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									         Fuller Theological Seminary



                   A Report

       Presented in Partial Fulfillment

      of the Requirements for the Course

    MC 502 Becoming A Missional Church


                John T. Henry

     1401 Ellen Ave. Madison, WI 53716

               December 2005

PREFACE                                                              iv

INTRODUCTION to LAKE CITY CHURCH                                     1

LAKE CITY AND ITS APPROACH TO MISSION                                3

    Historical Analysis                                         3

    Social Analysis                                             5

    Ministry Gifts & Church                                     6

    Conversion to the Church                                    7

    Leadership Gifts                                            9

LAKE CITY’S CONTEXT                                                  10

    Surrounding Demographics                                    11

    Religious & Cultural Backgrounds of the Surrounding Area    13

    Emerging Generation                                         14


    Cultural Mosaics                                            18

    Social Mosaics as Natural Bridges                           18

    Marketplace Bridges of Members                              19

    Missional Orientation                                       19

    Positive & Negative Elements                                21

    Sanctuary and Citizen                                       22

    Personal Development and Missional Development              24


    Interchurch Cooperation in Global Mission                   26

    Independence & Interdependence                              28

    Hindrances                                                  29


    Beyond Autonomy                                             31

    Cooperation with Apostolic Gifts                            33

    LCC’s Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria                         34


    Dialogue with Emerging Generation                           36
    Spiritual Formation for Spiritual Battle   37

WORKS CITED                                         40

          My purpose of the writing of this mission statement for Lake City Church is to stand with and encourage the fellowship

of believers with whom I have been a part since moving to Wisconsin five years ago. There are many churches in the Madison

area, which I am certain could benefit from a similar study. Given my role as a “sent” missionary living in this area and the

concern I have for the churches in this city, a broader study of the Church in the Madison area may have been a more important

study. However, as I prayed about the role of Lake City Church in its local context, I came to the conclusion that this church is of

particular importance to the surrounding area. Lake City Church is an influential congregation, which stands the test of time with

the fruit of the planting of several other congregations.

          I bring to this study a breadth of cultural understanding, twenty years as a Youth With A Mission staff person with

ministry experience in over twenty-five countries ranging from a few weeks to nearly one year of immersion in different cultures.

Before and during my continued service with YWAM, I have been an active member with varying levels of ministry, teaching,

and mission mobilization responsibilities in six churches including Lake City Church. I believe I have a unique perspective as I

proceed with this study. I possess both the “emic” anthropological perspective, as an insider, and “etic” anthropological

perspective, as an outsider, for studying Lake City’s culture and it’s surrounding area. I grew up in Madison, so I also bring an

historical perspective to this context. My family and I have been attending since we moved to Madison, WI in August 2000. We

soon became members. Shortly after arriving in Madison, the former senior pastor of over 30 years, Rev. Warren Heckman,

initiated our becoming one of their supported missionaries. In some ways, this perspective served as an asset as I approached this

study; in other ways this perspective has made me less qualified to move beyond the surface level to the deep level meanings of

the Madison area and Lake City Church culture.

          This study is detailed, and accurate, though it is certainly not thorough, I have attempted to include all important and

significant elements. For any omissions and important aspects that should have been included, I take responsibility. To complete

this study with complete openness and trust of the pastoral staff, I have committed to confidentiality and cordiality. I have

embraced a learning posture and a caring, compassionate attitude toward the church and those who are giving so much of their

lives to its nurture and growth. The analysis and metaphors in this study are from my own limited perspective.

          Much of the master planning of the sanctuary and school buildings at the Lake City Church campus dates back thirty

years. The buildings are a reflection of the foundational vision of the ministries at Lake City Church; most of the newer vision

has been built on that foundation. This mission statement may be considered a signal for a fresh congregational master planning

process and our collective “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb. 11:10)

          In weakness and in strength, I approach this study prayerfully with the aim to honor the Lord and His Church,

particularly the congregation at Lake City Church. I want to thank Pastor Mitch Milton for his openness and availability during

this study. Pastor Milton’s openness to change and cooperation with this project has been invaluable. Though many of my
questions to the pastoral staff were probing, Pastor Milton said, “I don’t think we mind hard questions. This is a staff that loves to

learn.” I also want to thank Nancy Van Maren for her assistance with information about the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. I

also want to thank the pastoral staff at Lake City Church for giving me one of their Monday morning staff meetings to discuss

this project and gain their input. It is with humble gratitude that I share this mission statement.

          For Christ and For His Kingdom,

          John T. Henry

          Address: 1401 Ellen Ave. Madison, WI 53716 USA

          Telephone:           608-222-2401

          Email:               johnthenry@mac.com
                                               INTRODUCTION to LAKE CITY CHURCH

          As a member of Lake City Church and one of their adopted missionaries, I have an intimate knowledge of the church

and several members of the congregation. I have observed with interest the transition of Warren Heckman to Mitch Milton as

senior pastor. Such a transition is rarely without major difficulty, however this transition has been relatively unproblematic and

gracefully administered. As society has undergone many changes in recent years, LCC is also experiencing many changes, which

call for a thoughtful and fresh theological understanding of what it means to be the Church. While changes may be unsettling and

the numbers of members have fluctuated, especially in the recent senior pastor transition, the church is strong and growing, the

leadership is open to change as needed, and Lake City Church has great opportunity for significant missional engagement.

          Lake City Church is a community of believers, many of whom have held together, through generations of internal and

external cultural change. The question I bring and we must answer on behalf of the congregation at Lake City Church is as

follows: “How will members gain a more objective vantage point from which to compare and judge our church culture and our

surrounding culture?” The purpose of this study is to examine the culture of the congregation and the surrounding culture with

particular focus on the boundaries between Lake City Church and its context. My conclusions to this study include some biblical

metaphors, implications, and insights in addition to a few recommendations for helping Lake City Church to adapt a more

missional vision in our changing world.

          This study includes an examination of the origin and current composition of the Church at Madison gathering at Lake

City. In addition, the congregation’s culture, giftedness, leadership, location, theological method, and motivation for mission is

considered. This mission statement is not designed to give a complete understanding of the major shifts in global culture,

American culture, and the culture of today’s evangelical church, however we will consider the need for a fresh missional

response through a brief examination of today’s culture and how the congregation at Lake City may respond.

          Lake City Church is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, a family of autonomous, evangelical

churches with historical roots in the modern Pentecostal movement. The theological framework of the FCA must certainly

influence the local congregation’s approach to mission. The FCA has combined the Pentecostal experience with local church

autonomy and evangelism to create a largely informal inter-church process. This will be explored further in this study. Given this

theological background and commitments to the FCA, Lake City Church is moving toward a missional orientation in our

changing contemporary culture. “As both our community and culture change we strive to remain relevant in how we provide and

carryout our multi-faceted ministry.” Lake City Church seeks to be a contemporary Christian church of faith, hope, love;

forgiveness and acceptance-helping people become fully devoted Christ-followers. The stated mission is expressed in

contemporary language: “Connect people with God”, “Connect Christ-followers with one another”, and “Connect our church

with our community and our world.”
                                             LAKE CITY AND ITS APPROACH TO MISSION

          In this first section, I have prepared a brief sketch of the historical and social background of Lake City Church. The

characteristics of the congregation at LCC, both historical and its present composition are described. LCC’s culture-affirming

aspects and its counter-cultural aspects are of great significance for the development of its missional orientation to its contexts.

