I decided my 18 year-old son’s latest post was important enough to steal it from him. I only wish I had written this first. Great thoughts. Nate has led in our student worship area for the last couple years and done an amazing job. Our church is going to miss him this fall as he begins his college days at Moody Bible College in Chicago. You can follow Nate’s thoughts at his blog Moons from Burma.
For over a year Grace Community Church has partnered with City Church in Klaipeda, Lithuania. This partnership has at this point consisted primarily of frequent Skype or Tokbox conversations between me and Pastor Saulius of City Church. I love to invest in other pastors and churches and this provides a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other.
My 18 year old son Nate is serving as an intern this Summer for Michael Bayne our family minister working primarily with middle and high school students. Recently he took it upon himself and made this video announcement to send to the students. It reminds me that the methods of communicating with our people are changing every day. Are you staying current? Does your church use Facebook, Twitter, text messaging and video messaging to stay current?
Summer is often a time for church leaders (unless you are youth leaders) to take vacations, chill out, and rest up. While I agree with that need, the fact is that fall gets here quickly and we need to be prepared for one of the best growth opportunities of the year.
Sometimes we keep doing what we are doing because God called us to do it, not because we are popular, the work is easy, or even that we are being well received at the time. Being obedient to the call of God is sometimes painful, unpopular, difficult, and seemingly unrewarded (at the time).
At the same time, our church has continued to grow and the needs for our ministries are greater than ever. This season has forced us to find ways to do more with less. We need to continue to train our people, learn new ways of doing things and keep up with current trends, but we can no longer afford to attend all the conferences we once could.
I work with lots of church plants and young ventures. I love the enthusiasm and momentum an organization has early in its life. I hope to always be a part of starting something. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’m equally as concerned about sustainability. The right energy and vision will create growth fast, but building an organization that lasts requires having a plan for maintaining viability.
My friend Tony Hill sent me this email this week asking me about our experience with church planting: (Tony is the mastermind behind my blog design.)
Years ago I participated in a one-day medical clinic in a slum near Rio, Brazil that remains nameless, because the government has yet to name it. It is literally built on the side of a steep mountain. Simply walking to the clinic was a huge task. My job was to evangelize the crowd waiting to see the doctors. My translator and I had several decisions to accept Christ, but remarkably we also encountered a good number of professing believers. When I told them that the desire was to eventually start a church in the slum, they were ecstatic. One lady began to jump up and down with excitement. They wanted a local church!
Daniel Doss, the amazing worship leader who helped launch Grace Community Church, announced to the church this week that he is leaving to help plant another church. Daniel has one of the most gifted voices I have ever heard and could easily find a position anywhere, including staying at Grace, but he is excited to be pursuing the dream of planting again (it does get in your blood) with a high school friend in Northern Indiana. Daniel is our first staff member to ever leave and we are surely going to miss his and Emily’s energy and passion for what we are doing at Grace.