If you don’t know, I actually have a secret desire to church plant someday (well maybe not that secret). I know I know. It’s a ridiculous dream, and most of you think I’m crazy for dreaming it. Anyways, last night I was looking at the Vineyard Movement’s new publishing of their “Core Values” and I was quite inspired. I read them and was like, “Man that’s the kind of church I want to plant,” and I stayed up to 5 am dreaming of what that church would look like. I penned my first draft of a vision for the kind of church that I would want to be apart of, and I wanted to share it all with you.
I guess one could say that this is kind of like my personal statement of faith. It is definietly incomplete, and is probably more of a product of reckless passion (or possibly the movement of the Spirit) than any thoughtful discernment of what God is calling me to do. Either way, I had a blast writing it and would love to hear your thoughts.
I envision a church that is…
• Diverse through reconciliation
I envision a church that is a place of reconciliation, believing that in Christ all walls of hostility fall. I envision a church that is diverse in ethnicity, in culture, and in tradition, but singular in purpose. I envision a church that doesn’t just transcend our differences, but embraces them, seeking to represent a fuller image of God. A place where we let go of our comfort for the sake of another, and where everyone is uncomfortable at least part of the time. I envision a church that is a daily celebration of the diversity of God’s people.
• Compassionate through sacrifice
I envision a church that is a place of sacrifice, believing that as Christ lowered himself to the place of a servant, so must we lay down our lives down for the sake of another. I envision a church that is unwavering in holding to Jesus’ call to love our neighbor as ourselves. To his call to care for the poor, to heal the sick, to advocate for the alien, and restore the broken. I envision a church that champions mercy over judgement, believing that it is the appeal of grace, not fear of condemnation, that allures people to Jesus.
• Missional through community
I envision a church that is a place of community, believing that building community is the best way to evangelize. Where mission is infused into every aspect of community life, believing that community without mission is just a clique, and that mission without community is just a program. I envision a church where everyone belongs and everyone plays, believing that every person is uniquely gifted and integral life of the whole. I envision a church without walls, believing that to build community we must both go to our own backyards and to the farthest edges of the world and extend an invitation.
• Empowered through experience
I envision a church that is a place of experience, believing that experiencing God is the foundation of all we do for him. I envision an experience of love, forgiveness, freedom, and purpose for every person who enters its doors, believing that God always meets those who seek Him. I envision a church that is full of the Holy Spirit, and takes seriously the call to do greater things than Christ did. I envision vibrant worship, healing, hearing God, and salvation as central to the daily life of a healthy church. I envision a church that is full of people empowered by the Holy Spirit to impact the community and world around it.
• Transformed through teaching
I envision a church that is a place of teaching, believing that it is ultimately truth that slices deep into the heart and transforms our very being. I envision a church where theology isn’t taught to stimulate the intellect, but rather to demand a response to Jesus. I envision a church where the Word transforms and grows the entire being, spiritual, mental, and emotional, believing that making life long disciples of Christ is core to the Great Commission. I envision a church operates out of the belief that the Kingdom of God is central to the teachings of Jesus, and believes that the gospel is not just limited to our own salvation, but to the restoration of all creation that is broken.
Anyone want to join me in planting this Church? I looked on the map and saw that the entire Silicon Valley is without a Vineyard… hermmm
PS. I just realized I wrote an entry similar to this a year and half ago before I joined staff. It’s interesting to see how God has refined, sharpened, and actually really expanded my dreams.
PS2. It seems like the only time I get comments is when I have a cute picture of my sister on the post. I would love to know how many people actually read this sucker… give me a shout out down below aite?