Here is my summary and overview of 3DM:
I. Key websites:
3dmovements.com: The primary 3DM site
vimeo.com/weare3dm: 3DM video channel
disciplingculture.com: Mike Breen’s website
3dmpublishing.com: Books and resources
II. Key books:
Read by Me:
Building a Discipling Culture
Leading Missional Communities
Empowering Missional Disciples
See http://3dmpublishing.com/library/ for other key books
“Our core books, following the trajectory of the Learning Communities, each build on the content established in the previous books. They are the following: Building a Discipling Culture, Multiplying Missional Leaders, Leading Missional Communities, Leading Kingdom Movements.”
III. Training offered:
• Get a taste of 3DM
• Pre-Learning Community or prep for Learning Community
• Weekly conference call with coach and 5 other leaders
• $150/month per person
Learning Communities: http://www.3dmovements.com/communities/overview/
• Two year process including 4 on-sites, weekly coaching and retreats
• Learning to build a discipling culture in your context
• Their primary leadership training
• 330/month for up to 3 people; 550/month up to 5; 770/month up to 7
Virtual learning Communities: http://www.3dmovements.com/about/virtual-lcs/
• Much like the Learning Community, but remote via video conference
• For those who can’t do an onsite Learning Community
• $300 per team/mth
IV. Summary of 3DM:
3DM refers to “three dimensional ministry”.
• “Jesus didn’t limit himself to only two dimensions: a relationship with God and the supportive relationships of community. He also lived in this third dimension of reaching out with God’s love and power to those in the wider world.”
It was started by Mike Breen at St. Thomas Church (Anglican) in Sheffield, England
• “3DM is a movement seeking to follow the Words, Works, and Ways of Jesus.”
A foundational theology is that of Covenant and Kingdom.
• “This unprecedented connection between identity and authority was the key to Jesus’ power and obedience, and it flowed from the two central themes that run throughout the entire Bible. When heard together, these two themes speak in a powerful kind of stereophonic sound. We describe these themes using the biblical terms Covenant and Kingdom.”
LifeShapes are “a collection of eight shapes with each shape representing a foundational
teaching of Jesus or principle from his life.”
• The various shapes are a circle (seeing spiritual breakthrough); a hexagon (prayer); a triangle (deeper balanced relationships); a semi-circle (rhythms of life); a square (multiplying disciples); a pentagon (personal calling); a heptagon (communal life and health); an octagon (mission through people of peace). These shapes are not a curriculum so much as they are reference points or even tools for discipleship.
• “Each shape serves as a kind of portal or rabbit hole with an endless number of scripture passages, stories or practices attached.”
• “After a year in a discipling huddle, this is what we’d want people to know, and this is what we’d want people to be able to do.”
Huddles are their “primary vehicle for discipleship” and the leadership training mechanism within a church.
• “The goal of a Huddle is to multiply leaders who will build a discipling culture that empowers people to live a more fruitful missional life. Typically, Huddles will meet on a weekly basis for the first year, with seasonal breaks for rest.”
Missional Communities are groups of “approximately 20 to 40 people who are seeking to reach a particular neighborhood or network of relationships with the good news of Jesus.”
• The multiplication of these missional communities seems to be the primary goal of the movement as it relates to local churches.
• “Our experience confirms that churches should focus on the development of “clusters,” or “Mid-Sized Missional Communities,” the extended family size group between twenty and seventy.”
• “Leading an MC shouldn’t be a heavy burden on a leader. People with normal “9–5 jobs” should be able to lead them.”
• “The goal is to build a family on mission, an oikos, and MCs are simply the training wheels that help you get there.”
• “A very important principle in this process that helps maintain healthy relationships is what we call Low Control/High Accountability.”
A strength of the model is Life Integration:
• “It’s not that we need to balance our family and our mission—rather we need to learn how to integrate our family and our mission into one. Not two things, but one thing.”
• “In nearly thirty years of marriage, nothing has strengthened my relationship with my wife the way learning to make disciples and live as a family on mission has.”
• These thoughts were also echoed in my interview with Cam Stutters (below).
A very pragmatic understanding and approach:
• “What we encourage church planters to do is be brutally honest about how long it’s going to take to plant the church, about what funds will be necessary to plant, and about bi-vocational options. This may mean that you need to spend an additional year or two learning a new skill before planting that you can use while planting.”
• “You also might be tempted to think you will be starting Huddles and Missional Communities in your church in the next few months. That would also be a mistake. This is not a program you will implement in a matter of months; it is a new way of life and a culture that will take years to develop.”
They have a unique take on the popularly labelled Five Fold Ministry in Ephesians 4:
• “Depending on your base gifting from Ephesians 4 (which shows how each of us is created as either an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher)…”
In other words, they do not see this list as so much a list of gifts or offices, but five categories or roles which every disciple will fit into.
Feedback from a discipleship pastor into his second year of using 3DM:
• Why did you go with 3DM? Lack of long term effective discipleship in past ministry; it is organic, real life, but also structured.
• Has been very formative, perhaps most significant spiritual formation in his life. (He’s in the individual and organizational coaching.)
• LifeShapes has changed his leadership and equipping. “It looks silly but in action it’s alive!”
• Has provided a language to understand and describe what is going on
• There is a tension with 3DM and existing programs. You can’t plug it into existing programs. In time it will replace what is happening.
• It’s been good for marriage- a more integrated life