After writing that blog yesterday I listened to a podcast from Catalyst featuring Perry Noble and he talked about his start in Anderson, SC. He said that Anderson had a church and a tree on every corner. Then last night someone I trust very much said that we, West Columbia, don’t need another church.
I have a friend who was asked to consider leaving the church he was at to pastor another one. And he told me there were people on both sides with strong convictions about whether he should stay or go. When it came down to it, it was something only God could tell him.
That is the point I’m at right now. I’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly from people I respect and trust. I value input from those who have been there, but I’ve been given a vision (or burden) and only God can release me from that.
I do see a church plant in the not too distant future, but for now I have the opportunity to start what I can only call a “service plant”. On Saturday nights at 7 PM we will begin reaching out specifically to this generation. From the style to the format to the way we interact with people, it will be focused on those who don’t speak the “church language”. We will take nothing for granted. In Nehemiah the priest read from the Law and the people listened. But if you keep reading it says then the Levites (church workers) explained it to the people so they could understand it. We have to be able to present God’s word in a way that the people we are trying to reach can understand it.
It will also be a place of refuge for those already leading worship or prayer at other churches. It will be an atmosphere without all of the “rituals” we have to “do” on Sunday mornings: opening welcome, worship, special, announcements, tithe and offering, worship, message, benediction and/or altar service. There is a lot going on and it is hard for leaders to really let go of themselves because of the built-in restraints (time mostly).
It will be a progression, and it will evolve as it goes, but at the heart of it all will be a desire to spend time worshiping and praising our Lord and Savior, whether it is through communion, a praise team, or a pastor’s message, it will all flow together so that we can grow in Him.
Pray for us. Pray that we are doing His will and not ours. Pray that the leaders He wants involved will step up. Pray that my Senior Pastor and I will share a common goal and even though we may disagree on style of worship or how we present the Gospel, we will be like-minded in our goal to reach people.