Tomorrow morning. Sunday January 11, 2009, I will be worshipping God at my home church, Norcross First Baptist. God is doing amazing things at NFBC. He is preparing the soil for a future harvest that is going to be fantastic. All who look at it will be amazed at what God did in Norcross.
Tomorrow morning. 3 other churches have major things going on. 3 churches in three markets that I am convinced God has His hand on. I am psyched to follow these three churches and discover what God is going to do through them.
Awaken Church in Columbia, SC has a “Vision Casting/Culture Building” meeting tomorrow. Read for yourself.
We envision Awaken Church as one church network that is made up of several community churchesthat partner together for the common good and transformation of people, our city, and the world. Each community church will be unique and contextualized based on the area of Metro Columbia where it forms. As a network then, we envision a diverse church made up of multiple ethnicities, wealthy and homeless, families and singles, artists and professionals, seniors and students.
Courageous Church in Downtown Atlanta, Georgia has its Grand Opening Service at Center Stage. Why does Atlanta need another church? I don’t think think this is going to be just another church.
The Courageous Church is currently building up a launch team of men, women, and children who are willing to dream dreams so ridiculously big that it would be unethical for us to take all of the credit when they come true! We believe that a few courageous people can bring about real, earth-shattering change in the world! We believe that thousands of people who are distant and disconnected from the church will come to live adventurous Christian lives! We believe that real diversity makes us stronger! We believe that the bold, compassionate, revolutionary Jesus of the Gospels is more relevant today than ever be.
We agree with Jesus that the two most important things in life are to love God with everything we have and to love and value people like we do ourselves. We feel a need to add the words PROVE IT to this because it is far too easy to agree with Jesus on an intellectual, esoteric level about loving God and loving people without ever demonstrating these commands through the choices we make.
We care about people and causes around the world and are eager to prove it through the lives we live and the things we do. This is why we exist.
Brewery? What? You read it right. Actually, it is Sojourn Church in Huntsville, Alabama. So what is the backstory of Sojourn?
A few years I heard that America was one of the only nations in which Christianity was in decline – the popluation growth was outweighing the number of new Christians. I thought, “No way!”
The statistics were true. In fact, let me take you to Metro Huntsville’s data from the 2000 census. In that study only 45% of people claimed to have a religious preference. This included all religions and cults.
Further national polls revealed that very few Christians invited anyone to church/worship with them. But, get this, a large percentage of those who actually WERE invited were already members of another Christian church.
I was infuriated! Stinking Christians! It appeared that nobody was reaching out to non-disciples. And then I looked at my calendar… @#*&!! I was a part of the problem. I spent so much time with Christians. So much time doing the mechanics of pastoring and ministry. These are good, but I was not living life like Christ did.
He engaged His culture, engaged non-disciples, invited them into His journey, invited them into His community and He spiritually invited them into His life.
I realized that I was not following Christ’s example. I realized that I must first start walking the way of a missional disciple and disciple others to do the same.
So here we are. The dream of Sojourn is to be an imperfect group of disciples, together engaging the lives of pre-disciples as we live to glorify and enjoy God. We have been invited to join God’s mission. This is what it means to be a missional disciple and a missional church.
I am praying for the leadership teams in these three churches. I pray that your cities will become convicted and revival will ignite there. I can’t wait to hear what happens.