This examination will help us consider the missional orientation at Lake City Church.

Historical Analysis

          The church began as a small mission in 1927 during the Great Depression, under the leadership of Miss Sophie

Pfankuchen, a former missionary to Africa. Missionary influence established this new church. In 1931, Rev. W. H. Sproule, first

pastor of LCC, found interest in the baptism in the Holy Spirit accepting both the truth and experience of the Spirit-filled life. The

church built their first building at 1925 Winnebago Street on Madison's near east side in 1932. After thirty years, the

congregation remained small and struggled. In 1969, Warren and Donna Heckman accepted the offer to become the new pastors.

          Pastor Heckman led the church in a time of major cultural change in the United States and particularly Madison. His

vision and commitment to evangelization brought a new season of growth. LCC grew from one of the smallest churches in

Madison to one of the largest with weekend attendance of more than eight hundred people. Because it was no longer adequate for

the congregation, the Winnebago Street property was sold in 1971 and a building was rented downtown. This began another

season of growth as LCC began to reach out to the new Jesus People movement, many of whom began to regularly attend

services. By 1976, a sanctuary to accommodate twelve hundred people was built and the congregation held their first service in

their new building. LCC has planted branching churches in Brodhead, Madison, Mt. Horeb, New Glarus, Reedsburg, Spring

Green, Stoughton, and Sun Prairie.

          The Campus for Kids Learning Center and Preschool, which began in 1977 with seven children in the sanctuary

basement, now has three hundred children in a new thirty thousand square foot building. The Abundant Life Christian School

began in 1978 for the purpose of “offering students academic excellence in a Christian setting.” ALCS began in the balcony of

LCC's sanctuary with three teachers and thirty students. ALCS facilities are completed with enrollment close to four hundred

students. Families from more than fifty area churches and several communities, by virtue of their children’s representation in the

student body, are served by ALCS.

          Pastors Warren and Donna Heckman developed the church from a small struggling congregation to a large multi-

faceted and reproducing ministry. Of the several churches planted, intentionally and unintentionally, one is the fast-growing

Mad-City Church, which has a strong appeal for today’s postmodern seeker and younger believers navigating this time of social

transition. Since the recent senior pastor transition from Warren and Donna Heckman to Mitch and Cheri (Heckman) Milton, the

church has undergone many changes including an unintentional church plant as one “retiring” staff pastor “invited” many senior

members of the congregation to help him start a new church. Warren Heckman responded in his typically positive way, saying,
“We were pregnant and we didn’t know it.” Pastors Mitch and Cheri have been striving to lead the church to be relevant to the

changing culture, with a vision to grow the congregation and the church’s ministries under the corporate model he inherited.

          In June of 2002, LCC celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary and Warren and Donna Heckman's thirty-three years as

senior pastor. Warren and Donna Heckman then stepped out of their senior pastor role to serve as associate for a year before their

full transition to a different city. Mitch and Cheri Milton transitioned from their positions as co-pastors to senior pastors. Today

Lake City Church has a pastoral staff of nine, a support staff of over eleven people, and many lay people involved in various

ministries; nearly fifty are involved in a typical Sunday service alone. LCC purposes to reach people with the message of Jesus

Christ and to minister to people of all ages by providing ministry for each life stage - from infants to those in their older years.

Social Analysis

          Lake City Church has one hundred thirty paid staff and twenty-two ministries including Campus for Kids with fifty

staff and Abundant Life Christian School with forty-five teachers. ALCS, offering kindergarten through high school, had a high

of over four hundred and ninety children enrolled in 1998. “There has been a consistent decline (at ALCS) for six to seven

years,” Pastor Milton revealed. LCC has also seen reduced attendance at church since the transition. Pastor Milton wrote to me

saying, “We maintained the coveted one thousand (Sunday attendance) mark for most of the eighties and nineties.” It was about

that time when Mad-City Church began, which attracted many young families and their children. Then the three-year senior

pastor transition began in 2001. “We started loosing ground, the unplanned church, (and) transition further eroded the base and

we are probably closer to an average attendance of seven-hundred and fifty today,” Pastor Milton adds.

           The mission of the church is simply to connect people to God, to each other, and to the world they are called to reach.

Just over a year ago, a new “Connecting” pastor was hired to develop and oversee adult small groups. Already very successful,

group types include After-Word (to process together the Sunday messages), Free-Market (everything from cooking, finances, and

scuba-diving), and Ephesians Four groups. The Ephesians Four Groups are designed for spiritual formation and leadership

training, helping church members to embrace their calling in ministry.

Ministry Gifts & Church

          The Church at Lake City, like the church in any location, involves the leadership gifts of Ephesians chapter four:

apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. A brief survey among pastoral staff revealed their view of the dominant

ministry gifts at Lake City Church, “teachers” among the pastoral staff, “pastors” among the small group leaders, and “helps and

hospitality” among the congregation. While all those gifts are necessary; the fact that they are perceived “dominant” is worthy of

closer analysis. Lake City’s challenge is that of most every church founded in the Western Constantine model and led primarily

by the pastoral gifting. The challenge is that they tend to become a consumer orientated church operating with a corporate

business model of church organization. “The Constantine Church is by definition reactive and reflective to the surrounding

culture. It completely forgets the Church’s own culture-forming and sustaining capabilities…it aligns the Church with power,

against those out of power.” (Clapp 1996:39) The business model of leadership, while striving to attract people and meet needs,
can never fully or adequately meet the wants, the desires, even the needs of the people.

           Amid transition and changing culture, some Lake City members have withdrawn. As Clifford Geertz points out, “there

is no greater human fear than the loss of a sense of order and meaning.” (Van Engen: 2005) As a result, some have withdrawn

from vital church life and mission in one of three ways. First, some have chosen to stay and criticize Lake City Church. Second,

some have chosen to lower expectations and live as individuals with little involvement or authentic Christian community. Third,

some have completely withdrawn by leaving the church and by perhaps seeking another congregation. Because changes that have

occurred are often not understood, some may have felt the church has lost its direction and therefore left for “better pastures.” In

each of these ways, the individual believers and oftentimes their families have severed their part in the life of the community,

including the path to a revival that is not only for individuals, but for the entire congregation and its influence in the surrounding


Conversion to the Church

           The pastoral work of the Church at Lake City is vital to mission. The primary work of pastoral ministries is to restore

individuals, families, and the congregation to the promised life of the Lord Jesus Christ, which comes from connection with his

Body, the Church. Spiritual development is provided in a variety of ministries, including home fellowship groups, for every age

and stage of life. Pastoral counseling, marriage enrichment, parenting skills, financial counseling and other help are provided on a

personal basis and through various Connecting groups. Before the Lake City can respond as a congregation to local and global

mission, a full conversion is necessary among its influential members. It was Peter’s conversion experience with Cornelius (Acts

