead-Local Workshops in cities across North America in 2015. From out these events we are creating Lead-Local Communities. Lead Local is now selecting groups of pioneering leaders to participate with us in learning communities that take place in their local context. Lead-Local Communities will discern together the practices and postures necessary for guiding their congregations and local communities in the transition. Each Lead-Local Community will be comprised of leaders within regional proximity who journey through a ten month action-learning process of identifying and developing the skills for forming communities that go-local in their contexts.