|Simple network drawing. Public domain.|
Why separate "competency charts" for congregations and Discipling Communities? Because these two different kinds of Christian community are exactly that-- two different kinds of Christian community designed to accomplish different things. And we need them both-- and more besides-- to experience and express the fulness of what it means to "be for the world the body of Christ redeemed by his blood." Congregations provide a platform for discipleship. Discipling communities, such as the Methodist Societies with their class meetings, bands, society meetings and other forms of community action and connection, give people the hands-on experience with discipleship to Jesus that truly helps them grow in holiness of heart and life.
This chart is not a "neat" as the previous one, I admit. I was able to develop color coding and even acronyms for the 4+1 competencies of congregations. So far, at least, I've not been able to come up with pnemonics that work quite that way for Discipling Communities.
But that may not be such a bad thing. What I do have is at least some attempt to clarify what each of the competencies is, and what it means (as well as has meant historically, with early Methodists as a primary guide). My sense is we may have become so unfamiliar with or in some cases suspicious of Discipling Communities as separate from congregations that perhaps the best first work we can do is be clear about what these are, and aren't.
I present neither of these outlines as a final product, but rather as a work in progress to help Methodist and other self-identifying Missional congregations and existing or newly created Discipling communities find each other, claim their own strengths and capacities, and help each other perform them accountably with each other.
Church in the Methodist/Missional way is ultimately network, not hub and spokes. Congregations and Discipling Communities make up the two perhaps most significant hubs of this network, with a whole variety of other kinds of Christian ministry and missional communities also in the wider network.
So... try this set of descriptions on. See how they fit. And where they don't.
And by all means share your suggestions for ways to make these tools more accurate and useful as you seek to embody the fullness of "church as network" where you are.
Peace in Christ,