Church Distributed, by Dr Joel Hunter:
What is the church distributed? According to Dr. Joel Hunter, it's a way for us to make the most of our differences, connecting individuals and organizations together for long-term support and effectiveness without trying to blur our distinctions. It is not another church-growth strategy. Instead, it is a connecting strategy that results in spiritual growth. Virtually any Christian or any church in any denomination can employ the strategy outlined in this book. It even works in tandem with a church's growth plans. Not only will a church get bigger, it will get better! The church will become more deeply connected to God and His people. And together, the church will accomplish more because of its differences than it ever could on its own. Church Distributed teaches how to partner effectively with Christians who are different, as well as Christians who hold the same vision; build associations with Christians who want to develop lasting relationships for the work of the Gospel; cooperate with non-Christians for the good of everyone.
One of the things that really excites me about being connected with Northland is how it sees itself. A large part of that has to do with this book and the vision of the Distributed Church. Will you join me in reading through this book? Even if you can make it to the study we are doing in Mount Dora, I believe you will be inspired to understand your identity in Christ as we live our faith in the community God has placed us in. Here are some of the highlights (at least from me) from chapters 1 and 2:
"So what is the Distributed Church, anyway? It's a church that isn't insane. it is able to pay attention to and learn from outsiders. It is a way to be completed, perfected and educated by differences.
"Just getting bigger isn't good enough; we have to get better."
"Christian, wake up: YOU ARE THE MINISTER OF THE CHURCH."
"I am made to include differences that transform "me" into "us."
"That is what the first-century church did. They sent leadership back and forth because they saw themselves as one church family located in different places.
This is just a small sampling of the great insight this book has. This isn't a study on a model, but an examiniation of who we are in Christ. Join me will you? If you don't have a copy (you can pick up a complimentary one at the Mount Dora site) you can download the PDF. Join me in reading through this great vision.