A 3DM Learning Community participant sharing her church’s plan with other participants for feedback and encouragement. Photo was supplied.
A 3DM Learning Community participant sharing her church’s plan with other participants for feedback and encouragement. Photo: Supplied

Discipleship moves in to the third dimension

3D Movements (3DM) is gaining traction in Australia, and an upcoming workshop introducing it to Queenslanders will put further focus on discipleship in the church, one of the 32nd Synod’s strategic priorities. Journey reports.

Originally devised in the United Kingdom by St Thomas’ Church, the 3DM approach emphasises discipleship and mission to everyday people through the prism of the two major elements running through the Bible: “covenant” and “kingdom”.

Central to 3DM’s principles are “LifeShapes”, which are described by creator Mike Breen as a “language of leadership”, and “Huddles”, an invitation-only, high commitment group session for leaders to receive investment, training and accountability.

Rev Orrell Battersby, who has been utilising 3DM in Newlife Pacific Pines Uniting Church, explains, “At the heart of what is now 3DM is a church culture that doesn’t just create converts or invite people to church services, it makes disciples that are learning to live like Jesus did.”

“They train people to listen to the voice of God and respond, to pass along what they are learning, to become leaders. The people they train, in turn train others, and they train others. Disciples make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples.”

Now spanning North America and Europe, 3DM is yet to fully flourish in the Asia-Pacific, but those Australians practising it have nothing but positive messages for the curious.

Rev Mark Illingworth notes, “The Billabong Uniting Church in Western Australia has been journeying with 3DM for the past four years. The increased clarity and resulting simplicity of what it means to follow Jesus is creating a culture that lives and breathes 24/7 imitators of Jesus amongst the last, the least and the lost.”

Rev Andy Goodacre echoes these sentiments: “Six years ago we took over a very small, struggling Anglican parish church in the northern suburbs of Launceston. The principles, support, coaching and encouragement we received from 3DM helped us to persevere when this was hard, but also to learn really wise, strategic principles to put in place, in order to reshape the culture of the church.”

For those keen to explore what 3DM can offer their congregation, the Queensland Synod will host an introductory workshop in early September to provide further information on the movement and hear success stories from Missional Communities Australia.

Scott Guyatt, co-organiser of the workshop, says, “3DM is one of a number of structured approaches to shaping a discipleship culture in your congregation.”

“The workshop is an ideal opportunity to check it out, and see whether the 3DM approach might fit for your particular context and your congregation’s desire to emphasise discipleship.”

For more information on the workshop visit ucaqld.com.au/3dmworkshop

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