Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
Goal 2: Involvement
Besides depth of Biblical understanding, a goal for our church is - Everyone Doing Something. Please allow me to elaborate: not everyone will have a daily or weekly responsibility. You may not even take on the same job twice. Yet since we are all members of the body of Christ, and we expect our physical body parts to function when we need them, so we must be ready to work within the church body. You may be called upon to sweep the fellowship hall, clean the church, visit someone who is sick, or even teach a Sunday School lesson.
Each job is important! If the parking lot was a mess, guests would not want to come inside. If no one brought food for First Sunday Meal, what would we eat? If no one sent cards or made calls to the sick, they would become discouraged.
During our planning time, you will have the opportunity to share your ideas for reaching out to the community, the underserved, and those in the mission field. Think of things YOU plan to do, ways YOU would like to be involved. As we share ideas, some people may have great input that we had never considered.
Why "Cool Church" Doesn't Work
Sometimes lurking beneath cool is inauthenticity. Dump that.
Authentic resonates. People are looking for what’s real, what’s true, and what’s authentic.
2. A Deeper Sense of Mission
The church has always been about something bigger than itself. At the center of our mission is Christ.
A church that is focused on a larger mission will never become self-obsessed. Cool can carry with it a sense of narcissism.
You lose your narcissism when you lose yourself in a bigger mission.
And that, by the way, is something Gen Z and Millennials long to give their lives to.
3. Deal Hope
We leaders are dealers in hope.
And Christianity provides more hope than anything.
I’m 100% behind making messages practical, applicable, and helpful. I think the Gospel is that. But it is also much more than that.
If all we have is this life, we’re to be pitied more than anyone (pretty sure the Bible says something about that).
In an age where all most people see is that which is imminent, people need to be ushered into the presence of Someone who is transcendent.
Christianity at its best has always been about both immanence and transcendence.
If you become a student of preaching in growing churches, you’ll soon see that hope is a constant theme in their preaching, as it should be. After all, Jesus sees our hate and meets it with love. He took death and turned it into life. If that’s not hope, I don’t know what is. And it’s exactly what our world is longing for.
4. Elevate Community
I’m all for lights, sound, relevance, and even video walls if they help the mission.
But as my friend Reggie Joiner says, the church will never be able to out-Disney Disney.
And that’s true, we will never have the budget or resources to entertain or engage the best. But even if we did…what would be the point?
While we can’t out-Disney Disney, no one should be able to out-community the local church.
God is in the people business. He loves us. And the goal is to connect people with Christ and with each other.
As your church grows bigger, it also needs to grow smaller by connecting people relationally. I know we’ve said this for years, but it’s never been more urgent.
Experimenting is the key to innovation.
And, as we’ve seen, in an age of imitation in the church, innovation has been sidelined.
Bring that back.
Do what you do now, but start experimenting on the side to see what’s really going to make the biggest impact in the future.
And while more expressive, charismatic worship and preaching seem to be connecting right now, that likely won’t be the entire future.
But that shouldn’t stop us from trying.
Leaders and churches need to keep experimenting, keep pressing on in the name of love and keep driving down new highways to find the future.