Sunday, July 11, 2010
Len Hjalmarson writes in a recent blog post:
One of the very large and looming questions we hear from churches is how to transition from inward and program oriented to outward in mission. As Mike Breen and Bob Hopkins point out so ably in “Clusters,” the question is not adding a new program, or shifting deck chairs, but a call for a shift in the very culture of the community. The most profound shift is from control to accountability: away from the centralization of ministry and the cult of leadership.
Our church has begun to work with these too, calling them 'hubs.' However, ours have begun for a somewhat different purpose. Being missional in our church wasn't so much our problem as building community, and this is what the hubs focus on. They also include mission, but for the moment that's a not the highest priority. Clusters or hubs usually contain up to fifty people, including children.
Clusters is a book that came out in 2008. It's subtitled Creative Mid-sized Missional Communities. Being a British publication it doesn't seem to have made the impact that an American title might have. However, you can read about Breen, St Thomas' Church in Sheffield, and more, at the St Thomas' site. The people at St Thomas have gone through several transitions, and detail them in the story. Their use of the word 'clusters' is explained on this page too.