Came back recently from a 3DM Learning Community. It was so refreshing to see, and be a part of, a ministry that is dedicated to disciple making. We received some much needed encouragement, and to use their language, we received some well calibrated "invitation" and "challenge" as well.
For the most part, Ikon has been on an island for about 3 years. That is, we have not actively been a part of a network or church planting organization. We really needed, but could not find a good fit for what we are doing and how we are doing it. Most church planting organizations I ran across when we first got into starting Ikon had a set model of church planting that they had honed and perfected, and wanted you to sort of fit that mold going into your plant. That is all well and good. I get the whole money and investment logic and how it relates to training etc. The thing is, we were not wanting to do a plant in the conventional way, so we were sort of forced to move out from under the canopy of an organized network and launch out on our own. The learning curve was significant, and we have been experimenting, sometimes re-inventing the wheel in some areas, but we are truly practitioners in the most rawest sense of the term. Form follows failure is a phrase I have clung to during these past three and a half years, but it is great to benefit from others who have failed along the way so you do not have to fail needlessly.
Hind sight, I wish we would have known about 3DM, or some one like them back then. It has been a lonely, but adventurous journey going it alone. I do not recommend it, but sometimes you have to move forward even when things are not ideal.We were faced with a choice to move forward, or to franchise our calling into a pre-existing model of church planting. So we chose to move out into the frontier and begin the journey. We have been in the school of hard knocks, adhocracy, improvisations, and experiential learning. We can tell you a lot of ways not to do things, and a lot of ways to do things. The point for us though, is that we have lived into our calling. I feel like the Lord has honored us for this and has given us a season of refreshing and renewed energy through our partnership with 3DM.
One of the metaphors that surfaced during the learning community in our group was of pregnancy. We feel like we have been stuck in the second trimester for a while, and we are waiting to give birth. We are hoping the experiences with 3DM and the training they offer in areas of disciple making and missional communities will "induce labor" for us. Lets have a baby!!!!!!