10:28, 34-35), which led him to embrace God’s mission to the Gentiles. His example led those with him to also be converted in

their thinking regarding God’s salvation for those outside Israel. (Acts 10:45) Dr. Van Engen suggests there are three

conversions: a conversion to Jesus Christ, a conversion to the Church, then a conversion to reach out to the wider world, the


           Moving Lake City Church toward a new mission vision to engage our growing multicultural and pluralistic context will

require a total tripartite conversion. Today people feel passionate for God, yet have little desire to argue the basis of their faith

and even less desire to play the competitive games many churches have played for generations, including the Church Growth

Movement. Though not the primary purpose of this mission statement, there is sufficient argument that the Constantine and

Modern Western framework for “church,” has postured the local congregation in culture with few alternatives to the competitive

stance among pastors to outdo the other churches through the best method. The laity is the audience or consumer. Voluntary

service may be encouraged, but it is by nature less valuable than paid ministries. The church is run by specialists whose greatest

concern is how to make the church attractive to people. Therefore technique, as Peter Berger and Jacque Ellul point out

“dominates church life.” (Hiebert and Meneses 1995:349)

           Those who come to faith in Christ need to be converted to the Church. They need to learn that the Church, including
the congregation at Lake City, is not perfect. This is of profound significance to reaching this generation, “as profound a

conversion as our conversion to Jesus.” (MC 502 Lecture 10: 2005) Understanding this need for conversion calls for an

individual and corporate response to Christ to love our neighbors and forgive any wrong that has been done to us, intentionally or

unintentionally, and offers greater meaningfulness for our congregational role in mission. As we deepen our discipleship,

understanding of the scriptures, and responsiveness to God’s will, we must ultimately respond to God’s call to all believers to

engage the world as a “light to the Gentiles.”

Leadership Gifts

           A vital part of a Lake City’s response to this call to mission may require the recognition of all the gifts of leadership in

the Body. The work of the Church requires more than the pastoral gifting in leadership, thought primary in much of the Western

world. God’s gifts of apostles, the “sent ones,” and prophets are vital to the leadership of the Church (1 Cor 12:28), especially in

the process of forging new territory in mission. (Eph. 2:20) Leadership according to Dr. Van Engen,

                “is the corporate event whereby the people of God move forward in mission in the world as they live out their vision of God’s call and will for them

      stimulated by ‘leader/catalysts’ and mobilized by the Holy Spirit in response to what God is doing in their midst and in their context of mission in the


           Identifying, encouraging, and commissioning those leadership gifts from within the congregation and those in

relationship with the congregation in the wider world is vital to the fulfillment of Lake City Church’s mission in the local context

and to the ends of the earth.

           This framework for the “local church” is one of the most powerful influences responsible for diminishing real growth

and missional engagement of the Church in the West. Perhaps the term “congregation” should replace “local church” and

“Church” should always refer to the broadest understanding of the Body of Christ to remind the people that it is not the bounded-

set, “local church” but the Lord Jesus who is the center. (Hiebert 1994:) Jesus draws all people to Himself, no matter how or

where they worship, and He sends all out to all the world. A new paradigm for mission may require a revival of a very different

kind; it may require a revival of humility on the part of Church leaders in the city with an open-handed leadership style that

releases people to go be the Church in today’s pluralistic community. As an influential congregation in the Madison area, Lake

City Church may accept its role as a leading agent of change toward this missional orientation.
                                                         LAKE CITY’S CONTEXT

          Now that we understand some of the challenges and the unique qualities, personality, and mission ethos of the

congregation at Lake City Church, we may proceed with a careful examination of the cultures and religions of the people of the

East Side of Madison. To begin to engage the broader culture, we must understand more deeply this context in which Lake City

Church finds itself today. If Lake City Church does not pursue a deep level understanding of the cultural context, then the church

may become irrelevant. We need to understand what has been holding this congregation together and what will help this

congregation to cross boundaries to extend beyond the familiar culture.

          I have been impressed by the peaceful, quiet residential Elvehjem neighborhood on Madison’s East Side where Lake

City Church is situated. Within a one-mile radius of the twenty-five-acre church and school campus on East Buckeye Avenue,

there are several small Protestant churches and one comparably large Roman Catholic Church. To the south is a relatively old and

still developing industrial business complex. Lake City Church is one of the larger, and certainly more influential, church

communities on the East Side of the progressive city of Madison, Wisconsin. While Madison is a mostly homogenous Midwest

community, examining this area for its religious and cultural characteristics is not a straightforward process.

          Examining the cultural context of Madison, especially with respect to the influence of the University of Wisconsin, will

help us to understand the context in which the Lake City Church is ministering. Madison is not only the capitol city of the State

of Wisconsin, it is host to over forty thousand University of Wisconsin students. Sometimes called “Berkley of the Midwest,” the

UW-Madison has a history of radical student activity. At the time of the Vietnam War, Madison was shaken by a series of student

protests resulting in the 1970 bombing of Sterling Hall, which killed a graduate student of physics. Madison, proud of its

progressive thinking and tolerance, powerfully influences state and national politics, philosophy, entertainment, and education.

The “Wisconsin Idea” is described as the compelling need to carry “the beneficent influence of the university ... to every home in

the state.” (Stark 1995) With more than four thousand international students from one hundred and twenty nations, the UW

impressively shapes more than Madison; it affects the world. (Bollag 2004) During his 1978 run for governor, the former UW-

Stevens Point chancellor, Lee Dreyfus, was quoted saying Madison is “thirty square miles surrounded by reality.” (Moe 1999)

Surrounding Demographics

          Madison is a small city of 217,935 people as of 2004. However, this capitol city of Wisconsin is an increasingly

multicultural community, primarily due to the consistently growing population of internationals who are attracted to the area

through the University of Wisconsin. Politically, they call the county “Progressive Dane” for it’s liberal political leanings. A city

surrounding three lakes, Madison is profoundly conscious of the environment. The origins of many of the ideas of the progressive

global environmental movement were at the University of Wisconsin.

          The unemployment rate is less than three percent with 13,385 employers in Dane County (June 2004). This stable

employment is due to the fact that the government is the primary employer in the area, including the State of Wisconsin, with
41,151 employees, and the University of Wisconsin (26,300), followed by the university’s hospital and clinics (6,095), the

Madison school district (4,950), the federal (4,587), city (3,071), and county (2,672) governments. The major private employers

include three major insurance companies (10,619), four medical providers (11,797), Oscar Meyer Foods (2,200), and TDS

telephone company with over two thousand employees. Several other smaller companies, only four of which have more than one

thousand, employ Dane county residents in the fields of retail, health care, energy, communications, hospitality, and clothing.

The few manufacturers in the area employ only one percent of the Dane county population.

          The Madison median household income in 2004 was fifty two thousand dollars, about ten thousand dollars higher than

the State median household income. About forty-nine of the population earns over fifty thousand dollars a year. The twenty

thousand people in Lake City’s zip code area live in over eight thousand housing units with an average sale price of two hundred

twenty-six thousand dollars. The median age is forty years old, somewhat older than the State’s median age of thirty-five. The

average household size is 2.36, about the State’s average. What may be most significant is the forty-one percent twenty-five years

or older who have a college degree, compared to the State average of just twenty-four percent.

