WHY WE’RE HERE
Jesus used one of the most intimate gatherings in Jewish culture to reach out to his community. He invited sinners to sit with him at his table, to share a meal with him, so much so that he and his disciples were called drunks and gluttons. Our community of believers hopes to be a place where sinners, which we all are, have a seat to hear the proclamation that Jesus is Lord and that there is grace and love for all. There is always room at our table for anyone, no matter their struggles or past. A place that will show the love of Christ, in hopes that we are drawn close to our Savior.
The Son of Man has come, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”
We give a seat to the unloved, the unreached, and the unseen, in hopes that our community will know that our Father in heaven:
1. Loves Us
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
2. Reached Down to Us Through His Son Jesus
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.Romans 8:3-4
3. Sees Us
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.Matthew 9:35-38
HOW WE HOPE TO DO IT
The book of Acts lays out a strategy for what it looks like to plant churches. It is a cyclical pattern of reaching the lost, discipling those who are saved, raising leaders, training the leaders, and then sending out those leaders to plant a local church. The strategy is nothing if it is not rooted in complete dependence and guidance of the Holy Spirit and through unified prayer.
- Reach the Lost
The reason to plant a church is to reach the lost in your local community. A church must present the Gospel with the contextualization of the community it is trying to reach. Jesus always contextualized his message depending on his crowd. We see that Paul writes to different churches in different ways. It is no different when a church is trying to reach its community. Although every community is reached differently, every community needs the saving message of Jesus. The message is always the same. A church contextualized by the guidance of the Spirit must have a singular pursuit of the mission that God has given all believers.
2. Disciple the Saved
The model has never been to save the lost and then throw them into the world, but rather to teach those who have been found. A church must invest in the saints, and teach them the whole of scripture, the wholeness of God, and the mission that it has been given. A church must not only teach, but also encourage believers. The early believers were constantly praying and encouraging their fellow brothers and sisters. When a church body becomes individually focused, then it becomes crippled.
3. Raise Up Leaders
When a church is reaching the lost, gathering together, and beginning to be discipled, it must raise leaders to help lead the church.
This is what we see in Acts. Paul would proclaim the Gospel, and teach those who were saved, then he would raise up a leader to continue the ministry that he started. A church needs biblically qualified leaders. Leaders must be trained to be able to lead effectively.
4. Send Out Leaders
The church is not a hoarder of leaders. It should be training up and sending out those leaders to further the mission. Once the leaders are trained and prepared, then the church must be willing to send them out. The church cannot be inwardly focused on how it can grow but must be outwardly focused on how the Kingdom of God can grow. A church should not stop training and supporting the sent-out leaders, but continually encourage and pray for the sent.
The mission is to continue the work of Christ and to spread the message of reconciliation to the ends of the earth. We must continue to reach the lost, disciple the saved, raise up and train leaders, and send out leaders to continue the mission.
Weekly Ways to Foster this Strategy
- Weekly Gathering
A believer’s life and growth were never meant to be done in isolation but with other believers stirring them on. Our church has two ways that we hope can stir each other up. We have a weekly gathering, where we come as one to proclaim that Jesus is Lord through scripture, singing, prayer, and communion. All of these are done because of what Jesus has done for us. As a community, we are united together during this weekly gathering.
2. Gospel Communities
We strive to build authentic family and community in the church. In the same way, a city has different families living among it, we desire to have different “families”, or Gospel Communities, that break our large community into groups, that can do life together in an intimate way. They can share their struggles, and their joy, and confess their sins to one another. Having a family that will pray for them, will help them grow stronger in their proclamation that Jesus is Lord.