I went through all the tweets tagged #ncli (about the New Church Leadership Institute [http://growtheucc.memberlodge.org/Default.aspx?pageId=611201] offered by the Center for Progressive Renewal) and gleaned these insights.  Sometimes I’ve added a reaction or question in an indented bullet points; sometimes other tweets that seemed to connect with previous tweet are the indented bullet points.

First Secret – Asset Mapping: Beginning Where You Are.

The purpose of the church is to be church. If you’re there for any other reason you can’t do what your called to do.

forget process…improvise! church as jazz, not a classical composition

when you improvise, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, there is no wrong improvisation

all of us must understand the power of worship in a new way

improper and undisciplined should never be concerns for us in worship.

decades of deeply entrenched deeply dysfunctional bad habits. how can you reform w/o negation & criticism of those habits?

what if the answer to ‘what gives life?’ is a respirator?

Memories, Hopes, and Conversations: Appreciative Inquiry and Congregational Change by Mark Lau Branson, Alban Institute Resources

“The wind is rumbling up to our door… How will we respond?” Nancy Christensen

  • I wonder if “the wind” is a reference to the Spirit.

“Progressive Christian churches need to stop apologizing for what we believe” Mike Piazza

  • We must be vocal and passionate about or values and stop apologizing.
  • stop worrying about offending people…those people aren’t coming anyway.

Interesting title of a chapter in Mike Piazza’s new book “Prophetic Renewal” : Church Growth According to Teddy Kennedy

Quiet compromisers are not needed.

“Renewed churches are enthusiastic about transformational worship – moved worship 18 inches from their heads to their hearts” –Piazza

iberals aren’t in church cause don’t care bout church & when come in most cases they don’t see something worth caring about

the problem is our churches aren’t religious bodies anymore, they’re social clubs.

we are to serve, not to be served and our worship service is not for the people paying the bills, Piazza

our customers are the people who need the church, not those who already have it. Piazza

“Becoming a member of the church means u go from being a guest to a host, u take off your bib & put on your apron” Piazza

the purpose of the church is to change people, corporations satisfy people. get that backwards = death. Drucker.

“You can shift the values of a church toward being a progressive church by reminding them of the values of Jesus ” Piazza

After lunch -presentation with Steve Sterner – the forces who fought against modernity are now clinging to it in the face of change

I think we are seeing a shift from a personal ethos to an ecological one

2nd Secret: Strategic Vision. Steve Sterner-Today’s shift is from church at core of culture to church as alternative vision/voice.

“The shift from membership to discipleship is one of the most difficult shifts for renewing churches” Steve Sterner

The existing church is what they teach in Seminary; the emerging church is what you pick up in the spaces between and around classes

well more than half the attendees are not cradle UCCers. Implications for institutional structures?

2nd secret: strategic vision.

existing church focuses on institutions and structures. the emerging church is about relationships and values.

We don’t have to all worship together to be a community. Sterner.

  • I’m surprised by the content of this tweet.  I wonder what Anthony Robinson would say about it.

The existing church meets for worship once a week; the emerging church worships whenever and wherever it meets —Steve Sterner

need 2 b willing 2 make mistakes & learn, but institutions are so freaked by self preservation…

Deceptively-short book on AI theology: “Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life” by Dennis Linn, et al http://amzn.to/9ronS6

An article reflecting Sterner’s comments on existing/emerging church http://www.ucc.org/news/local-church-ministries-board-2.html

doing this work is about the future of progressive Christianity. What if it went away? Sterner

Also see Debra Farrington’s “Hearing with the Heart: A Gentle Guide to Discerning God’s Will for Your Life” http://amzn.to/cgJFms

OR: Timothy M. Gallagher’s many excellent Ignatian books such as “The Discernment of Spirits” http://amzn.to/b0Latr

traditional renewal model is to take wood and build a fire. successful model its to take wood to where the fire already is.

