Ministries

Missional Church Learning Experience

What is God saying to the church today?

A Missional Church Learning Experience (MCLE) is a cluster of churches in an American Baptist region that forms a learning community to explore what God is saying to the church today. How can we best fit with God’s mission in our rapidly changing culture?

Each church involved in the learning community forms a mission team that receives training in basic missional church principles, and then practices those principles by designing and implementing a small community project. The learning community will meet four times during the process to share what they are learning and to receive further training. Their lessons learned will be shared with other American Baptist churches in the region and across the nation.

Who can participate in a learning experience?

Any church, large or small, country or city, that is interested in exploring the future of Christian faith in America. Guidelines for church involvement include:

  • dissatisfaction with a church’s current effectiveness, and
  • a willingness to try new ideas, including community involvement.

What is the church expected to do?

  • Establish a mission team of five members who will oversee the church’s involvement in the eight-month MCLE. The team should include the following:
    • pastor (or appointed leader),
    • three lay members and
    • a youth (aged 14-29).
  • Attend three MCLE sessions over an eight-month period.
  • Complete four assignments that will help the mission team design a small community project to practice missional principles.
  • Implement the community project—involving appropriate church resources of time, money, energy and community partnerships.
  • Share lessons learned with other churches in the learning community, the region and the American Baptist family.

What are the contents of the three sessions?

  • Introduction to basic missional principles and explanation of the MCLE process.
  • Sharing by mission teams of what they learned during their four assignments, using their community project outline as a case study to learn more about missional church principles.
  • Reporting by mission teams about their community project and what they are learning about God’s kingdom work in America today

What do we need to do to get started?

Download the MCLE guidelines (overview and outline of responsibilities) to determine if the learning experience would benefit your regional efforts in church vitality.

Ask your region to host an MCLE introduction. Then contact the Rev. Glynis LaBarre, American Baptist Home Mission Societies transformation strategist, to set a date for your MCLE introduction.