They've Only Just Begun . . .
A Church Planting Story - Chapter 5
Planting a church is about gathering community. Jared and Laura made purposeful connections and also let the Holy Spirit go to town to pull together a group of people who were ready to live like family, to be like Jesus, and to work hard to make Missio happen.
The church launched at Northgate Community Center at the end of April 2018. The room was filled with team members, friends from far away, and people from the community. Guillermo, a custodian at the neighborhood elementary school, stood up and told about how Missio has already poured into the lives of families at their school. This was a complete change in attitude from the first time he met Missio. Let’s just say his expectations from people who called themselves Christians were very, very low. You’ll have to ask Jared to tell you the story sometime.
Moving from Launch into the long growth phase of church planting means recasting vision over and over again. There’s no end date that you’re ramping up for, so you keep recasting vision for things like presence and deepening presence. It means developing a consistent rhythm for small groups, Sundays mornings, and service. It’s like creating a mini launch three times every year.
Remember back at the beginning of this story, we talked about Jared and Laura going to strategy lab? Initially it was to take their dream and turn it into a plan. But that plan was built on a framework that wasn’t there yet. So, after a couple of years, they went back to Strategy Lab with some experience under their belts, and rebuilt the plan using what they’d learned along the way.
Just recently, they went to Strategy Lab for a third time, this time not as a dream, but as a church. They were able to work on their yearly calendar and set goals for Christmas, Easter, and the start of school.
This little church has a big heart. Twice this year, they’ve given their whole contribution to support their neighborhood elementary school. They’re feeding hungry people, giving warm coats to people who need them, and shining God’s light in a corner of our country that proclaims itself to be “beyond” its need for God.
But light speaks.
Here’s what one Google reviewer has to say:
“This place is the Light of God, pure and simple. All are welcome. Every single being. Which is what church ought to be everywhere in my oh so humble opinion. A far cry from what we see out there in much of the church these days. Here -one is received, nourished and so cannot help but want to deliver the same to those in their every day."