I cannot turn my brain off as I sit here trying to get healthy again from a lung infection. I have a 100 new ideas a day. Anyone with me? This is what happens when you are in the land between, or if you are like me everyday. Some would say I have too much time on my hands. That may be true as I sit on the couch trying to sleep off this bug.
Margin gives your mind room to dream. When you do not have margin in your life the dreaming stops. Innovation stops. Creativity stops. I have been there.
My dreams keep going back to church planting. I cannot turn it off. I want to trust me! I told my wife never again. But, I am convinced it is God’s way. It is His #1 strategy to bring all peoples to Himself.
The area I live in has many new start up churches in local schools, most of which are called, “Campuses or Multi-sites.” This is where a large church (mega church) located in a heavily populated area opens up a new “campus” in a neighboring smaller town (this is my case) or a different part of the metroplex to bring the gospel to more people. Most campuses have the same look, feel, and programming including video teaching from the same pastor. This is known as having the same 'DNA' as the central church (mother church). It is similar to how Starbucks or any other chain restaurant and big box store multiplies itself.
There are also many Mormon churches in our area. It feels like they beat out Walgreens because they are literally on every corner (over 17% of our population one source said). Each Mormon church building has the exact same look, feel and programming. They have a single focused multiplication plan. Hand the ‘playbook’ to a new leadership team and open the same church up with the same name in a new neighborhood so people don’t have to drive as far and can bring their neighbors, co-workers and friends easier.
This makes me ask, “Why does this feel weird to me? Is it just me? Am I the weird one?" Maybe I am just used to originality and diversity? Maybe I don’t understand it because I have never been part of it? It seems like a good strategy. Maybe they are on to something. (I know they are on to something.)
Yes, I am from Wisconsin where there is not much in terms of diversity, it seems. But, when I think about it, diversity is everywhere in Wisconsin. Each local coffee shop is unique. Each store has its own flare. Each church has its own DNA. Each house is designed differently, for the most part. That is what I am used too. It is time for new beginnings.
So, back to my dreaming. I know that to reach many different kinds of people there needs to be many different kinds of churches. I also know that church planting is the best evangelism tool created by God Himself. This is proven statistically. You know where I am going with this don’t you.
Yes, there needs to be more coffee shops than just Starbucks in my city, please! There needs to be more local shops. There needs to be more creative and unique God given ideas in the neighborhoods to bring us together. There needs to be more options and strategies to connect more people to God. The God I serve and love always is doing a new thing. He rarely does the same thing twice. The best is yet to come.
I believe God made every finger print on every single finger different for a reason. I believe not one snow flake is alike for a reason. I believe each one of us are created different for a reason.
I know what you are thinking, "Yeah, you are a different kind Jedidiah." Yes, I am.
Today I dreamed up a new missional church planting idea (new to me anyway). I’m sure I will dream a new one tomorrow and the next day. This is just the way I am designed.
For now I will continue to ask God what local church He wants me to be part of during this season of life and dive in head first giving my time, treasure and talents. I will bury my roots as deep as possible.
Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Never stop dreaming. All things are possible WITH Jesus!