In talking to people, I have been asked, “Why another church?” When anyone interested in church has plenty of options in Midwest City, why give them another one?
My default answer to that question is that I’m planting a church for people who don’t like church. It is for people who don’t find church relevant to their current lives, or at least not relevant enough to bother going. They think there are better ways to spend their time. In other words, it’s for people who think there’s something better than church. But why will people come to this church that wouldn’t go to another church?
The answer is that it won’t be a church. At least, not in the contemporary sense of the word. Most people in our culture think of church as a place. It is where religious people attend. The main product of these places are worship services. So, when I say I’m planting a church, most people think I’m planting a worship service in a building somewhere.
Except, I’m not.
Now, there is nothing wrong with worship services. In fact, they are a vital part of faith formation for practicing Christians. To routinely engage in praising something greater than our own self-interest and pleasure is fundamental to a healthy Christian faith. But, you don’t start there and you can’t force it.
But if you read the Bible and pay attention to what Jesus says, you’ll never hear him telling his followers to go plant awesome worship services or erect stained-glass sanctuaries. Instead, you’ll hear him telling them and commanding them to love one another. In fact, he even says that their love for one another should be how people know they are his followers.
I believe that’s what the main product of church should be. So, the church I’ve been called to plant will not be a worship service, or a Bible study, or a building. It will be a people – a community known for the radical way they love one another and the world around them, just like Jesus did. My launch team and I will work together to create a community whose focus is on initiating and facilitating relationships, then celebrating acts of love as they are lived out within that community. It will be a community where, no matter who you are or what you believe, you will be welcomed with the grace Jesus Christ offered us. It will be a community that takes seriously the critique of 1 John 2, where those who claim to be in Christ must walk as Jesus walked.
That’s the basic idea. That’s the elevator version of what I’m doing. In a world where people have 1,000 friends on Facebook, but spend most nights feeling alone; where they are members of online groups with published stories, but don’t have any community to whom can share their actual story, I believe a church like that is just what this world needs? What do you think? How does that sound? Let me know.
And if it sounds good, why don’t you join me in creating that kind of community? You don’t have to commit to more than you are comfortable doing – even if that is just attending the events – and there will always be the opportunity for a graceful exit. But the truth is nobody can build community alone. It takes people. Will you be one of those people?
If you think you might be interested, click this link to sign up for our email and text list. We’ll keep you abreast of the events. You can also choose to get launch-team emails and texts, in case you feel like you might be interested in that as well.
Also, please share this page/blog with anyone you can. Let’s get the word out. Thanks and may you experience the grace and peace of God.