Monday, May 12, 2008


So here are some wakjob ideas:

  • Launch 50 churches out of your current campus ministry (small little viral things with 21 year old elders and you as the master apostle - thats with a little 'a' in apostle btw). Tell the students that you will gather weekly to worship and train, but you want them each to start a simple viral church . . . . and you can show them how.
  • Start teaching students to baptize new believers and each other - push full obedience to Mt 28 baby! Forget decisions . . . measure disciples (those who are taking obedient steps) and baptisms.
  • Never speak at a meeting again - only lets students share what is on their heart in the mission each and every week. Let mission inform theology and worry about the messes as you move ahead.
  • Define the whole ministry in 5 words. Win, Build, Send, Campus, World.
  • Identify 50 clubs on campus and get a rad group of believers to join each one. Use a weekly meeting to 'rush' for each identifiable group. Infiltrate baby!
  • Form a non-profit on your campus and start hiring your own interns and staff. Or, get a local church to hire them for you.
  • Initiate more service projects than any other group on campus . . . and make sure to invite the whole campus to each one.
  • Never meet with someone one on one again. Only in small groups and only with someone besides you leading the discussion.
  • Start a covert underground Xtian sect that does radical stupid things . . . don't let anyone know about it except the first 10 people you invite in. See if you can grow it by adding and multiplying new believers only. Commit to never making a Tshirt.
  • Never get a new believer involved with what is already going on . . . really . . . only help them start something new in their existing community (like Zaccheus or that Ethiopian dude).
Any more? Sure you cannot do them all, and these may all be kind of lame. But if someone does not do something really really different . . . then we will continue with the exact same thing we currently have now.


Wix said...

Hey Shane, I love the way you think! And I probably have some thoughts on this, but it's late and I'm fading. Will probably blog more tomo. Peace, dude.

Mark de Boer said...

More, more!
Great stuff.

Be blessed,
Mark (ND The Netherlands)

Kelly said...

I think most of these are great ideas, some of them have even crossed my own mind. I think its possible that following Christ on campus may not look like what it always has looked like (ie weekly meeting, calling contacts, fall retreat, etc) I think it may mean that we figure out what communicates love to students where they are, we stop trying to be so organized and we just go for it, head first. I think this was Jesus' approach and it really, really worked.

Shane Deike said...

kelly - i love it. stop tyring to be so organized . . . yes. love God, love your neighbor - how radical would that be. Forget the programs and go be Jesus to the campus. awesome.

Jeremiah said...

So we're pretty much starting from scratch here...and one of the issues we have is this: we can't figure out any kind of static communities that we as staff have access to. Students don't eat in teh same place, hang out in the same place, live in teh same place year after year, much less for 2 semesters in a row.
It isn't like what i've read in some organic church books that talk about going to some coffee shop or apartment building where they reach out to the local constituents. Any ideas on any arenas like that on campus that we can infiltrate?

In other words, how to you reproduce movements without any movements to start with?

Can you start movements in a real way without advertising, having a weekly meeting and some of the more traditional stuff? Has anyone done it and what were some of the things that you did?

Wix said...

Hey Jeremiah, good questions, dude! I was commenting on the other blogs how a bunch of us are going through the social service/justice route to get people of good will involved. And one thing that the students and staff did was going to the dorms and inviting people to be part of certain social service projects. (Of course this is in the East Asia context. So, not sure about in the States, how you would go about inviting students to be part of a good cause.)

What happened was two of our students really got into one of the projects - going to visit leukemia-sick kids and their parents. And they continued to organize groups to go on a weekly basis. Good conversations resulted from questions like "Who are you and why are you doing this?" - from the non-Christian students, the hospital staff, and the parents. Also, many acts of love were displayed. We gave the kids toys and books, played with them, drew with them, read to them. We also listened to the parents, who felt really alone through this. The kids, parents and hospital staff started to recognize us when we come on Sunday afternoons. It was a blast. And the really cool thing was that the campus staff disappeared entirely from the scene. It was the students doing it, owning it. It was amazing that in 2 short months, the project had more characteristics of a movement than any group I've been involved in in the last 10 years! Seriously, I'm not joking.

