3DM Director, Jo Saxton, Helps Churches Change Their Communities

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At 19, Jo Saxton had an opportunity most of her peers could only dream of: a full ride to the University of Oxford. As a child of Nigerian immigrants growing up in inner-city London, the offer was huge--and one she ultimately turned down. For Saxton, the decision culminated a journey back to faith in the God she'd wandered from. Instead, she headed for Sheffield, where she eventually joined St. Thomas' Church, the launch point for the missional community movement--a church-based network of small groups aiming to impact their neighborhoods and cities for the kingdom. The movement, led by St. Thomas pastor Mike Breen, spread throughout the UK, and is now taking hold in the United States. Saxton and her husband joined Breen and his wife to start 3DM, an organization that helps churches promote the movement through seminars, curriculum, camps, and consulting.

Saxton says the missional community model reflects the difference discipleship has made in her life. "My faith was [strengthened] by people who invested in me, whose lives weren't easy but who were really faithful to God," says Saxton, author of Real God, Real Life: Finding a Spirituality That Works and High Heels and Holiness: The Smart Girl's Guide to Living Life Well (both Hodder & Stoughton). "They didn't have all the answers, but you couldn't ignore what their life looked like with God."

Question & Answer

Please describe the work of 3DM.

We gather teams from 10 to 12 churches and go on a two-year journey, meeting with them every six months. We build a discipling culture with leaders whose missional context is their workplace. Then we launch missional communities, reaching into areas where the church isn't currently reaching. We're not saying this is the only way or the best way to reach them, but if you learn to do this well, you can reach into previously unreached cracks of society. After two years, the churches are established as "mission bases" within a certain region.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Morgan Feddes
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