emergent. missional. monastic. methodist.

Back in September, I got to attend the Alaska Lay School of Theology. I loved meeting Dr. Elaine Heath, a professor at Perkins at SMU. She has started Methodist monastic communities in Dallas, Texas and shared her ideas and dreams with us. It’s been exciting to think about how these ideas can be adapted in Alaska.

New Day Dallas website has the basics Our superintendent wrote a good summary here

Here are some of my notes from her sessions…

  1. It’s a God-breathed thing that we’re moving back to the margins as a church

  2. We don’t get to swagger around anymore like we own the place

  3. Get opportunity to be prophets again

  4. It’s time to purge ourselves of our junk diets as Christians

  5. Christendom: the church becoming an empire that keeps growing and taking over – joining with secular power to get what it wants

  6. Contemplative: show up and actually be present in the moment – being aware of God

Making Disciples in Post-Christendom United States


  1. Challenges

  2. Building: Overcome deeply ingrained belief that church is a place people gather

  3. Churching numbs people to real and costly discipleship and rigorous expectations

  4. Deemphasize dependence on buildings – instead mobilize for worship & service in borrowed space

  5. Not sure God ever wanted us to build a permanent temple

  6. Think back to the tabernacle being a tent

  7. We need flexible and fluid space

  8. Share space with other churches

  9. Budget

  10. Minimize money spent on themselves and their own comfort

  11. Convert older churches into 7 days a week mission centers

  12. More rigorous practice of stewardship

  13. Boundaries

  14. Location of authority is challenged in every massive cultural shift

  15. Ordination will change

  16. Now, clergy are part of a gated community residing at the front of the church

  17. We’re now flattening out

  18. Less emphasis on ministry professionals – more as servants and equippers of the saints

  19. Growing permeability in what counts as ordained ministry

Are there really separate secular and sacred worlds? Plato introduced the secular vs. sacred thought. Who died and left Plato in charge? Why is sacred separate?

McLaren: I hope to never revile another Christian even as they revile me.

Kenotic Community (emptying)


  1. Small

  2. Not about mega, super-size me

  3. Going down and serving, humility

  4. Smallness in the size of our communities

  5. Psychologically, it’s hard to be close with more than 12 people at a time

  6. Teams of leaders – sent out in 2’s

  7. Bi-Vocational

  8. Earn your living at a regular job, get health insurance

  9. Provide spiritual leadership

  10. Community needs fewer costs

  11. Jesus was a carpenter, not a professional clergy person

  12. Discipleship formation with each other

  13. class & band meetings, mutual confession

  14. Don’t lock your people down with endless meetings about the building and things inside the church

  15. Missional

  16. Sent out

  17. Being a church for others

  18. The person who’s in love with their community will destroy their community – keep thinking about others

  19. Flexible

  20. If we can let go of our idea of fixed building & location, we’ll become flexible about where we meet

  21. Will meet according to the needs of the missional context

  22. Theologically flexible

  23. Not about all towing the line on a doctrinal stance – fellowship comes around spiritual practices – room for growth – unified on justice & contemplative practices

  24. Deep

  25. Committed to ancient prayer practices – ikon, prayer, fasting, confession

  26. Practices that help us show up to God every day = rule of life

  27. Communal

  28. I’m not even a self without my community

  29. Mutually interdependent

  30. Counter cultural push back in US against hyper individualism

  31. Genuine community – at one ment

  32. Creative

  33. Risk-taking, entrepreneurial

  34. Art, designing transformative ministry, links between “sacred & secular”

  35. Helping neighbors be more fully alive

The kingdom of God is something we receive and enter, not something we build and make.

Invitations are made through friendships, don’t need much marketing

Here’s a video from one of the projects of New Day Dallas…

Is God calling you to explore this unique way of being the church today?

 

 

© 2020 by Jenny Smith

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