Together is Better...
Hey Collective Friends, I wanted you to be aware of the content of our Townhall discussion on Sunday. It was a significant discussion and I have included it, in great detail below.
- If you consider Collective to be your home or significant to you, we would love to hear from you - there are details on how you can share your thoughts with us listed below.
- If you are a supporter and prayer warrior, please pray for us as we discern next steps with the fascinating opportunities in front of us.
A New Collective Opportunity:
We have received both a request for help and an invitation from Transformation City Church. We have agreed to help per their requestand we are passing their invitation on to the Collective community for discernment and response.
Who they are:
TCC is a wonderful community of believers that began in the fall of 2007 with a special emphasis on justice for MKE. Inspired by Jesus, they have engaged issues of poverty, segregation, human trafficking, in unique and powerful ways. For example, they are instrumental in Exploit No More + InhabitMKE. Several Collective people have spent time as part of TCC.
- Their founding Pastor is leaving after 10 years.
- They are being removed from their denomination for being inclusive of LGBTQ members. You can read their statement here.
How their request came about:
Brandon is friends with the TCC staff and has long admired TCC's focus on MKE - they are a lot like CMKE in Spirit, although quite different in their weekly structure. A few months ago Pastor Jason of TCC approached Brandon about their situation. Since then there has been much prayer and thought and discussion. Our board met with theirs and felt a deep connection with their predicament and strong affinity with their vision. We think MKE is better because a community like TCC exists and want to see them flourish.
1. TCC’s request - Starting in June, help for up to a year with:
- [2+ monthly] Brandon will anchor their Interim preaching team
- [Weekly] Brandon will meet with TCC staff to provide support and share from his experience.
- [Monthly] Brandon will sit in on a TCC board meeting and offer encouragement + experience
2. TCC’s Invitation: They have invited Collective to join them for some or all of our Monthly Worship Gatherings if we desire to do so.
CMKE Board Response + Thought so far:
Our Board felt authorized to respond to their request. We have agreed to help according to the specifics outlined above. We also agreed to pass on their invitation on to the Community of CMKE. The Board felt that the invitation was an opportunity that would be best discerned by the Collective community together.
We based our thinking on:
- Who we are: We believe "Together is better." We believe that there is only One Church of Jesus Christ and that when one part suffers, we all suffer. We are honored to share the burdens and joys of TCC during this season.
- A request for help: The Gospels are fairly clear on how we are to respond to requests for help. We were inspired by Biblical stories, such as the Good Samaritan, and view this request as something we need to step into in all the ways we can.
- An invitation: As our name indicates (CollectiveMKE), we long to be a church that reaches all over our city, both the suburbs and the city. Over the last year we have been exploring many options for pushing east, none of which have gained traction. TCC's invitation represents a significant new opportunity to for a deeper connection to the City of MKE and hopefully build some lasting relationships open future doors for us as well.
- We follow the same lectionary: As two separate communities, we just so happen to follow the same lectionary schedule already, which makes alignment of teaching and worship more efficient and significantly reduces the additional work required for preparing sermons. The messages will flow out of the work Brandon already does for our weekly House Church Liturgy sheets.
What are we asking Collective to do?
There are a variety of options for how we can respond to TCC's invitation.
A. We join them for our Monthly Worship Gathering for the year.
B. We join them 4-6 times over the next year.
C. We Keep CMKE Gatherings separate and support Brandon in other ways.
To be successful, each option will require us to put in the work.
- Option A might require Collective to add more opportunities for connection and fellowship between our House Church Communities
- Option B might require thoughtful communication so people know where to go on Sundays.
- Option C might require CMKE to shoulder more or the load for our monthly gatherings.
Over the next month, please pray and reflect on the invitation and the opportunity it represents for CMKE. In early May we will follow up with a Townhall forum to further discuss and discern a response together.
What is next?
- Prayerfully consider the options.
- Discuss with your House Church after Easter
- After Easter, prayer, thought, and a House Church discussion, Email Brandon with 2 responses to the options listed above:
a. Which options are you OK with?
b. Which option do you personally prefer?
- We follow up after input with a Townhall Forum in May to further discuss and make a Collective Decision.
Q: Is Brandon going to leave CMKE?
Q: Wait, what is Collective's position on LGBTQ issues?
A: We do not have “A" position. As with the many matters where Christians disagree, if we were to poll our community, we would have MANY positions. Our position is that we, with our many positions, are centered around the table of Christ in hospitality + love. Where we disagree, we lean in even further and seek to love each other. Together, we protect the space for everyone to be part of our community without favoritism. We realize that for many on any side of an debated issue, it is very uncomfortable to make room for people who disagree. This tension is what the "Table" metaphor in our Manifesto is all about and an essential part of who we are as a church.
Q: Are we changing our model of church to be more like TCC’s?
A: No - Our model is something we have all invested in heavily, and it isn’t up for discussion.
Q: Do churches do this sort of thing?
A: Not often. Our unique model allows us extra flexibility.
Q: What happens after the year?
A: We are hopeful that two strong churches will emerge that have a deep relationship with each other and cheer each other on.
Q: Where can I learn more about TCC?
A: Transformation City Church - 6725 W Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53210 - transformationcity.org