Christchurch Missional Network
Christchurch Missional Network
Why a Missional Network?
Vision: Catalyze & Champion Local Believers into Local Calling & Mission
Support: Missionaries, Microchurches, Missional Communities, Ministry Projects, Entrepreneurial/Marketplace Missional Endeavours,
Where: Christchurch, New Zealand & Beyond
We believe that "The Church" can take on many different expressions and that every person has a role to play in being "on mission" throughout his or her life. In Christchurch, we have been working behind the scenes with a team of 10 dedicated people for several years to lay the groundwork for a citywide missional network. We are still in the development and naming process so we haven't been sharing too publicly yet.
Since moving to New Zealand in 2010, we (Noah and Kate) we've been drawn to empower believers into mission within our city. This has taken on many forms over the years—from supporting house churches and helping several friends start ministries or projects, to pioneering a YWAM missional community school and catalyzing a prayer and worship community. We feel like everything we’ve been doing has led up to this next step. It kicked off when Noah ran across the Tampa Underground Network in Florida in 2018 which embodied much of what he had been dreaming about for years. We did a course with them & have been working with a team to bring something similar here.
In Christchurch, there is vital need (and great opportunity) within the wider Church expression for a missional network to exist. It will offer connection, practical support, encouragement, discipleship, resources, tools, and training to people who feel called to BE the Church in ways that don't often fit into current structures. We want to help bridge the gap and catalyze believers into mission right where they live & in their sphere of influence. According to the most recent census, roughly 30% of Kiwis claim a Christian faith, while a mere 7-10% of these claim to be actively involved within any Church expression. In light of Jesus' words, "the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few", New Zealand certainly falls into this context. While here, we've built relationships with many incredible believers, leaders, pastors and missional pioneers in the city. While it's clear that God is moving in all the diverse corners of the city as His faithful people work hard to bring the Kingdom to this region, there's still so much work to be done! Given the statistics of the unreached and unChurched here, we feel to add another piece to the mosaic that is the Church of Christchurch to help champion believers within our city who have incredible God-given vision that just needs championing, activation and family.
Movement School 2018-2019
The Underground is a network in the US that's catalyzed many missional communities, microchurches and networks around the globe. When Noah came across the Underground in 2018, his heart connected to their vision as he had been dreaming of something like this for two decades . He registered for their Movement School to see what he could learn. This included an in-person seminar training in Tampa, FL. He was inspired and began dreaming how something similiar could look here in the context of New Zealand with local flavour.
July - September 2020
We gathered like-minded leaders to do an online intensive with the Underground and then met in person for post-session debriefs, worship and prayer. We named this group "Kohanga"—which is an indigenous word meaning nest.
It was an intimate time of growing in friendship, hearing stories, training and exploring future of the church together while doing the course and feedbacking together.
If you're interested to learn more for your community or region, Tampa Underground has a plethora of resources
Brian Sanders Visit 2019
At the end of 2019 we invited the founder of Tampa Underground, Brian Sanders, to spend a week in Christchurch & share at several gatherings.
Noah worked with some local pastors to organise large & small scale gatherings, meeting and trainings. The focus was on "the future of the church" in terms of new frameworks of being church differently. It was an inspiring time to hear from his experiences & get a glimpse of what it could look like here in the unique New Zealand context.
Missional Network Formation Team
Sept 2020 - Dec 2022
The team materialized. For two years we laid the groundwork for establishing a network in the city. We deepen our relationships, discussed future of the church, network structure, roles and vision, prayed & worshiped.
During this time we established some rhythms of prayer and hosted "Bonfire" which is a larger gathering that brings together missional leaders. It is a great time of connecting with like-minded people, eating and worshipping together.
We are praying about what 2023 will look like it how we launch and how we start supporting people in tangible on-the-ground ways. We seek to walk in step with the Spirit's leading & let Him build this. We look forward to many people being encouraged into their missional calling so more people can be reached for Christ.
Jan - June 2020
We gathered with two other couples to seek God on next steps. The world was being turned upside down, we were pregnant with our third child, and we were sensing to gather an intentional group of people to go on a journey of discovery and network building.
We drafted an invitation and reached out to missional-minded people we knew to hear each other's stories and complete the Underground intensive cours together.
2023 & Beyond
Is this a church?
We are an emerging network of believers who are passionate about advancing God’s Kingdom. But no, we are not a church in the conventional sense. The Church at large is experiencing a spiritual shift from an old wineskin to a new one—it’s a lot to unpack, but we feel drawn to see what the Body of Christ can look like when individual believers are more intentionally championed and free to “be” the Church every day in a million different ways.
Whether someone is in a traditional church, floating in between, are in a wilderness season or have sworn off Church altogether, they are welcome. We are seeking to become a network of Kingdom-focused leaders, no matter how people are connected (or not) into the local body. For some, the community of people within the network may become a place to find spiritual family. For others, it may supplement the spiritual family they are already a part of. Either way, we are eager to grow the Kingdom in Christchurch by encouraging missional leaders on their journey.