          The first houses were built in 1939 and the majority of the homes in this zip code were built in the 1950s and ‘60s. This

family-friendly neighborhood community has over 5000 houses with at least three bedrooms, seventy-five percent of which are

owned by the homeowner. Most homeowners also own two vehicles in this zip code. Only one hundred and twenty-eight

households have no cars. However, just over three hundred rental households, over fourteen percent of renters, are without cars.

          Among cities of similar population and diversity, Madison consistently has one of the lowest crime rates. Based on

incidents per one hundred thousand persons, Madison has the lowest murder and assault rates among cities of the same size, and

is among the lowest in robbery, rape, and arson and burglary rates. However, there is concern in Madison for growing gang

violence among teens, including the neighborhood in which Lake City Church is found.

Religious & Cultural Backgrounds of the Surrounding Area

          The religious background of this area is far different from the charismatic and conservative Pentecostal foundations of

Lake City Church. The previous religious experience of this predominantly white, non-Hispanic population is represented by the

primarily German and Norwegian ethnicity; the vast majority are Lutheran and Catholic. Madison has eighty-two percent White,

Non-Hispanic; nearly six percent African-American; nearly six percent Asian and Pacific Islander; less than five percent

Hispanic; less than one percent Native American, with just two percent claiming “other” or “mixed” ethnicity.

          The cultural temperament of the people of the Midwest is represented in their deep northern European roots. They are a

reserved, frugal, hardworking people, much like the farmers who settled in the area over one hundred fifty years ago. Thriftiness

is valued a godly characteristic; Wisconsin is rated among the lowest in a nation-wide study of financial giving. Reflecting and

perhaps reinforcing this cultural ethos, Lake City Church messages tend to have more emphasis on responsibility with regard to

money than on faith and generosity. The successful and ongoing Crown Financial Ministries and recent “Journey to Financial
Freedom Seminar” represent this observation.

          According to the 2000 Census, Madison’s ethnicity is slightly more diverse than the surrounding Dane County. The

context in which Lake City Church is established is not a new or rapidly changing area. It is a somewhat older, higher educated,

financially stable resident population. The Americanization of most of the churches in Wisconsin occurred several decades ago.

This is not the second generation, but more likely the third or fourth generation of the six thousand two hundred ethnically

German people, twenty-three hundred ethnically Norwegian, and seventeen hundred ethnically Irish people who have settled,

make up, and surround the Lake City congregation. Because of the university, however, there are recent immigrants who are very

different and may be overlooked by this established neighborhood Church. In addition to this, the emerging generation of young

people are finding a significant cultural gap in this settled, older generation neighborhood.

Emerging Generation

          George Barna’s new book, Revolution may be a prophetic foretelling of a “massive shaking and change that are

rumbling underground - waiting to be unleashed on the Western Church.” Barna’s latest book is about the twenty-three million

‘revolutionaries’ who are forging a vibrant Christian lifestyle, often totally outside the usual church-on-Sunday system. “Whether

you want to or not, you will have to take a stand in regard to the ‘revolution’. It is on track to become the most significant

recalibration of the American Christian body in more than a century....” “As someone who has moved amongst “Out-of-church”

Christians now for almost twenty years, I have found the two most damaging aspects of this movement to be rampant

individualism, and the lack of actual direction towards true New Testament Christianity.” Of the seven hundred, and seven

million revival-type believers around the world today, “hundreds of millions of these Christians are simply not associated with

the institutional churches at all. They meet in homes. They meet underground. They meet in caves....”

          The current shift in culture is also affecting adult believers with families, many who “feel divided between private

interests (church, spirituality, etc.) and public concerns (economics, politics, environment, etc.).” (McAlister 2001:368) This is

the result of this tendency during the period of Modernity to split life between the inner spiritual and outer secular arenas. Pastor

John Ruck said, “We live in a culture dominated by the Enlightenment. I wonder how well we prepare people to dice it up out

there with the people diametrically opposed to the gospel.” To engage this growing community of disaffiliated believers, the

ample teaching ministries at Lake City could be encouraged to address the “split” in concert with a new mission focus. To fail to

do so will likely result in a greater distance between the Church and the world, and a diminishing of the numbers and influence of

members at Lake City.

          The surrounding culture does show evidence of concern for the community and the wider world. The Madison Senior

Pastor Survey conducted in 1996, found eighty-four percent of the congregations placed “some” or “a lot” of emphasis on

meeting the needs of the poor. (Jericho 1996:7) Concern for the environment, HIV/AIDS, poverty, health care, and other social

concerns are normally considered “secular,” however the dominant culture of the Madison area, influenced by the primary
employers, the University of Wisconsin and the federal, state, and local governments, are providing potential natural bridges of

engagement with the wider world.

          The following two sections will focus on how Lake City Church intentionally crosses barriers “from Church to non-

church, faith to non-faith” in order to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. The stated desire for visitors

of Lake City is that they would “personally come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and commit (their) life to serving Him

(Acts 2:37-39, John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10).” Pastor Mitch Milton is bringing fresh vision to Lake City Church. The discussion

we have had these past weeks revealed something of his journey: “…we need to find our missional purpose. We need to find it

for all of us. So we can help people to move away from the ‘what’s in it for me?’ I think we are getting closer, but I don’t think

we are quite there.”

          In this section, I will analyze the social mosaics that are natural bridges of outreach of Lake City’s surrounding

communities, investigate whether the missional orientation is introverted, extroverted, or some combination, and then make some

suggestions about those positive and negative elements that affect the Lake City’s missional outreach. First, however, I will

consider how today’s culture is a more radically pluralistic society, especially in the context of Madison, Wisconsin, than was the

diverse first century society.

Cultural Mosaics

           Today’s cultural mosaic is much like the cultural milieu of the first-century church. My understanding of the world to

which Jesus came is that of three major cultures, the Jewish, Greek, and Roman, and many subcultures. Perhaps today is

dissimilar in that the times are less safe and more radically pluralistic than ever before. While the resident population of Madison

and the surrounding area is not as ethnically diverse, the University of Wisconsin’s forty thousand students and faculty from over

one-hundred nations bring a ethnic diversity and pluralistic ideas, which powerfully influence the religious and cultural diversity.

Social Mosaics as Natural Bridges

          The social mosaics that are natural bridges of outreach of Lake City’s surrounding communities relate to the religious,

recreational, educational, social, economic, and spiritual life of the congregation. These natural bridges are evident in the

religious backgrounds, particularly the Roman Catholic and Lutheran backgrounds, of the vast majority of Lake City members.

Natural bridges are also found in the playgrounds, where they and their children ride bicycles, play baseball, football, soccer and

where they boat, hike, hunt, fish, and camp. Madison is fanatical about sports, most especially the UW Badgers and Green Bay

Packers football teams, as indicated by the popularity of team paraphernalia displayed proudly as apparel, yard ornaments, and

even art on garage doors. Natural bridges also relate to workplaces and schools.

