January 28, 2015 Leave a comment
Since being back in the Marshall County area, we have been visiting different churches to worship with all of our friends as well as remembering the culture in which we left. We have been touching base with those we had done ministry with and those who we touched with our ministry before we left. It has been really good for us to worship with those we love as well as worshiping in the community we will be doing ministry in.
With that being said, we have been asked numerous times if we were just visiting or if we were making the church we were visiting that Sunday our church home. It is hard to let down our friends by telling them we are just visiting. But I love telling them we did not come back just to come back. We came back to do ministry so we are planting our own church. It is too hard to explain what missional communities are without some misunderstanding so I tread lightly in the words I use because when I say church, I don’t mean their context of church.
The struggle is too real to do just that, though. It would be too easy to rent a place out, pass out flyers, make phone calls, create Facebook events so we could do “church.” I could plan a sermon, call up a musician friend, set up chairs, and sing four songs, pass the plate, speak for 30 minutes, shake babies and kiss hands as they walk out and feel good that we held a great church service.
But I wouldn’t feel good at all.
Our intention is not to continue being part of the monster that makes Christian consumerism. We want to make disciples. We feel that creating an atmosphere for someone to come in to a place and hide among the people and walk out unchanged would be doing the gospel a disservice.
When I explain that we intend on creating a new expression (for this community) of church, I usually get positive feedback but when I explain it is high accountability then I get pushback. No one wants to be confronted or challenged. Western Christianity has created a problem God never intended.
It would be too easy to keep with the status quo. Instead, I choose to live in the community, be in the community, work with the community. I choose to wait for God to lead me to those He has been preparing. I choose to be slow and not rush into wanting to create a biblical community just because I can.
That’s the hard part because planting a church in today’s culture means immediacy in doing something. It can feel, when done right, that nothing is being done at all when that is far from the truth. Building relationships take time. Creating a missional culture takes time. Doing it right takes time.