A few years ago, I was troubled. I described it as a God-thing. The kind of restlessness you feel when God is trying to get your attention. Things were going well, very well. The ministry team was growing, Sundays were packed out and we had more children and young people than many churches. Yet gnawing away at me was one simple fact: for all our effort, time and energy, for all our sacrifice and service (and Burlington was full of both) hardly anyone was coming to Christ. Something had to change but what?
Many of us have been challenged by the simple question: What would Jesus do? We wear bracelets with WWJD to remind us. But what would Jesus do? As I looked afresh at what he did it began to raise some seriously challenging questions about what we were doing.
For example …
- Jesus invested his time in developing people. We tended to keep people busy developing and running church programs.
- Jesus discipled people by giving them a lot of opportunity to imitate him. We tend to disciple by giving people a lot of information.
- Jesus spent most of his time with people outside the church at their place. We tend to spend most of our time with people inside the church and expect others to come to our place.
It was a huge journey of discovery that I shared at a special church day in 2011 called Launch the Lifeboats where we re-imagined a different kind of church with missional communities at its heart. Since then we have launched 7 missional communities with two more ready to go. It’s been an amazing 15 months.
As we begin 2013 we would like to push the pause button once again, and spend another day reflecting on what God is doing and all that he has to say to us. Called ‘On Rescue’ we will spend the day hearing from missional community leaders, thinking about lessons that we have learnt along the way and seeing what it means for us all to be On Rescue together.