Everyone gets somewhere in life, the rare person gets somewhere on purpose” – Cameron Trimble

Most organizations led from what to the why, but organizations that led from the why to the what make a difference.

problem with Apple as a metaphor is that they’re an aggressive, monopolistic hype machine.perhaps not the best role model for churcj.

“The impact of all of this is that we feel constantly busy and yet are in danger of making no impact on the world whatsoever” –CT

Takeaways session 2 – If we lead it, they will come & we need to believe we actually CAN change world.

starting small groups with Cindy Andrews-Cooper.

Very few things are funnier than a bunch of stuffy white folks trying to clap and sing a black-church-style hymn. Myself included!

Who are the sages that will teach our youth wisdom?

New things don’t cancel existing things; they challenge them.

It surprises many people that online community support isn’t fake, it’s real. —Ben Guess

B. Guess: New media is not the undoing of the church it is our reformation

“New media is the impetus of new Reformations.” Ben Guess

3rd Secret at New Church Leadership Institute: Compelling Communication. Ben Guess presentation- Media doesn’t go away, Media Changes

UCC iPhone app is coming! Find-a-church, daily devos, KYeP, and donation/purchase thru AppStore! Go UCC!

liberal evangelists have courage to offer liberating words-never to withhold them

For progressives – consider ‘marketing’ to be Greek for ‘evangelism’ – Mike Piazza

M. Piazza: new folks are our best evangelists/church marketing folks

by the time we get sick of our message, the community will just be starting to heart it.

M. Piazza: re:branding: we must learn the truths from the business world and apply them with compassion and love b/c that is who we are

branding isn’t just visual. what’s the piece of music that identifies you? Piazza.

If Budweiser can tell a moving story about beer, perhaps we should at least make an effort to make our story moving. Piazza.

If you don’t use new comm tech in your ministry its irresponsible. Like writing your sermon with a quill. Piazza.

Compelling Communication. Michael Piazza presentation – resource website http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/

Compelling Communication: Ben Guess, External Branding reinforces Internal Identity

People are drowning in words while gasping for a breath of air will join church that helps them make it thru the week. Ben Guess

Great ideas from #ncli – Jesus has left the building and so have we (5th-Sunday service project in place of worship)

Great ideas from #ncli – “Beer and Bible” at local karaoke bars on Sunday nights; even got bartenders to wear church t-shirts!

Great ideas from #ncli – replace story-and-crafts in Sunday school with life-stories from cong’l elders linked to service projects

4th Secret: Ad-Ministry-tion

shifting from managing for maintenance to managing for mission. ad-ministry-ation

Main lesson learned from secret 4 is in the title – adMINISTRYation – administration is about ministry, not busy-ness

Yvette Flunder speaking this morn @ #ncli “Radically Inclusive 12 Step Way” after great worship with emergent leaders. Good day ahead.

Yvette Flunder. Fifth Secret. Transformational mission.

Radical inclusivity is and must be radical – Yvette Flunder

The UCC has long had a heart for people on margins of society, but has failed to spend much time with “those people” -Yvette Flunder

Radical inclusivity means inevitable chaos and our ability to do it depends on our ability to deal with chaos. Flunder.

How did the marginalized Jesus become so sanitized that his church no longer reaches put to those on the margins. Flunder.

final goal of radical inclusivity is to finally actually BE church! Flunder.

any war is a civil war because we’re all God’s children. Flunder.

No church is multicultural, b/c every church constitutes a culture unto itself; inclusivity means making it’s borders permeable.

Inclusivity is not pretending to be like people on our margins, but letting them know their marginality is welcome w/o shame or fear

if you don’t say the names of the other, they won’t know they’re included. saying everyone is welcome isn’t enough. Flunder.

Institutional narcissism. Privilege. Idolatry. The reason the church needs to be turned inside out. Brackett.

5th Secret: Transformational Mission – Getting the church outside of itself

Tom Brackett, the quality of the questions we ask shape the quality of the answers we get

Are you willing to midwife the birth of the spirit, wherever it may pop up? Tom Brackett

Brackett: the church has never been God’s end…it is a means to God’s end.

