You’ve probably noticed that:
- Churches are emptier than they used to be.
- Churches are no longer held in high regard.
- Ministries and programs that used to work no longer seem effective.
And you probably feel:
Maybe you even feel like a failure…
I know how you feel.
I felt like a failure for years. Why? Because I couldn’t get my church to grow!
- I read all the books.
- I attended all the conferences.
- I joined all the webinars.
But nothing worked.
Then I realized something.
Maybe I was pursuing the wrong thing.
Maybe getting my church to be bigger isn’t what God was asking me to do.
Maybe what God wanted was for me to simply lead my people to join in God’s mission.
Maybe God just wanted us to be a part of what God was already doing.
I developed a process for discerning and engaging in God’s mission—the mission God is actually calling your church into.
That’s what Beyond Thingification is all about.
Vocational Connection Groups
In Beyond Thingification, I outline the Vocational Connection Groups process. This process essentially involves four steps:
“There’s a lot of material out there about how to be the church in ordinary life—in the neighborhood and one’s places of vocation. What is still amazing about so many of these books is how they’re driven by what Markus Watson calls ‘thingification,’ a word that goes straight to the point. Behind the drives to “connect” lie anxieties about survival and relevance but also a lack of theological imagination about who God is and what it means to be God’s people in the local. Here Markus guides you through some of the threads in current life that have produced thingification and shares with congregations how to be guided by the Spirit into a different space.”
Alan Roxburgh, author of The Missional Leader; Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World; and Structured for Mission
“Markus Watson is a pastor with a heart for church and the neighborhoods where churches live. A researcher and thinker who puts ideas into practice, and an inquisitive listener who loves to explore the possibilities for God’s people to live together in the most healthy and joy-filled ways. This book is a road-map for a church to find new vibrancy, new life, new joy. I heartily recommend it.”
Tod Bolsinger, VP and Chief of Leadership Formation at Fuller Seminary, author of Canoeing the Mountains: Leading into Uncharted Territory
“The Church has done Kingdom things in Empire ways for centuries. We’re beginning to discover that and we’ll need all the help we can get to imagine the way back to doing Kingdom things in Kingdom ways. Markus Watson provides such a resource, walking us through practical and hopeful new (old?) ways of being the Church.”
Mandy Smith, pastor of University Christian Church, author of The Vulnerable Pastor: How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry
“Beginning with a robust articulation of God’s mission, Markus Watson provides a wise, compelling, and tangible way for God’s people to navigate these complex times. This book is both pastoral and visionary, hopeful and realistic. It’s a joyful invitation to join God’s work in the world.”
Jim Mullins, pastor of theological and vocational formation at Redemption Tempe, author of The Symphony of Mission: Playing Your Part in God’s Work in the World
“The work of God’s people extends far beyond the walls of the church. This book is an excellent guide for helping congregations discover and then live into the work that God is doing in many places.”
Kurt Fredrickson, Associate Dean for the Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education, co-author of That Their Work Will Be a Joy: Understanding and Coping With the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry
As you and your church read Beyond Thingification and implement the Vocational Connection Groups process, you will:
- Help your church meaningfully engage in God’s mission.
- Escape the hamster wheel of doing the same old—but now ineffective!—ministry programs.