My Heart During Change
I’ve met with so many of our GCC families who serve in multiple areas within our church, and it’s been an encouragement to me in getting to know the people who commit themselves to the giving of their time and talents. As I have met with people, they have shared stories of dear friends who have left Generations. I, too, know of many families that I met and walked with when I first came to the church, who are no longer here. Listening to our weekend host recently tell the story of good things happening at GCC, I couldn’t help but wonder if some people thought disinformation was given in order to create a better-than-actual narrative.
I think it is important for you to understand the posture of my heart on these matters.
- Many of the people who have left GCC are fun, loving, serving, and kind brothers/sisters in Christ.
- Jesus says that unbelievers will always be in the church and He alone will separate them out upon His return (Matthew 25). I am speaking in generalities, because I don’t know every person who has left, but I think it is crucial that you know my heart on the matter. I do not believe that we have lost bad people; rather I think we have lost fellow royal priests (1 Peter 2:9).
- People matter, so how we let go matters also.
- We don’t own anyone, as they are not our people. They are His people. He may be specifically calling them to something He needs them to do. Because of this, it is my desire to let go with grace and peace. It matters how obediently each of us walks through the doors God opens in our lives. Romans 12:18 should set the posture of our hearts, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” I am willing to reach out, listen, and/or meet with anyone who has concerns or hurts. It would be regrettable for anyone to ever leave a church and for that person or family to not be contacted in some way. We are all called to make sure that we let people go with a blessing and Christian love.
Like many of God’s people, we don’t get to choose to whom we preach the Gospel. Peter was set against the Gospel being for the gentile and Jonah was not enthusiastic about those he was called to preach God’s message. Our job is obedience to God’s calling in our lives.I am astounded at how quickly our community is growing and changing. So many new homes and these new families will be coming to our campus for Trunk or Treat during our fall festival in a few weeks. These families may choose to attend Gen in 5 or Connect Class and that will change the trajectory of their family forever. Our continued focus needs to be on lost people. This reality sets the tone for the decisions that are being made in our church. How are we making decisions?
- It’s one thing to assume that Christian leaders pray. I am praying consistently for the wisdom and guiding of the Holy Spirit as we make decisions for our church. I would ask you to join me in praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the work at GCC.
- Through the lens of priorities
- It is possible to edify the body of believers with our services and position ourselves as attractive to unbelievers at the same time. What you win people with, you keep them with. Our power is in the reality that our God is alive and working in the lives of His people. Decisions are made primarily in a specific order, that which is best for the people of our church. This ranks over what is best or easiest for staff every time. This ranks over what is best for me personally or politically. The mission of our church is to connect people to Christ. That has not changed. Our strategies all line up to achieve that objective.
What is our current vision?
We all learn in different ways. This point has been discussed during our staff meetings, on a regular basis. There is a different significance, however; when things are communicated in written form. Hopefully, this will help to bring clarity to all of us as we work diligently in our areas of focus.
We are unashamed of programs used as a strategy to allow us to be around people. I am also theologically unashamed of attractional worship. There is no limit to what level of extravagance that God expected from Israel in building the temple and expressing their love for our Heavenly Father. There are some appropriate guidelines to follow no doubt; is it about Him and for Him and not actually for us? Does it creatively draw others to see Jesus high and lifted up and does our offering clearly represent the Gospel in a way that edifies the body? This is not an exhaustive list, but it is important for all of us to know our stance on excellence in all areas. The things we do all have value and targeted returns on the kingdom investment. The posture of our hearts in matters of excellence is found in Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Getting people connected to programs is a step toward the ultimate goal: finding or deepening a life with Jesus. Jesus met people where they were. He healed them before He instructed them. He fed them before He preached to them. In one instance, He even helped them catch fish before putting them to other work. The design of many of our programs is to serve a felt need so that we can earn the right to serve the underlying need we all have. Jesus clearly calls us to make disciples. The commandment to make disciples points to a process. We are dedicated to moving our entire church towards that mission. This begins with the eldership and staff. We are all called to model discipleship to our body. We seek people to mentor us as we mentor others.
Posted on Sat, September 29, 2018
by Johnny Scott filed under