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January 16, 2008

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Steve

Jay, I like the thought...awesome!...takes me back to what I believe I read here about being missed!...not would the church be missed but would the church; the people, their service, heart of loving and giving to the community be missed?...who would miss us?...that is what speaks to me when I think of would I being doing anybody any favors...or is it just another church?...I know Columbia would be blessed and the Kingdom would grow with His church plant!...I appreciate your thoughts and you get me to thinking of what I(we) need to do!

Jason

I think it's accurate to say that's what the perception is. Frankly, most churches seem to appear to exist for the good of their own kind. Not for the good of the community they're in.

I think it's a question of motivation. Why are we planting churches? Is it simply to start a new church or is it to revolutionize a community? Is it yet another institution or a movement? Is it because we can or because we must?

It seems a big part of planting a church is changing perceptions about church. That's tough when hundreds of other churches in an area are feeding the perception.

Clay

I think it is misperception. No community needs a church by means of what most perceive of church, but what every community needs is God--period, and for those people who have been so infected by the grace and love of God to be fleshed-out and viral right there in front of everybody. Now, it just so happens that those people, or community of believers is the church. Most people think organization when they hear church and not organism. But we must be careful even in what may seem proper in motivation. Motivation must be God's glory not even the slightest hint of any alterior motive. Even revolutionizing a community, as good and noble as that sounds, mustn't supercede the ultimate motivation of God's glory and His kingdom.

Jason

Spot on Clay. All to God's glory!

Jay Hardwick

i've tried to chime in several times and for some reason, typepad isn't letting my comments get through. anyway...:-)

a few things we're learning on our journey in columbia:

*we sort of assume that there is a "church" hunger in people who are far from God that really is not there...i'd venture to say that very few, if any, unbelieving people are sitting at home wishing for someone to come to their town and start a worship service they can wear jeans to or a house church they can wear their boxers to. :-)

*one of my coaches said in our last meeting that "the only way to launch a missional church is with missional people." most of the people who quickly line up for a new church plant are believers who are deconstructing their previous church experience. at some point, we have to help them stop deconstructing and start reconstructing...often we go so far in deconstructing that we never get around offering a better idea...we just tell everyone else they're wrong. how can we help people reconstruct a vision of themselves as missionaries in the places where they live, work, and play and help them se their part in he BIG story?

*i am becoming more convinced than ever that we have to start with a missional/incarnational impulse and let the attractional flow out of it once our incarnational activity is gaining traction by reproducing disciples, reproducing leaders, and reproducing communities that view their contexts holistically and love and serve accordingly. these seem to be the seeds of credibility and thus, can be the seeds of city transformation.

great thoughts are being shared here...thanks steve, jason, and clay for your insight, your heart, and your passion to see the church come alive!

let's keep it going...

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