Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is CORE?

What is CORE?

You might be asking this question, and with good reason.

Well, CORE represents several things; first of all, it is the vision God gave to me nearly three years ago, as I was getting ready to graduate seminary. I knew I wanted to plant a church, and I knew that I wanted to target a hard to reach, inner-city community. What the Holy Spirit began to form in my mind and in my heart was the way I would go about planting such a church. I had seen so many local churches just going through the motions of doing church. Religion and denominationalism had taken its toll on manyof these churches. I really wanted to plant a church that is raw; stripped bare of religiosity and denominational traditions and structure.

I had been engaged in inner-city ministry for a dozen years prior to this point in my life and really wanted to be able to reach the average person on the street with God's message of love, peace and hope. I had tried all of the usual seminary taught evangelism tactics and had read numerous books on different styles of evangelism, only to be left thirsting for a way to relate to people on a personal level about a personal relationship with a personal Savior. Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of great books out there on evangelism and missiology. I have gleaned much from the books I have read. However, I was simply praying and looking for a simpler way to reach people and build Christ's church.

Then one day I was helping my son, who was in 2nd grade at the time, with somehomework. He had to look up some words and write down what they mean. One of his words for that day was "Core." So, I helped him look it up in the dictionary, then helped him read the definition as he wrote it down on paper. Afterward it hit me. "That's the word I was looking for to describe the vision God had given me; getting back to the core of what matters; the essentials of our faith, back to the apostolic way of making disciples.

Along with the word"CORE" a strategy began to emerge, as I asked the Lord to show me what all of this is to mean.Core became my vision for helping people to know Jesus Christ at the core (center) of their lives and then make Him know to others.

You can read more about the vision and also the acrostic for CORE that spells out how we see our community of faith living out God's plan and purpose for our lives.