I know that any time I am in a full-day training setting, after departing there are moments or thoughts from the day that, however important, I've forgotten. This is especially unfortunate when I'm trying to relay the info to someone who needs to hear it! Recognizing this, I plan on posting a Training Day Recap after each of our MC Leaders Trainings here on our blog. These posts will inevitably be a bit lengthy but hopefully they fill in the gaps for you when you try and relay the information on to others!
MORNING SESSION // What is a Disciple? How does a DNA time foster discipleship?
A disciple is someone who displays these three ongoing realities (note: these are not achievements or 'moments', but ongoing processes in a disciple's life):
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We believe that missional communities are spaces where each of these realities can be worked out, while out in the everyday places of life; where you work, learn, live, and play.
BUT we need to be mindful of this: if we are out in the world modelling what Jesus is like, then we had better be absolutely certain that what we are modelling is actually what Jesus is like. In other words, we had better return to our template (Jesus) often. In other words:
Gospel transformation must happen to you before it can happen through you.
This is where a DNA time comes in. Here is what DNA stands for (we've changed the acronym slightly, sorry!)
- Discover: this is our time to teach the Head. Here we study together and use the 4 questions to gain insight:
- Who is God?
- What has He done?
- Who am I in light of this?
- How do I live in light of that identity?
- Nurture: this is our time to shepherd the Heart. Here we take what we've learned during our discovery time and push it down into our hearts, where the Bible points to our will being. The reality is that we can know a truth about something or someone and still struggle to believe it. Here our time is spent in repentance (changing your mind about what deserves worship) and believing the Gospel. Your fellow DNA members are tasked with listening to your heart, asking good questions, and speaking the truth in love.
- Act: this is where we empower the Hands. When we learn truth about who God is and who we are in light of that and then the Holy Spirit brings us to repentance, it ought to always affect the way we live. The two key areas to think about are what to do and/or who to tell.
As a result of all of this, we recognized that while there are many things that a DNA could spend their time doing/studying, there are a select group of things that they should spend their time on.
- Scripture reading: this is most important, because it's the clearest picture we have of our template, Jesus! We'd recommend using a Christ-Centred Exposition commentary to assist you as you read together.
- Saturate resources: Gospel Fluency, Growing in Christ Together, and The Story of God are all great resources developed by churches who are exploring missional life just like we are. These are proving tremendously helpful in DNA's.
- Targeted resources: these are only for the DNA's that are going through a significant and specific challenge that you feel you really need to address in a targeted way. In these situations, we will partner together to find a helpful resource for your group.
AFTERNOON SESSION // Stirring your missional imagination!
We agreed that because of the limitations placed on us by our Canadian weather, when things warm up outside and start to turn green, people are out, active, and open to making connections! We want to capitalize on this reality. We said that there are two parallel tracks of missional living, both of which are important:
- Proactive mission: these are the initiatives/projects/ideas that you, your family, or your MC dream up in order to bring people together or make good things happen. Something good where there was nothing before. Examples: street parties, movie nights in your community, building a sandbox for neighbourhood kids, or putting on a garbage clean-up.
- Reactive mission: just as valuable, this is recognizing the ways that you already are spending your time and inviting others into that space (both believers and unbelievers). Examples include: having your MC meals outside and inviting neighbours to join, inviting a group of neighbours/friends to help you on a renovation over a weekend, going on walks at the same time every night and inviting others to join, shared vacations, and much more)
The goal is to be intentional: both in the proactive and reactive areas of our lives.
I hope this was helpful. In Guelph as it is in Heaven!