A Conversation with Mike Breen

Mar 27

Some of the leaders from Gateway Church in Austin met up with Mike Breen and of his leaders from their days in the U.K.. From his bio: Mike was the Senior Rector at St. Thomas Sheffield, look where they pioneered some very different ways of being the church and when they left they were the largest church in England. Today, he leads 3DM, the global home for an organic movement of biblical discipleship and missional church that is centered in the United States.” Mike is the author of the following books:

Here are some of the insights he shared with us:

Two Questions for Disciples:

  1. What is God saying to you?
  2. What are you going to do about it?

A great Western fallacy is that someone can pass from information to innovation without first passing through imitation. Most Westerners have been more influenced by the Enlightenment than the Reformation.

As the message of Jesus moved beyond the Jewish context into the Gentile world, the relationships went from being described as “rabbi and disciple” to “parent and child.” (For example, see 1 Corinthians 4:14-17).

  • Information – The guardian would teach the children reading, writing, and arithmetic (the pedagogical essentials).
  • Imitation – The son spent time with his father to learn the family business. The daughter spent time with her mother to learn how to care for the oikos (family, neighbors, friends).
  • Innovation -Once someone has the basics, they can go to a new town and contextualize their craft.

The Four Human Spaces:

  • Intimate – 2 to 3 people
  • Personal – 6 to 12 people
  • Social -20-70 people
  • Public – 70+

The social space is crucial because it is within the social space that the intimate and personal spaces take place. In the Western world we have lost our extended family and put all of our hopes into the nuclear family which has failed.

Small groups are small enough to care but aren’t big enough to dare.

There is no word for “nuclear family” in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. The word “family” always means extended family.

Jesus spend time with the Father on His own (up), spent time with His disciples (in), and spent time with the crowds (out). At the beginning, Mike encouraged his small groups to get out of the room where they were meeting and walk around the community where they meet and pray for the community (like caroling for mimes). A few people asked them what they were doing and they said: “praying for our community.” Some were impressed by that. The next time they went into the shops and to the homes and asked what they could be praying for. This follows what Jesus did with His disciples in Matthew 10. Once needs were discovered, the small group began to meet those needs in addition to praying for the community.

When asked to describe what he sensed God was calling the worship team to do, the worship pastor at St. Thomas in Sheffield said: “We want to be the welcomers of the unwelcome.”

The network leader needs to be the vision carrier for the mission.


Mike Howerton Interview

Mar 15

Mike Howerton is lead pastor of Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, page Washington, medical and served for six years as the college pastor at Saddleback Church. Mike is the author of Miles to Cross and Glorious Mess: Encountering God’s Relentless Grace for Imperfect People.

Listen to previous interviews here.

Congratulations to the winners of Glorious Mess!
Chip A. from CO, check Jason M. from MA, Todd W. from CO, Jon O. from CA, Dan M. from IL, Mark P. from CA, Chris T. from MT, Jeff P. from OR, Mike C. from OR, Jeff S. from FL, Rich K. from CA, Joe L. from TX, Jaylynne F. from Canada, Janai B. from TX, Heidi R. from AZ, Scott N. from MI, Trey C. from CA, John H. from KS, Dave A. from CA, Steve T. from NV

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Mark Batterson Interview

Mar 13

Mark Batterson is the author of several books including, case In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, capsule Wild Goose Chase, Primal, and his latest The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears. Mark serves as the Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. and is on the creative team of the Origins Project.

Check out the interview here!

Congratulations to those who won The Circle Maker book giveaway!
Ryan G. from CA, Christopher B. from TX, Ryan B. from PA, Todd H. from NE, Tyler B. from OR, Candi W. from AZ, Stephen N. from MI, Richard M. from PA, Daniel L. from Southeast Asia, Ross B. from WA, Alberto M. from CA, Matthew S. from CA, David C. from CA, Cory H. from OH, Mike L. from MN, Josh D. from TX, Lisa R. from TX, Ken M. from CA, Howard S. from AZ, and Gretchin A. from IN

Listen to previous interviews here.

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“Breaking Down the Walls” by Eric Bryant

Aug 25

The churches in the city of Austin have been intentionally connecting and partnering together through the efforts of In the City, visit For the City and the Austin Bridge Builders Alliance. Still new to Austin, this web I have been impressed by the ways lead pastors from large and small churches across the theological spectrum have chosen to team together to make a positive difference in our city.

The most recent effort includes a series called Walls. So far thirty churches are participating. From www.austincitywalls.com:

“Starting in the fall of 2011, churches across the Austin area will join together to tear down walls that separate us from God’s very best…. More than a message series, Walls is a journey for those who are ready to live the life God intended. No longer will spiritual barriers keep us from trusting God and the promises He has made. We long to see the church of Austin love God, each other and our surrounding neighbors.”

Check out www.austincitywalls.com/resources for resources for the sermon series and for small groups. Some of the small groups at Gateway Church will be using Not Like Me: A Field for Influencing A Diverse World during the Walls series.

Partnerships can help us learn from others. Together we can do more than we can on our own.

The Church is healthy when the local churches within the Church are healthy.

How have you seen partnerships work well in your city? What are some of the challenges? What are some of the positive outcomes?

“Come As You Are, But Don’t Stay That Way”

Apr 12

Created for the Crowded House event at Gateway Church in Austin:

Watch the 8 minute video here!

Connecting Deeply With Others & God (A Crowded House Event)

Mar 16

At Gateway in Austin, drug we talk about the different spiritual seasons which include Discovering, clinic Developing, medicine and Deepening. One of the more Develop/Deepen events is called “Crowded House.” We seek to connect with each other and with God in a meaningful way.

This month, the topic was taking the risks necessary to become a healthy community. To get a peak at what we do, you can check out these resources:

Through these groups, we seek to connect people to small groups, serving opportunities, and deeper relationships. We are emphasizing the importance of meaningful relationships for spiritual growth.

What are some of the best practices you’ve seen help people grow spiritually?