In January of 2021, Trellis began with a hub of apostolic leaders in the greater Knoxville area, which is currently working to mobilize an army of local missionaries in order to train, equip, and empower them to plant the gospel in areas and among people that current church models are struggling to reach. Leader Josh Armstrong and his team believes that 3 startup hubs are necessary to get the ball rolling. While the greater Knoxville area is the first, there are 2 other areas that they see as strategic, which are the Tri-cities area in the northeast of TN, and the greater Chattanooga area in the southeast of TN. The Tri-cities hub is already in the process of forming.
Listen to Episode 13 of the podcast and access the show notes below.
Future Church Insights:
1. Josh talks about why Trellis.
Josh says that after he and his wife served as missionaries internationally, they returned to the United States and were searching for what was next. They felt convicted that God wanted to show them how to do what we learned overseas in East Tennessee.
2. Josh introduces the idea of a “HUB”.
Josh talks about using Disciple Making Movements to look at how Jesus made disciples. He talks about the importance of going into others’ contexts and learn from them and understand their culture, identify persons of peace and slowly disciple people to Jesus and then allow them to do the same within their own social network. And see the gospel go away from us rather than coming to us, coming to our church buildings. And so there’s a lot more I can say about how that looks and what that looks like. But the long story short is you make disciples and see the church emerge from that. So, a HUB is a missionary sending and equipping team that would function within a county to launch Disciple Making Movements with normal everyday believers. So indigenous missionaries, if you will, that are living in their counties that are going to schools and going to their workplaces and how do we equip and train and mobilize them to live as missionaries in their everyday context.
3. Josh explains the structure of the HUBs.
And by extension, none of the HUBs govern the network of missionaries and micro churches, the movements, if you will, that are launched within that respective county. The HUBs don’t govern. And there’s no HUB of HUBs that govern the hubs. And so it’s very decentralized and it allows people to use creativity while having some shared language and resources and things of that nature.
Goals and Desired Outcomes of Trellis
Gospel saturation through a disciple-making movement (DMM), rallying dormant missionaries, and hubs that empower missionaries and micro-churches in every county of East TN are among the goals that we have identified thus far.
More of a reader? Download the transcription here.
Key Quotes from the episode from Josh Armstrong:
“And so rather than saying, we’re going to go plant churches and there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that at all, but that was the mentality that at one time had, let’s get a group of people and go plant the church rather than go into the harvest, make disciples and see the church emerge from not yet believers, which is a little bit counterintuitive to a lot of people. But it makes a lot of sense when working amongst unreached people groups and increasingly here in North America, even it’s necessary, and a lot of people are kind of shunning and turning away from prevailing model churches, unfortunately.” (5:23)
“And it’s also a big challenge, because a lot of times when you do something like this, you attract people that are just burnt or bitter toward prevailing models. And we said from the beginning, we don’t want that to be our MO, that is some of our stories, but God very early on made it clear that we are to be honoring of all expressions of the church, that he is still using each and every expression that has been used in the past.” (15:35)
“The good thing about that is I’m finding that the people it resonates with the most are people who don’t have a lot of prior church experience or maybe even experience with Jesus at all. This whole idea of decentralization and social networking and all that kind of stuff. It’s the language of our times. So there’s challenges, but there’s some good things along with it as well for sure.” (16:23)