By Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg
All Ohio Conference congregations are invited to join the Ohio Conference Missional Network. Representatives from this network of congregations will begin meeting and working together during the summer of 2018.
The purpose and expectation of those who sign up for Ohio Conference’s Missional Network cohort is to equip congregations in both intentional discipleship (via Missional Discipleship Groups) as well as to give them an experience with a missional community.
These missional communities will be approached as a laboratory for ideas. These missional lab spaces will vary. The purpose is not to “cut and paste” programs, but to gather ideas in order to develop rhythms, rituals and practices that will help inform the local congregation’s context.
There is a level of commitment that is needed in order to make these cohorts successful. The intention of this next two years is to establish equipped groups of people within Ohio Conference who will then be able to provide leadership within the Conference for missional work.
We are defining “missional” as essentially living as a missionary in your own community.
Missional is not just a “MISSION” or “SERVICE” event.
Missional = “Mission” + “Intentional Discipleship” + “Relationships” + “Sharing the Good News.”
This does not happen overnight. It takes time, maybe even years. However, you can learn the steps to work towards becoming missional.
PHASE ONE (2018-19)
1) Intentional Discipleship
Each person signed up will be expected to start at least one (or more) Missional Discipleship Group from their congregation. They will choose one person from the congregation who they believe is hungry for a deeper relationship with Christ. Those two will meet together to discern a third person from the congregation who will be invited to meet with them.
These groups will meet once a week for an hour or so for intentional Bible study, prayer and accountability. The purpose of this one group will be to train/equip others to start another group within the next year. Jacob Dodson and Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg coach these groups. We will meet either face to face or via online twice a month for an hour.
2) Missional Labs Space
All are invited to send missional lab proposals from across the Conference. If you believe you have a potential site to help teach others in Conference how to be missional, please send the proposals to Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg. Jessica and the Missional Task Force will help give suggestions to enhance your group’s missional activity in order to become a missional lab space. This may include inviting the site to join the Missional Discipleship Groups, if intentional discipleship is what is needed. The expectation will be to take this year to prepare the lab space for teaching others.
3) Occasional statewide gatherings may be coordinated for teaching sessions. This will include examining the missional lab space and discussing how to make these spaces more missional. Dates and times will vary.
PHASE TWO (2019-20)
1) SENT: Each person will be paired up with others in their area to BE SENT and experience a missional community. This will happen once every other month. The purpose of this is to watch and experience what robust and fruitful “missional” activity looks like. They will go as teachable ones in order to ask questions, etc.
2) GATHERED: THEN after we have groups experiencing the missional communities, they will BE GATHERED to discuss what they witnessed and learned. The eastern cohort will meet in the Cleveland area and the other group in the Lima area, in the off month from the missional lab experiences. Please note: There may be times we meet via ZOOM conference online.
TOTAL TIME COMMITMENT:
PHASE ONE (2018-2019): Six hours a month for Missional Discipleship Groups: One hour a week with the Missional Discipleship Group, plus two hours a month with the cohort to receive coaching.
PHASE TWO (2019-2020): SIX hours a month for Missional Discipleship Groups: One hour a week with Missional Discipleship Group, plus two hours a month to provide coaching to leader (or leaders) of new groups within the congregation. One day a month for “GATHERED” or “SENT” activities. The number of hours per meeting in the “SENT” portion will vary depending on travel and missional experience, but we expect the “GATHERED” portion to be at least three hours, plus travel time if we meet in person. (TOTAL = one day + Missional Discipleship Group.)
The First Learning Community will begin in June 2018, with meetings in Cleveland for those in the East and meetings in Lima for those in the West. You are free to attend the meeting that works for your schedule.
PLEASE CONTACT IF INTERESTED:
Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg — firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-551-1315.