Maleny Baptist

This is my best attempt at describing our church – peculiarly referred to as an “experiment” in some quarters.  I hope this blog might serve as something of a live genesis of our journey with the “experiment”.

My position description said “the Incumbent should be, or be able to be, a member of a Baptist church.”  How was this going to look for someone coming out of 15 years of missional community?

The answer was to be found at Maleny Baptist, a small congregation on the Range with a radical view (in both the contemporary and original meaning of the word). Maleny Baptist is an attempt to place the emphasis of church community on cell community groups, embarking on a journey of taking a congregational church into something that more resembles an emerging church format.

This is the basic framework of how Maleny operates:

A Church equates to Association Church.  This is the fellowship/connection with other local denominations and organizations, a recognition that we belong to the Universal Body of Christ and can be as simple as moth-balling the Sunday “Show” in favour of picking up rubbish on Clean Up Australia Day.

B Church stands for Body Church.  This is the closest approximation to what most people would understand as “normal” church.  It’s when the various “C Churches” come together for resourcing or combining for what we do better together or combined.  Most of the time this will be on a Sunday, but it shifts around a fair bit to cater to the varying needs of the community (for instance it will be on a Thursday night before a long weekend to enable people to enjoy the full length of a holiday weekend).

C Church is the critical building block Maleny Baptist.  It is a small ‘faith community’. This is not a once a week bible study.  It’s community with a mission focus (or that’s my understanding of it anyway).  C Church best stands for Community Church or Cell Church – a small group of like-minded people, committed to each other and in fulfilling the Great Commission together.

Our prayer on moving to the Blackall Range was that we could find at least one like-minded couple to join us on a journey of incarnational and real community. Our hope is that the vehicle for the journey will be our Community group and I intend to track the story as it progresses.

Doug Ensbey

Finally there’s D Church.  It’s a new initiative after it was identified that, for varying reasons, the C groups may not have the time nor environment to facilitate the emergence of radical disciples.  A D church is a grouping of 2 or 3 Christians of the same gender who meet regularly. A 4th member immediately initiates the beginning of a new D.  It’s main purpose is to encourage intentionality regarding our spiritual health and fitness.

3 tasks are to be accomplished each time the D meets (preferably weekly):

(1)    Sin is confessed with mutual accountability.
(2)   Scripture is read in context.
(3)   Non-Christians are prayed for specifically and continuously.

Our fearless leader is Doug Ensbey, a no-holds-barred minister with several decades of ministry in the Baptist arena.  In the earlier part of this century Doug spent 12 months driving trucks as part of a ministry hiatus and returned to Maleny Baptist with a determination to do church a “different way”.  For the results – see above.

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One Response to Maleny Baptist

  1. Pingback: C Group « Co-mission

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