Marketplace Bridges of Members

          Work and workplace information with responses from two hundred and forty-six people of five hundred and twenty

eight members, albeit an incomplete list, showed the breadth marketplace influence of Lake City Church. The distribution of this

sample of members is not entirely representative of the overall workforce in Madison. The majority of LCC’s employed people

appear to be in private industry and business, forty-eight percent, and almost five percent of those are self-employed
entrepreneurial people. Of those private industry workers, roughly five percent work in the insurance industry, seven percent

work in retail, and ten percent work in health related fields.

           Compared to Dane County, Lake City has five percent entrepreneurs who regularly engage in risk and change. Lake

City also represents a higher percentage of people working in private industry. This is in contrast to the wider local context.

Pastor Cheri Milton responded, “As a church, we have to help our people to risk and change. We have to teach our entrepreneurs

to relate and move the people in their neighborhood to risk change, even to accept Jesus.”

           Nearly ten percent of the sample work in the field of education and over eleven percent work for the government. This

sample also showed eight percent of Lake City’s members are retired while eight percent declared themselves to be homemakers.

Interestingly, the sample also showed that eleven percent of the members who responded are employed at Lake City Church,

including the Campus for Kids and Abundant Life Christian School. Finally, about three percent are working with another

ministry such as Intervarsity or Youth With A Mission.

Missional Orientation

           Determining whether the missional orientation of Lake City Church’s member is introverted, extroverted, or some

combination is not a precise task. Pastor Milton offers this observation: “We are continually being surprised by the number of

minorities coming to LCC. More come than stay, yet we are encouraged by the number that do stay. African-Americans and

Hispanics seem to out number the rest.” Pastor Milton and the leadership of LCC openly express their desire to see the church

grow and celebrate a more multi-cultural representation. However, it is unclear whether the members of the church have the same


           The people in the surrounding area and those who have subsequently become members of Lake City Church have

tended to have a background that is either Roman Catholic or Lutheran Church. Pastor Milton outlined his sense of the faith of

the people in the Madison area, which may give us some insight into the faith and ecclesiology of the Church itself. Milton said,

              “Coming thru their religious backgrounds, where relationship wasn’t emphasized, I believe still holds much power in their lives. I would say that

      most would say they have a belief in God but not necessarily a relationship.”

           Given their religious background, and the cultural habits that develop within that background, this may indicate a

somewhat introverted tendency of the members of Lake City Church.

           It should also be noted that the culture of the Mid-West is rooted in the German and Norwegian majority ethnic

population, including the tendency to work hard, enjoy family, and close friends. The Elvehjem and other neighborhoods

surrounding LCC are mostly single-family homes with city parks and bike paths generously distributed for family play and

community activities. It is not necessary to watch the residents cut their grass twice a week to recognize that there is an obvious

care and concern for a neat and clean yard. The city government enforces a twenty-four hour deadline on homeowners to show

due diligence to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks. Neighbors commonly reach out to assist each other at times of major
snowfalls in Madison’s long winters. In this way, the tendency to be introverted is overcome through the cultural care and

concern for safety and neatness.

            Lake City is not intentionally exclusivist with regard to culture. However, it may be the cultural background and

tendency toward introversion that influences the mostly Caucasian congregation. Pastor Milton is planning a more intentional

celebration of the diversity that, though small, does exist at LCC. The Church has several families from Nigeria and Milton is

working with them for a Sunday to tell their story, which he says is “very fascinating and wonderful.”

Positive & Negative Elements

            The people in Madison, from a positive perspective, seem to love entertainment, recreational sports and hanging out

together for a good time. UW Badger and Green Bay Packers football gives the people of Madison good reason for LCC

members to get together with friends, family, and neighbors. Education may also positively influence LCC’s outreach in as much

as the members find intellectual and service outlets related to their fields of study and training. As mentioned above, the people

of Madison seem to care for others, as demonstrated by their concern for snow removal. This care is also expressed through

typically liberal ideals of tolerance and giving to the needy. This positive element of Madison’s culture may certainly be reflected

inside as well as outside the church.

            On the other hand, there are negative elements affecting Lake City Church’s missional approach to the Madison area.

People who might be integrated into the community tend to come and go from this area, mostly due to the transient population at

the University of Wisconsin and the State government. Pastor Milton added, “In our immediate area we have seen the same

homes turn over two or three times in the last five years.” Another key negative element affecting LCC’s missional engagement

is time; “people are busy, busy and busy,” Milton pointed out, “work, kids and other activities put God and church on the back

burner.” While education is valued in Madison, education is often valued for the wrong reasons and founded on human reason

and capacity without reference to God. Education offers a powerful opportunity, but it should be embraced with faith for the

furtherance of God’s kingdom. Emphasizing the priesthood of the believer and God’s calling to serve in every sphere of society

may be the most important task ahead for helping LCC move, as Pastor Milton suggests, “from what is in it for me to what is in it

for God.”

            Lake City Church web site states the following ways the congregation intends to fulfill it’s stated mission, by

“worshipping God individually and corporately”, “walking out our faith in our daily lives based on God's word”, and by “being a

witness by telling our personal God-story to others.” However, there is an incongruity in the perception and practice of the

Sunday worship celebration. Is the Sunday worship celebration designed for members primarily to experience the presence of

God, or is the congregation truly conscious and engaged in the mission to attract un-churched people? From the pastoral staff,
there is an expressed concern for all to be sensitive to visitors. Because much of the preaching at Lake City Church is primarily

about family issues, personal relationships, finances, success, and church life, the answer to this question is not obvious. Though

there is a full week devoted to the annual mission convention, preaching devoted to the church's mission in the world, both

locally and globally, is not emphasized.

Sanctuary and Citizen

          Lake City Church’s mission orientation appears to be in two of Van Engen’s mission orientation quadrants, sanctuary

and citizen. Children’s Pastor Matt Guevara replied, “the sanctuary orientation. Most of our sermons and speaking is oriented to

the individual response to scripture,” Guevara adds, “We preach messages asking ‘how does this affect you as an individual?’”

Pastor Sarah Karlen adds, “We all have our private life. Some people don’t want to do it on their own, so they look to the Church

for the event of the sanctuary. They want us to do it for them.” Pastor Milton responded, “Activist? No. Not for us as a church.

We try to encourage more small groups so the sanctuary can happen more in the home. We are trying to break down the idea that

it has to happen here in the Sunday service.”

          Again, there is a contrast between Lake City Church’s congregational perception and practice. Lake City Church may

be perceived as many in the American Evangelical culture, which has “long been interested in the Gnostic type of religion, the

tendency to believe and act as if faith and salvation were essentially private, acultural, and ahistoric.” (Clapp 1996:34) In their

public proclamation and in their presentation, visiting evangelists express concern for individual salvations, proclaiming in the

public sphere the concern for the inner life. Pastor Cheri Milton, in response to recent evangelist speakers said, “I reacted by

saying ‘did you notice what we are doing here and there?’” Though it was entitled “Transform Madison,” the message at this

event at Lake City was “get people saved from Madison,” and not come be a part of the transformation of Madison. What is most

disconcerting about this incongruity is that few in the congregation seemed to notice.

