Today we finished our Roots series. While only four weeks, the series sets a trajectory toward our future. We started with a night last month where we communicated a revised mission and vision, and set some goals for the next five years. One of those goals—and perhaps one of the more difficult ones to live out— was to have at least one new church established within the next five years.
I’ve referenced Tim Keller’s “Why Plant Churches?” article so many times, I figure I’d send it along one more time. If you haven’t read it, and you’re a part of our church family, then I would suggest you read it. However, today I wanted to give three more statements to you.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO BOTH PLANTING AND REVITALIZATION
The definition of church planting given this morning was the intentional sending of a team of people to make disciples in a specific area or among a specific people with the goal of establishing a healthy, growing, local community that reflects the person of Jesus and advances the mission of Jesus. However, I didn’t mention revitalization, which would be when we intentionally go to established (and likely struggling) local churches with a goal of stirring them toward greater love for Jesus. This 9 Marks article is a great defense for revitalization. We don’t want to neglect what God is doing in our own congregation, or in other congregations, simply to go start new works. We will continue to do both.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO EQUIPPING OUR FLOCK
I want to see everyone at The Chapel love Jesus more, grow in their knowledge of him, and share him with others. One of our main tasks will be to continue equipping our congregation. There is much work to do here in all of us. There are so many ways we need to grow, friendships that need to be developed, and sins we need to confess. The classes we offer, sermons we preach, and stories we tell, will often reflect the needs that exist within our own church and our own culture. We know that if we want to be a church-planting church, we need to equip you well.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO LISTENING TO THE LORD
At lunch last week a friend mentioned to me a burden that recently came to him for a specific region of the world. It was not one he had ever had. Today someone came up to me after a service and mentioned that same region of the world. In talking with another friend after the service that same region came up. What does all that mean? Perhaps nothing. I really don’t know. What I do know, though, is when we start asking ourselves “Where, Lord?” and “Who, Lord?” we need to be ready for an answer.
I’ll talk more about the Three campaign in a future post—but that was a whole different set of fun.
I’m excited for our church and excited for its future.