From this I learned some really good lessons. One of them relates to your questions too - and it's the theology of presence. Being part of a community, loving and serving people in that community, building genuine relationships w/ people, learning from that community etc. - it's the theology where the presence of the godly preserves the ungodly (OT) and where we are to be salt and light (NT). So, I think it's not the theology of place we should be pursuing and forming and living out, but the theology of presence.

Has this gotten some of your juices flowing in terms of how you guys in the States can start movements? Any more ideas?? Would love to hear them!!

DJ said...

Shane, I totally dig the outside-the-box thinking. But I have a little bone to pick.

I have been studying 1 Timothy personally for the last few months. I feel like several of the things you said would mean we would have to throw out some of the Word of God within it.

For instance, some of the values expressed in 1 Timothy are "Be slow to choose leadership (elders/deacons)" Elders/deacons have to pass the highest standard of home life, discipline of family, and impeccable character.

Also, there is a TON of counsel by Paul in there to watch doctrine closely. Cut off crappy teaching. Don't let it get out of hand. Be strong, yet humble.

These two big themes in 1 Timothy seem to go against a lot of the "don't teach just empower" philosophy I hear.

Hope I am not coming off harsh, but look forward to your response.

Shane Deike said...

no big deal on bone picking DJ - that is what these things are about and how good discussion happens.

The issues you raise are some of the biggies that get surfaced in the West regarding church planting movements.

First, on elders, a couple of things. 1. I think we read more into this than what Paul is actually saying. We read our theologically conservative seminary trained brain around it. Do this - take you sharpest student leader and see if he / she meets the standards. In most cases they do (people always site ability to teach as a biggie - take this as the ability to teach those around them, not at a seminary or something).

2. Notice Pauls procedure. He planted churches THEN appointed elders (sometimes way after the fact). Leaders will emerge from the planting.

On doctrine - I think one of Paul's main messages is that you will always have heresy. Also, how many people do you know who are actually heretics anyway? What is amazing in church planting movements is that, because you push a lot of individual scripture reading, you very seldom get heresy. You get heresy when people teach the bible to those who are not reading it - not when no one is teaching but everyone is reading. Heresy flows from organized religion, not from a bunch of young people reading the bible together.

Neil Cole has a great article on this here:

You are not harsh at all - we need to bring these things up and see what comes up for us. Good thinking.

ben said...

I have a few problems as well with the "church planting" approach to campus ministry. To be doing baptisms and things like that in a haphazard, grass-roots kind of way seems extremely dangerous. And to do away with teaching or speaking at meetings in favor of discussions and brainstorming might work for drawing a crowd, but so does preaching a false, health/wealth gospel.
The great commission says to teach disciples, which implies that they can't teach themselves. Yes, there is crtainly an aspect of things that is Holy Spirit driven, and that's great. But Christ commanded the disciples to teach.

DJ said...

Shane, thanks for your thoughts. The fact that Paul planted and then chose elders is really fascinating. That is a good point to consider for sure. I still think we differ on my level of conservitivity (is that a word?) in regards to doctrine and leadership, but that is why we discuss right?

Side note, totally agree with the "not necessarily seminary-trained" thing. That is pretty obvious from Scripture that our style of that is not required, though of course not bad (unless it becomes an idol).

I have Neil Cole's organic church book, makes some interesting thoughts. But man, the whole "Crusade planting churches" thing is out there. We would have to see a real shift in our entire culture for that to happen. Though somewhat secretly my wife and I wish there was some way to somehow do this.

Shane Deike said...

Ben - I hear ya, and I know a lot of folks that worry about this.

What do you mean by dangerous? Like theologically? What do you see as the primary danger? Different folks have different views so I am curious on what seems risky about this.

