This year we’ve been talking about the growth of Vista Churches to a total of five by 2015 — #5by15 — check out the previous posts “Vista Churches Multisite: 5 by ’15” & “Vista Churches Multisite: Missional or Bust”. Here we continue the series, as we look ahead to what’s required to move forward on this vision…
There are plenty of very good checklists available to assist churches in planting new churches and sites, but none of the checklists we have seen begin with, “Keep on doin’ what you’re doin.'” They should. (I apologize, I know it isn’t polite to “should” on you.)
Healthy things grow. If a church is healthy, it won’t be able to keep from needing and establishing new churches. If the church is worshipful and praying, and searching for God, and humble, and following the Spirit, and obedient to Jesus, and being continuously challenged and changed by the gospel, then it’s likely it will grow. And if the church grows it will spawn new, creative and unique expressions in new communities to reach more for Christ!
So the first question we need to ask in pursuit of the 5by15 vision we are seeking to confirm is not, “What should we do to start another three sites by the end of 2015?” But first, “Are we who God has called us to be?” As one of our elders is fond of reminding us, we must always BB4DO.
Among all that the Scriptures and Jesus (is there a difference?) teach us, two agendas stand out as we consider being the healthy church God needs us to be: being missional and multiplying. The church needs more M&Ms!
I’ll tackle a bit of missional in this post.
Are we earnestly pressing out to the Gospel’s Edge — using our words, our actions, and BLESSing people? Are we living at the intersection of Jesus and real life? Are we overlapping our story with the stories of those yet to know the Mercy of God? Are we stretching beyond our comfort zones to where the weary, wounded and wayward are? And by “we” I mean you. Are you on the Gospel’s Edge?
The only way the “church” can be missional is if each person is responding to Jesus’ call to be missional within the unique self and space He has created and placed you!
Scary? For some of us, sure.
Difficult? For most of us, yep.
How? Stay tuned…
We need to talk more about “How?” because we tend to build it up in our minds to be scarier and more difficult than it is. The reality is that God has created you specifically for the works to which He’s called you; that God has and will equip and resource you to do it; and He’s provided a church of people to cooperate together to get it done. (You are likely already missional and you don’t know it!)
So, for the next 4-6 six months, instead of planning and organizing to plant a third site, let’s plan and organize to be the healthy church to whom God call us to be! And see what God does…
The accompanying agenda to missional that the healthy church must be abo is multiplying. I’ll cover that one next time…