          Dr. Charles Van Engen’ article, “The Religious Encounter in the New Millennium” outlines the “Evangelist Paradigm”

providing a way for Christians to approach persons of other faiths in a manner that is “faith particularist, culturally pluralist and

ecclesiologically inclusivist.” (Van Engen: 2000) Avoiding the confusion that results when equating faith and culture, Van Engen

points to a fresh vision for a gospel that is centered in Jesus Christ. This kind of theological reflection, drawing from the

multicultural and global church in this new millennium, can provide understanding for a missional response that is

simultaneously local and global. This Evangelist Paradigm is “absolutist about a personal faith relationship. However, it is at the

same time relativist about faith in terms of the shape this takes in church and cultures.” (Van Engen: 2005) Lake City Church

appears to be faith particularist, culturally exlusivist with a general openness to become more pluralist, and ecclesiologically

           In some ways, Lake City Church has little influence on the surrounding culture. It appears the surrounding culture has

affected much of the life of the members of the congregations to the detriment of the church’s mission in Madison. In traditional

Evangelical terms, the congregation has for many years understood its role in the community and its call to engage the

community, however that does not provide the theological resources for today’s post-Christian, pluralist society. A church

congregation must not simply be “a gathering of well-meaning individuals who have entered into a social contract to meet their

privately defined self-interest.” (Guder 1998: 159). While the need for engagement with the surrounding culture is apparent and

the programs for ministry formation and nurture of the congregation are in place, it appears that LCC would benefit with a fresh

vision of what it means to be a missional church. Pastor Milton adds:

              “I think we have built a system…keys to success, eight lessons you need to know, it becomes very easy…we begin a measurement process…how are

      you with God, what might you have done? Pass the test first, and then we know if you are on mission with us… We are much more interested in the end

      result, than enjoying the journey. In many other parts of the world, it is much more about enjoying the journey. We’re in this thing together. We’re discipling


Personal Development and Missional Development

           The “journey,” as Pastor Mitch states, is the personal development process, developing character, understanding, and

ministry skills. A vision for personal development presents another problem. However, the question remains: Does the process

apply to the Church, or the local congregation? Must Lake City Church go through those progressive levels of qualification

before engaging the world as a congregation? Is the biblical mandate to “go, teach, baptize,” be a “light to the Gentiles,” and “be

my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth” not applicable to a congregation at any time in its process

of development?

           If the Temple was meant to be a “House of Prayer for All Nations” and the Israelites were to be a “Light to the

Gentiles” over two thousand years ago, and in the context that Jesus’ commission is his disciples, how can we in our fast-paced,

globalized culture not embrace the full vision and begin to act on it in faith? Certainly Philip acted on it in faith and the Holy

Spirit swept him up from the local, mostly homogeneous multitudes, and placed him in front of a single Ethiopian man to extend

the message across cultural and geographic boundaries. The local engagement is to be done simultaneous with the global; one

influences and informs the other. For Lake City Church to develop this kind of multi-tiered mission vision and participation, it

will require a new level of partnership in the local and global context.
                                  LAKE CITY AS A MISSIONARY PEOPLE OF GOD In THE WORLD

          Lake City Church’s inter-church and inter-denominational, cooperative endeavors are informal, though significant.

Cooperative efforts include such things as the upcoming regional evangelistic campaign, Impact World Tour, in April 2006. Lake

City hosted one of the three-day gatherings in November 2005 to apprise members of local congregations, mobilize prayer, and

reignite those whose confidence in evangelism and transformation has diminished. This example demonstrates Lake City’s

commitment to partner with the congregations in the city. Lake City’s congregational cooperation in the surrounding area and in

its denominational mission program is accomplished primarily through relational networking. In this section I will describe Lake

City’s interchurch cooperation and site opportunities and hindrances to interchurch cooperation.

Interchurch Cooperation in Global Mission

          Lake City Church’s membership with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies provides opportunity for cooperation

among a family of autonomous, evangelical churches. The FCA recognizes both the independence and the interdependence of the

local church. “It’s a relational fellowship,” said Nancy Van Maren, LCC’s Missions Coordinator. This movement was born out of

a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the turn of the century. Roots of the FCA can be traced to the Wesleyan-holiness

renewal, which emphasized a definite sanctification experience and the modern Pentecostal movement, which stressed the

enduement of the Spirit for witness and service.

          The FCA traces its roots to an outbreak of the Holy Spirit in 1906 among Scandinavian Baptists in Chicago, Illinois. A

strong emphasis upon self-governing local church autonomy had marked the early stages of the Pentecostal renewal. The

Fellowship is held together through the relational networks, commissions, and conference planning committees with regional and

area conferences. The FCA affirms local church autonomy and inter-church responsibility. The mission statement affirms its

Pentecostal heritage while highlighting the view that the “Great Commission [is] the over-arching purpose for our existence as a

group of churches.”

          Occasionally one of the local congregations will host a regional conference or informal Fellowship meetings mostly to

encourage inspiration and support for newcomers. One such meeting took place at one of Lake City’s annual mission

conventions. Several of those who were in attendance were sent out on church planting teams from Lake City Church. In

addition, there is a monthly pastor’s cluster gathering in which topics of concern or mutual edification may be shared in a

confidential and supportive atmosphere. The FCA cooperates in new-church planting and other home missions ministry on a

regional or area basis, although appeals might be circulated more widely. Missions have always been a vital and important part of

LCC's ministry. On a regular monthly basis, LCC supports thirty-seven missionary families, representing twenty countries. As a

missions minded church, approximately one hundred people from LCC go on short-term mission trips each year. In many ways

LCC is a leader in the city, setting the example for churches in Madison. If LCC shows a decline in global and local involvement,

it may be deduced that there will be a decline of the missionary engagement in other churches in this area, as well as those in the
FCA. LCC has realized this responsibility, as noted on the LCC web site:

              “LCC has been blessed, so we have the responsibility to bless others by taking God’s word to the ends of the earth. The Missions Ministry seeks to

      obey the Great Commission with prayer, developing strategic partnerships, involving people in short-term trips, and providing resources. Our desire is to

      reach beyond the walls of our local congregation by evangelizing, discipling, assisting with church planting, and aiding in relief and development.”

Independence & Interdependence

           Lake City Church leadership has defined missions as “overseas ministry or ministry to another culture within our own

country.” This includes evangelizing, discipling, planting churches, and aiding in their growth and development overseas and in

the United States. Any ministry extending beyond the congregation, the church facilities or the local influence of the church is

considered “missions.” The FCA recognizes foreign missionaries are ordained or commissioned by their home churches and are

therefore accountable to them. At this year’s annual mission convention the missionaries were gathered to hear a brief

presentation from a few of the mission committee leaders. They presented a missionary evaluation form, which they hoped to use

to gain better information and to “better manage the church’s resources.” Evaluation is necessary for missionaries and

stewardship of resources is also important, however senior missionary leaders are more likely, according to scripture, to evaluate

the local church and not the other way around. Missionary accountability should remain strong to the sending church, however as

a missionary, I suggest the need for intensive and ongoing discipleship in a missionary’s life is best done by the experienced

missionary and in the context of relationship within the mission agency (like attracts like gifts). In order for Lake City to gain the

benefit of the ministry gifts of these “sent ones”, a transformation of the thinking about missionaries is necessary.