I think the broader principle is 'priesthood of believers' - in other words, calling a 19 year old new believer to obedience to the fullness of scripture just like a 50 year old. So, the command in Mt 28 is "Go, Make Disciples, Baptize" . . . my take is simply that we should not cherry pick our obedience. If we are going to make disciples, we should also baptize and call our disciples to baptize (in obedience to the GC).

ben said...

well, I guess the danger is that in deciding to "plant churches" or "baptize" we are assuming the role of the church. And within Campus Crusade for Christ there is a beautiful diversity of belief on things like baptism. I don't share the same opinions as even my local area director on the modes of baptism. And that's fine and beautiful because it is a topic that we don't have to address. But if you are calling me to begin baptizing and teaching my student leaders to baptize, then all of a sudden Campus Crusade for Christ has to pick a side on things like infant vs. believer baptisms. And if we are going to start calling what we do "church planting" then we have to begin following closely all the scriptures that talk about church order, etc about which there is currently a VAST (and beautiful, I might add) array of opinion within CCC. Dr. Bright (and the other early leaders of CCC) wisely chose to stay out of those debates, and therefore we are a parachurch organization that goes about the process of telling people about Christ, seeing them come to faith, and getting them involved in a local church. There are some staff that hold to an egalitarian position regarding men and women's roles in the church. There are some staff that hold to a complementarian position. And if we start planting churches, we have to pick a side. And picking a side would shatter the organization. I would hate to see that happen.

Shane Deike said...

Ben - that is good. Thanks for clearing that up. I appreciate your insights.

I guess my take is that when we plant churches we would position ourselves so that these young churches would decide where they fall on these issue. One way to do this is simply let church leaders obey what they see in scripture and hack it out themselves.

As far as Cru, I do not feel that we are actually not very diverse at all. We are predominately white, middle class reformed baptist types. Very few charismatics and a small smattering of closet egalitarians. Our theology flows from DTS / RTS and a sprinkling of Trinity. I am not saying this is wrong or that I disagree, just that we are much more homogeneous than we sometimess think we are. And that is ok. This really hit me when I was leading in ESM . . .there were names and leaders I had never heard of.

I also like that we are wide open and leave these decisions to individuals. I think the same could apply on the local level when planting churches. Actually, I am not saying we plant Crusade churches, but that we as spiritual leaders plant churches and let them become what the leaders in the churches want them to become.

Here is a question that may help me . . what would you say is the definition of a church?

ben said...

That's an excellent question. I guess a first pass (by an amateur theologian at best) would have to include a caveat regarding the visible church vs. the invisible church. The invisible church is all the folks that belong to Christ. The visible church are those who submit to the authority of elders, deacons, and pastors.

The two obviously overlap, in that lots of the folks in the visible church are actually members of the invisible church. But to be a member of the visible church does not mean you are going to heaven. Jesus says that plainly when he tells folks "I never knew you," despite all their outward piety and religiousity.

So if my definition is just submitting to pastors, then we have to define "pastor" "elder" and "deacon." And I think that the bible sets forth clear instructions regarding elders, deacons, and pastors that might help. I defer to this great online book for a clear explanation of that.

I hope this helps I am enjoying the dialogue, and it is decidedly my prayer that God would maximize our effectiveness, and I think this blogference may very well help with that!

ben said...

and regarding our homogeneity, I guess it is just my presbyterianism shining through. :) I see lots of folks that aren't presbyterian and think "[gasp] they're so DIFFERENT!"

Chris L said...

Hey Shane,

I just found this post (late, I know) and loved it. Thanks for casting some exciting vision! I have 18 college-aged summer interns with me in Mexico right now, and I'll be sure to share this with them.

I have never been able to figure out how to do trackbacks with Blogger, but anyway, I blogged your post here.

God bless!

Mark CE said...

Hi there Shane, I'm also looking into out-of-the-box church... 'start a viral church and i'll show you how!' So: How?!