Mission is not primarily an activity of the church, but an attribute of God. God is a missionary God.

It is not the church that has a mission; it is God’s mission that has a church. Actually, many churches, and just as many un-churches.

The church should not seek to lift people up to where we are, but to let them pull us down to where God is.

if you want to teach people to build ships, you don’t teach them to gather wood, you teach them to crave the sea. Brackett.

How to help gatekeepers laugh at the absurdity of keeping gates shut, when no-one wants to get in? Tom Brackett

Many of us have been offering Hospice Ministry to the Church but we want to know how to move to a Birthing Center Ministry. Brackett

Most educated generation is *not* better informed or wiser. Our standardized educ sys breeds uncritical information repeaters.

You may not be able to fix everything, just put sumthun on it – Day McAllister

6th Secret: Transformational Community presentations by Douglas Pagitt & Day McAllister. Glad material to be posted, so much to write!

We cannot have ppl born into complicated world and have church afraid to talk about it! McAllister

Difference is not deficiency, it is an expression of the glory of God — Day McAllister

We assume that youth and parents know the value of church, but they don’t; if it doesn’t help them get a leg up on college, why go?

Youth know they are valuable to MTV and VH1, Nike and Adidas, Sprite and Mtn Dew, who treat them like independents; church not so much

Douglas Pagitt-Church in the Inventive Age http://dougpagitt.com/2009/07/innovative-holistic-communal-sound-good-join-us/

One thing youth & ya’s will come back for is affirmat’n of each person’s inherent worth and magnificence as God’s people.

Another thing youth & ya’s will come back to church for is a challenge to live into their potential and transform the world

What kills a youth ministry are low expectations, lack of authenticity, meeting just 2 meet, and sep’n from rest of church life

Youth want to know: what diff does it make that you’re Christian? Ev’thing we do should answer that question or they will leave

D.Pagitt-Our calling is to live as “Kingdom-of-God Horticulturalist”

People today don’t give to organizations, they give to missions. Don’t lead with your budget, give them a dream and what diff it makes

Look for people who have passion and dreams — they will make room for what ignites their passion in their budgets and calendars

Look for kids with gifts. Ignore the little problems they cause. Ask them if they’ve thot about “working for God” and NAME their call

Odd that in info age admitting u don’t know everything is honored. When u admit u don’t know all, you’re the last to the party.

  • How do you interpret this tweet?

Look for gifts. Name a call. Then give youth a chance to LIVE IT OUT in practice. Expect, require, ask. Nurture generosity.

Ministry costs money. All these big, inspiring, transforming dreams we have need resources. We cannot afford to be ashamed to talk $

Bible is a community member with as much right to speak on a particular issue as any other member. Doug Pagitt

“Worship is the communal expression of thanks for the privilege of transforming the world” ~ Day McAllister

“in a Twittering world, communion with God is exactly what people need” — mike piazza

Counterpoint: our church attracts many pepl who want a brk from the media circus, & thank us for “contemplative” spaces in our worship

M.Piazza: What business are churches in? Transforming lives! Q? Who r your customers? Those who need God. So, answer with your worship!

“Don’t do tacky [worship], do pretty. And if you don’t know how, find a gay man to do it for you” We are the UCC!

To follow Jesus is not to believe in resurrection but to believe you are the location of resurrection. Brusnick

Have heard MANY presenters at #ncli recommend BBTaylor’s An Alter in The World

7th Secret: Transformative Worship. In order to have transformed mission & transformed community we must have transformational worship

“worship is the gospel put into motion” Robert Webber

Ritual is used to remind us that something deeply spiritual is happening among us, not the other way ’round. Brusnick

8th Secret from #ncli – God wants to transform the world through you and your church!

Takeaways -We need to believe we CAN change the world; our ‘customer’ for worship is those outside the church, not inside.