Missional Church Learning Experience

You’re Invited

A Missional Church Learning Experience (MCLE) is a cluster of churches in an American Baptist region that forms a learning community to explore what God is saying to the church today.

Missional Church Learning Experience Guidelines

Download this overview and outline of responsibilities to determine if the learning experience would benefit your regional efforts in church vitality.

The Christian Citizen: “Small Church, Big Mission”

In this Christian social action and advocacy magazine, read about the first year of the Missional Church Learning Experience initiative that partners American Baptist Home Mission Societies with regions to invite small American Baptist churches to create learning communities and practice missional principles.


What is it?

Missional Church Learning Experience (MCLE) is a cluster of churches in an American Baptist region that forms a Learning Community to explore what God is saying to the Church today. How can we best fit in with God’s mission in our rapidly changing culture? Each church involved in the Learning Community forms a mission team that receives training in basic missional church principles and practices those principles by designing and implementing a small community project. The Learning Community will meet four times during the process to share what they are learning and receive further training. Their lessons learned will be shared with other American Baptist churches in the region and across the nation.

Who can participate?

Any church, large or small, country or city, who is interested in exploring the future of Christian faith in America. Some guidelines for church involvement:

  • Not satisfied with their church’s current effectiveness.
  • Willing to try new ideas—including involvement with their communities.

What is the church expected to do?

  • Establish a mission team of five members who will give oversight to their church’s involvement during an eight-month Missional Church Learning Experience (MCLE). Composed of:
    • the pastor (or appointed leader)
    • three lay members
    • a youth (age 14-29)
  • Mission team will attend three MCLE sessions over an eight-month period.
  • Complete four assignments that will help the mission team design a small community project that will be used to practice missional principles.
  • Implement their community project—involving appropriate church resources of time, money, energy and community partnerships.
  • Share what they learn from their experiences with other churches in the Learning Community, the region and the American Baptist family.

What are the contents of the three sessions?

  1. Introduction to basic missional principles and explanation of the MCLE process.
  2. Mission teams will share what they learned during their four assignments and use their community project outline as a case study to learn more about missional church principles.
  3. Mission teams will report on their community project and what they are learning about God’s kingdom work in America today.

What do we need to do to get started?

Ask your region to host a Missional Church Learning Experience introduction and contact the Rev. Glynis LaBarre, transformation strategist with American Baptist Home Mission Societies, glynis.labarre@abhms.org, to set a date for your MCLE introduction.

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