Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mission from the gospels...Being the hands and feet of Jesus

Ingredients for a successful church plant:Let Christ build His Church

It took 10 years for God to break me of the "church as usual." mindset...came right out of seminary and hit the ground running with an itch to plant a church because...that's why we go to seminary/bible college right? went to all of the church planting and church growth conferences...heard a lot of great leaders sharing their success (and failure) stories, and I came to the realization that everyone else's success story won't work for me. hundreds of stories, hundreds of models and methods of church planting exposed...but it was Ed Stetzer's message that hit me ...breaking the missional code...contextualizing the gospel to the unique cultural DNA that exists within your target community...and the journey towards missional community began. I remember telling our very small Baptist congregation that we should close the church, sell the building and just live in the community amongst our neighbors, as the sent, hands and feet of Jesus...preached a month of sermons on being missional/incarnational...salt and light...in the world/not of the world, and I lost every single one of them...April 1, 2009, we signed a usage agreement with another church who wanted to use our church building...My family and I just lived in the community, had youth group and small groups at our house (we had already been living in the community 4 years at that point) got involved with the local public school, boy scouts, little league baseball, community soccer league, etc...because our two sons were involved in these activities. We hooked up with a couple community ministries run by other local churches...a soup kitchen and a local rescue mission and just got busy serving. We did a number of block parties and outdoor/park worship services, working with other churches and ministries, and God started showing me a different path to church planting. Fast forward to summer 2014...we're still living in this community...the church that had been using the sixth ave baptist church building had closed and the pastor moved south...and here we are back in the old building again...but it's different this time..God has trained us up according to what he wants...so we'll continue to serve Him, serve this community, AND LET HIM BUILD HIS CHURCH!