Leslie Newbigin, who is considered by many to be the instigator of this conversation, poised the question in his book Foolishness to the Greeks: “What would be involved in a missionary encounter between the gospel and this whole way of perceiving, thinking, and living that we call ‘modern Western Culture?” We’ve been wrestling with that question for forty years.
Of course, microchurch is not a new form of the church, but the most ancient one. A compelling case can be made that the microchurch is the original design within the pages of the New Testament. In addition, it is also the primary expression of the church in the most significant Disciple-Making Movements on the planet today, in places like India and China. Now is the time for us to return to the microchurch in the West for biblical, cultural, and missiological reasons.
Join Leadership Network this year for a series of catalytic conversations with leading practitioners. Join this move of the Spirit that is causing the return of the microchurch.
Leadership Network is convening Microchurch Learning Communities in partnership with KC Underground where practitioners and thought leaders can catalyze paradigm shifting conversations to help church leaders return to the microchurch in the West for biblical, cultural, and missiological reasons.
Learning Community Guides: Rob Wegner, Brian Johnson, Jason Shepperd
Brought to you by Exponential NEXT and KC Underground
Before we can begin disciple-making, we must know the answer to the question, “To whom have you been sent?” Breanna Wiebe will walk us through the context map, a tool that helps us explore the various relational networks in which exist and determine where we might have the most spiritual interest. These are often the best places to engage in missionary living. We can be a missionary everywhere we go. To be effective in missional living, we need to discern one or two contexts and approach those relationships with greater intentionality. Brought to you by Leadership Network and KC Underground.
Watch Leadership Network’s Microchurch Next Directors, Rob Wegner and Brian Johnson, with guest Doug Paul from Catapult for Part 1 of, “The State of the Microchurch in the West,” Over the course of three gatherings in 2022 hosted by Leadership Network, Microchurch Networks from across the US gathered to explore three questions, “How did we get here? Where are we currently? Where are we headed?”
In part 1 of this 2 part series, Rob, Brian, and Doug will primarily explore the answers discovered to the first question, “How did we get here?” You’ll hear about the process these networks engaged to discern the critical factors that led to the return of the Microchurch in the West over the past three decades, both within the church world and the cultural contributing factors.
In our present moment, Microchurch is at the fore-front of the conversation for many in light of the changing cultural landscape we find ourselves in, coupled with the ongoing deconstruction and reform back to what many believe is a return to a more biblically faithful expression of church. Call it Missional Community or MicroChurch (MCs for short in this article), there really is a big difference between typical small groups and MCs.
by Jeff Vanderstelt
Rob is a ragamuffin who lives to love Jesus, his wife, his daughters, and his extended spiritual family in his neighborhood. He’s also one of the founding leaders and directors of the Kansas City Underground, a mission agency and decentralized network of microchurches and missional leaders committed to filling Kansas with the beauty, justice, and Good News of Jesus. Rob also serves on the Global Leadership Team of NewThing, a global tribe equipping catalytic leaders in every nation of the world who believe in building networks around the Jesus Mission.
The Starfish and the Spirit: Unleashing the Leadership Potential of Churches and Organizations is his latest book, which he co-wrote with Lance Ford and Alan Hirsch.
Brian Johnson serves as one of the founders and directors of the Kansas City Underground, a mission agency and decentralized network of missionaries and microchurches in Kansas City. KCU’s forty-year vision is to have a missionary on every street and a microchurch in every network of relationships, connecting with training Hubs throughout the city, saturating Kansas City with the beauty, justice, and Good News of Jesus.
Brian and his wife Kristen live as missionaries with their five kids in their neighborhood, seeking to build an extended spiritual family there.