My name is Peter McNaught. I am a resident/prison pastor at a local Wesleyan church in West Michigan. My wife and I feel called to plant a Missional Community church in the near future. At the moment, we are also building a nonprofit that will buy/build/restore houses for the homeless, those coming out of prison, or any one in need. My wife is an interior designer and the intention is that she will design or redesign the houses, our team will do the building and fill the occupancy, while I build relationships with the residents and disciple them.
I graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a B.S. in Christian Ministries and a Masters in Practical Theology. I love deep theological thinking, the kind that takes weeks to mull over before understanding. Some of my favorite theologians are Gustavo Gutierrez, Howard Thurman, Karl Barth, Thomas Oden, and Gregory Boyd. I also thoroughly enjoy reading the literature of the New Atheists Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. Although I usually disagree entirely with their moral and logical perspectives, I love reading their material. Generally I enjoy reading things with which I disagree, with recent interest in Jonathon Haidt and Jordan Peterson.
Some of my favorite topics of discussion are theodicy, sanctification, liberation, and social justice. I am also interested in people’s personal world view, how and why they have come to believe what they believe; that is very much important to me. I love to see all the small parts that have come to shape each individual because those personality traits have impacted their perspective on God whether they like it or not.
@Pete Welcome to Connect! It’s so cool that you guys want to help the homeless. May the Lord bless you guys with wisdom, guidance and peace as you move forward. Is Missional Community a denomination or a community that lives on mission in a poor neighborhood?
Welcome, @Pete! So excited to have you on Connect, esp. with the breadth of your reading and life experience. I have Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind on my bedside table, and I’m looking forward to digging into that soon! How long have you been a prison chaplain?
Hi Peter. I’m Sam, also a new member here.
I don’t have any theology education before, and have no idea on almost all of theological concepts you mentioned there. Nice to have you here. I hope I can learn from your discussion with another wonderful member and facilitator here. Welcome!
Missional Community is a different model of church. It is a supplement to the traditional (and what has become the contemporary) model. The initial conviction behind MC’s is that out of everyone who wants to know God, only 60% are actually going to church. This is an attempt to reach the other 40% that want to know God but don’t align with the traditional Sunday morning model.
The structure is essentially small group based: the church is made of several MC’s (small groups), each with it’s own purpose and outreach ministry. Weekly church takes place in the MC leader’s house, leading a Bible study. Also weekly is the outreach opportunity. The MC I’m being trained with has a garden. During the week, each member goes to the garden and does some work on their own, while the fruit and vegetables will go to homeless shelters and rescue missions in the community. Then, once a month, all the MC’s (small groups with a specific mission) come together for a worship service to celebrate God and their ministry.
The idea for our Missional Community church will be to work with this nonprofit. One MC could help build the houses. Another could provide several meals a week. Another could help disciple the residents. It puts more focus on discipleship and instant impact on the community and those in need. We’re excited.
Sounds awesome Peter. May the Spirit of Christ be with you all. You’ll have to keep us up to date as you move forward on lessons learned. That could make some great discussion in the Daily Evangelism category - how we can live missionally as a community - especially as you experience it.
Welcome! As Sean mentioned, I’ll also be curious to learn from your experience.
Are you familiar with Brian Sanders and his book Underground Church?
I found it to be very insightful and thought provoking about new forms of church and mission.
Welcome @Pete. I also have a Wesleyan-Nazarene background and love deep theological discussions. The Nazarene church is also developing the missional concept. Looking forward to your contributions to the RZIM community.
Welcome aboard Peter. God bless your efforts and dedication. I too live in Michigan, and I was brought up in a Wesleyan Church in Sioux Falls South Dakota. I have some good friends that attend Wesleyan Church in the Jenison area. I get over to the Grand Rapids area from time to time. There is a Ministry called Grace explorations Basecamp. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. But we are gathering at Founders on Sunday at 5 if you were interested. Glad to have you with us