Sunday, June 8, 2008

Measuring Success

Today's sermon time was focused on discussing the past two years of ministry and where we see the CORE Church going in the near future. We started as a small group of seven in March of 2006 with the intention of being indigenous and organic in the midst of Troy's inner-city. As such, we have purposely avoided church marketing strategies. We are in agreement with wanting to see our growth come naturally, as God gives the increase. We are committed to being missional and incarnational . We are commonly interested in learning how to live as Christ lived, love as Christ loved and serve as Christ served, and what that would look like in our local church setting. We are convinced that if we can truly live out this collective vision that God has given us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, then we will be successful in making His name known in the heart of this upstate NY city and we will experience exponential growth. We are now reproducing leaders in preparation for reproducing locations. As my church planting friend Brent Foulke recently shared with me, "Healthy things grow." With that in mind, we are looking and praying toward being a healthy, vibrant community of Christ followers.

Having said all of that I have to confess that I have often been discouraged by other church plants that have been in existence as long as the CORE church of Troy has been (2 years) and are seeing hundreds in their weekly worship services while we are growing at a much slower pace. If we are preaching the word and loving and serving people as Christ did, shouldn't we be seeing that kind of growth? Then God smacks me back down to reality by showing me that we are reaching the people he sent us to. When I see the children in the neighborhood, who know us by name, and the single moms who know us and trust us enough to minister to them and their children I am reminded that we are bearing fruit. When a 13 year old boy (among other children) comes to church every week, excited about reading the Bible and learning about God, I am reminded that God does not measure success the same way we do.

We knew coming into this that it would be a long, slow process, but that we will be successful as long as we focus on Christ; that is, knowing Him and growing in Him and making Him known. We are gearing up for another summer of ministry. In our neighborhood children's ministry is desparately needed. One of our goals is to continue to focus on developing a stellar children's ministry.

We are also seeing the need to focus on and develop small groups. As such, we are praying about adding to our small groups as God opens new doors.

Please pray with the CORE Church of Troy as we continue to make Christ known in the heart of the city.