           The FCA is informally networking through inter-church home and foreign mission support and conferences. Van

Maren explains, “When unable to undertake full support of a missionary, an FCA church may enlist assistance from other

churches in the Fellowship.” Those who have established a working relationship and confidence with at least two active FCA

ministers may apply for an informal recognition at ministerial gatherings, letters of recommendation or other means. “About fifty

to sixty percent of our missionaries are recommended to us through [this] arrangement,” Van Maren said.


           Lake City Church adheres to the scholarship, which widely recognizes that the “New Testament presents no

authoritative organization above the local church during the apostolic era.” Lake City Church follows this understanding with the

following statement on its web site: “autonomous church life as portrayed in the New Testament is beneficial for all ages of the

church.” LCC’s vision for a congregation that is autonomous centers around a concern for the sovereign freedom of the Lord

Jesus Christ to act in His Body through the Word and the Spirit. This freedom of God is enhanced, as the FCA statements confer,

“in the context of the freedom of the congregation from external religious authority.”

           The biblical challenge I offer to this understanding is the usage of the term “autonomous,” a word we do not find in the

Scriptures. Autonomous means “sovereign,” which appears nearly three hundred times in the New Testament. However, in every
case “sovereign” refers to the Lord, not individuals or local congregations. Jesus said “For where two or three come together in

my name, there am I with them.” (Mt 18:20) The independent spirit of autonomy may represent a significant hindrance to Lake

City Church’s effectiveness in mission, especially cooperative partnerships in mission, locally and globally.

          This early description of the call to gather as the Church, not as individuals, but as a community of believers in mutual

submission, is in contrast to the notion of autonomy. Local congregations are not autonomous, but a local expression of One

global Body of Christ. “There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord,

one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:4-6) “There is no salvation

except one in which we are saved together through one whom God sends to be the bearer of his salvation.” (Newbigin 1989: 83)
                                        BIBLICAL MOTIVATIONS FOR LAKE CITY’S MISSION

          The best theologians of history were missionaries. Historically, the Church has sought a theological basis of missions

and not the missiological basis for theology. Missions is more than something the Church does; it is not something Lake City

Church does as they can afford it, when they have time, or as a special event. Biblically, mission is the founding and central to

the purpose of the Church, the very reason for the Church’s existence. As previously discussed, it is necessary for Lake City

Church members to experience a full conversion, including a conversion to the Church and a conversion to the Great

Commission. Spiritual formation and discipleship at Lake City must facilitate this complete conversion, the secondary conversion

to the Church and the tertiary conversion to global mission. Biblical motivation follows biblical revelation, best fostered through

practical participation, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit and the Church’s ministry gifts, in local and global mission.

Beyond Autonomy

          While it may be true that local freedom reinforces the concept of the unity of the Body of Christ, autonomy is often

understood in absolutes in our modern usage of the term. Each congregation is an expression of the Body of Christ, not

autonomous, but functioning under the headship of Christ. The distinction of autonomy and freedom, while seemingly small and

insignificant, has major implications for Lake City Church’s mission. As in the Book of Judges, local congregations that uphold

autonomy may impart an extreme spirit of freedom to its members where “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

(Jud. 17:6 KJV) “The Western post-Enlightenment understanding of the human person centers on the autonomy of the individual

who is free to make or to break relationships at will.” (Newbigin 1989: 188)

          For LCC to discern our mission as a congregation to the surrounding culture and the wider world, we need to “learn

how to distinguish the Christian message from the operative assumptions, values, and pursuits of our host society.” (Shenk: 2005)

The gospel story has been forced out of the public sphere to become merely a private matter addressing a personal need, so that in

much of the Church today “we find narcissism and individualism masquerading as personal salvation.” (Watson: 180) Our

society exalts the importance of the individual. The Evangelical Church reinforces this with the proper concern that every

individual come to know Christ. However, the emphasis on individual faith hinders Christian congregations in the West from

seeing the broader Body of Christ and their role in it.

          The New Testament has little to say about organization for local congregations, though it does speak of the attitude of

believers and leaders as they gather for worship, the appointment of special ministries, and how they are to relate. Like elders of a

local congregation, those “sent” to apostolic service are called to “set an example” (1 Tim. 4:12). However, the apostolic call is to

extend the message of the gospel to “regions beyond” (2 Cor. 10:16) the context of the local congregation. For our discussion, the

New Testament outlines how Christian workers “sent” are to relate to the local congregations. Those sent out to preach the

Gospel were directly related to their home fellowship, however their accountability seems to be redirected to their personal

relationships in their apostolic band, such as Paul and his company.

Cooperation with Apostolic Gifts
          In addition, accountability of missionaries is broadened with their call to apostolic ministry to “all the churches.” (Rom.

16:4,16; 2 Cor. 8:18, 11:28; Gal. 1:2; 2 Th 1:4) Paul’s concern about those who individually “follow” one apostolic leader’s

teaching over another is answered in his appeal for cooperation among these inter-congregational ministries: “I planted the seed,

Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (1 Cor. 3:6) Missionaries are conferred authority by the Scriptures to instruct and

“command.” (2 Cor. 3:4, 1 Cor. 7:17) The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) concerned more than the two churches, Antioch and

Jerusalem, and its results were of instruction and blessing to many other assemblies.

          The New Testament encourages spiritual fellowship and voluntary cooperation among the assemblies. Apostolic

ministries play an important role in this cooperation. It appears it is the role of those “sent” into apostolic ministries to exhort,

encourage, and instruct local congregations not to “use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature,” (Gal. 5:13) including the

failure to love through cooperation with other congregations and through witness to the wider world. This understanding places a

great responsibility on Lake City Church, an influential congregation in Madison, to develop congregational responsiveness and

an increasing cooperation among churches through the help of missionaries toward greater missionary engagement of the wider


LCC’s Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria

          The vision of mission expressed in Acts 1:8 is an all embracing vision for the “all” that Jesus commissions us to and

that so often turns up in Paul’s letters, all nations, all peoples, all things. This requires a full dependency on the Holy Spirit. Lake

City Church’s “Jerusalem” may be compared to our local suburban community; our “Judea” may be the multi-ethnic and multi-

national University of Wisconsin; and our “Samaria” may be described as the nations that become our friends as we embrace our

“Judea” the UW; and the ends of the earth is the resultant global mobilization, engagement, and partnerships in a new generation

of mission. Cross-cultural mission may be done through Lake City’s members as they exercise their ministry gift of hospitality to

the internationals in Madison and at the University of Wisconsin. Our “Judea,” the UW, and the forty-one thousand students offer

natural bridges to the ends of the earth through the nearly four thousand international students. Some international students have

found a home at Lake City Church through the “Fuel” college and career group on Tuesday nights. Providing hospitality and

inviting students at the University of Wisconsin, especially internationals, to Lake City Church, is very influential and strategic

cross-cultural ministry.

          Just as the widows of the Hellenistic Jews were being neglected in the first century multi-cultural church (Acts 6),

majority culture at Lake City may also overlook the minority cultures in our local context. If this neglect exists and continues, it

is a temptation for the minority members toward bitterness and rebellion. The early church leaders were very wise; they

appointed deacons. Hospitality is a vital gift of the Spirit. These first deacons, exercising the ministry gift of helps and

hospitality, were more than overseers of food. They were in charge of the cross-cultural dynamic of the early church. All their

names were Greek. In addition to being “full of the Holy Spirit and of faith,” they were local missionaries. This is a clear
example of how Lake City Church can engage in cross-cultural ministry in the local setting through a few of their dominant

spiritual gifts.
                                          CONCLUSION -- A CALL TO MISSIONAL ACTION IN THE WORLD

           The Lake City Church congregation is engaging the Madison area and wider world through intentional ministries and

many of the natural bridges of ministry to the local area and the wider world. Becoming a missional church in Madison,

Wisconsin and in our growing pluralist society requires a new framework and a new level of engagement for a new generation.

Such engagement will require a renewed commitment to conversion, a tripartite conversion to Christ, His Church, and His

Mission. One of the ways a fresh missional vision and engagement may be tangibly and metaphorically represented, is by turning

the “lake” of Lake City into a fountain sending up fresh streams of water. The fountain could have three shoots to represent the

three conversions necessary to become a missional church. In this section, I will summarize a new framework for developing a

missional vision and practice through dialogue, spiritual warfare, and spiritual formation at Lake City Church.

Dialogue with Emerging Generation

           To engage the emerging generation, we need to develop common bonds in common spaces. In today’s context, we need

to appreciate the necessity to dialogue with other faiths by creating structures, places for conversation, as in the design of the

Court of the Gentiles, intended for dialogue with the nations.

              “…the context for true dialogue is provided. As we work together with people of other commitments, we shall discover the places where our ways

      must separate. Here is where real dialogue may begin. It is a real dialogue about real issues. It is not just a sharing of religious experiences, though it may

      include this.” (Newbigin 1989: 181)

           The Court of the Gentiles was neither private, nor public. This space, I believe, is compared to what Van Engen calls

“third spaces.” In third spaces we may have dialogue as a “light to the Gentiles.” By clearly identifying that which is “holy,” we

reaffirm the sacred spaces in the midst of our community at Lake City Church. Pastor Milton said, “We recognize a need for a

third space. We try to create it through small groups. This is what Brian is doing with

           FUEL,” the college and career group that meets at the local coffee shop on Tuesday evenings. By intentionally

creating “third spaces,” the members of Lake City Church will re-learn how to engage their world.

           Our dialogue must include a willingness to explore theological questions with thoughtfulness and a “generous

orthodoxy.” We find common ground as we seek shared commitment, through voluntary service. Lake City Church can begin to

expand our cultural framework, and experiment with new ministry methods and models, particularly engaging those issues that

resonate with this generation. We need to engage the emerging generation with open-ended questions about what it means to be

an apprentice of Jesus Christ, what we are here for, and most importantly, “What is Church?” Finding dialog means taking the

non-Christian hearer’s experience as the starting point. This is missional evangelism! (Newbigin 1989: 173)

Spiritual Formation for Spiritual Battle

           One definition of culture is “all learned behavior.” What we have been taught includes spiritual teachings. Lesslie
Newbigin could see his culture as no one could see it. He didn’t simply identify with culture. He understood the need to

understand our story and the story of our culture, while at the same time understand that we should not be led by the teachings of

our culture. If we are not free from our culture’s teaching, we will bring our distortions with us when we preach the gospel. With

that understanding in mind, we will discuss how the Lake City Church ought to prepare for spiritual battle in mission.

          One of the big reasons God sends his people onto the mission field is not only for the people to whom God sends, but

also for the missionary. The formation of disciples is part of our spiritual battle to become a missional congregation. The

elementary teachings Paul often mentioned in his letters are powerfully influential ideas. (Newbigin 1989: ch. 16) These ideas are

useful and necessary, though dangerous. Paul understood the gospel more clearly than any of the apostles who were with Jesus

for three years. Though he was a Pharisee of Pharisees, he was free from cultural bondage.

          Paul’s greatest contribution is his revelations, which clarified the Church’s call to worldwide mission, the gospel for the

Gentiles. Perhaps to gain freedom from distorted cultural teachings, we should engage in such radical spiritual formation as Paul

did. He writes, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” (Phil. 3:7)

Paul’s background of scholarship, nationality, and religious identity was useful for his ability to teach, however they were

hindrances to his ability to see Jesus Christ. Distorted teaching had a strong grip on his mind. These distortions filtered reality so

much that when he looked at Jesus he did not see the Messiah. Paul spent ten years in ruthless examination of what he had been

taught in order to become free of distortion. His letters help to make us effective as ministers across cultural barriers, local and

global. To gain such freedom at Lake City Church and to our families, our city, and our culture, we will need a similar ruthless

examination of our culture and its ideas.

          Spiritual formation and discipleship is the work of the Holy Spirit, most often in cooperation with the ministry gifts of

the Church. At Lake City Church, those with the spiritual gift of teacher may be prepared to ask deep questions, first of

themselves, then as they teach others. Such questions are best asked in the context of cross-cultural outreach. We might ask:

“How does my gender, family, ethnicity, nationality, language, career, hobbies, commitments, education, friendships, property,

and reputation influence me?” The members of Lake City Church will gain effectiveness in mission as they participate in a deep

and ruthless examination of our culture and its influence on us. We should consciously expect to draw near to God as we

intentionally reach out across cultural barriers as witnesses of His sovereign rule and kingdom in all things. If we go through this

process, then we can go back into our culture or another culture and have authority to speak with clarity of the freedom found

only in Christ and not come under the teachings of culture.

          Paul referred to the law as the “custodian” or “guardian.” (Galatians 4:8-9) Then he asks why, after you have known

God, would you go back to be slaves of the elementary principles? (Col.2:8,20) Elementary principles, ‘stoichaea’ in Greek, are

used by the enemy to influence us, keep us divided, or unite us on a false basis. The Church, including Lake City Church, needs

to step forward to deal with these powerful forces holding people and cultures captive, blinded from seeing the gospel. We need
to recognize those elementary principles and those custodians and guardians, which are teaching and often blinding our culture

and the nations today. As Lake City prepares for and creates spaces for open dialog with the surrounding cultures, while

reaffirming conversion to the unique Christ, His One Church, and His Mission, the congregation will experience a fresh life, a

fountain of the waters of life, and a sending of His witnesses to our Jerusalem, Judean, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

             “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly

      realms.” (Eph 3:10)
                                                                               WORKS CITED

Barna, George

                         2005          Revolution. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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                         2004          Foreign Enrollments at American Universities Drop for the First Time in 32 Years. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

          http://chronicle.com/daily/2004/11/2004111001n.htm. Accessed Nov. 17, 2004.

Budde, Michael

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