Developing Community and Hospitality
I was recently asked to sit on a panel with four other people. Three of us were pastors, two of us weren’t. The topic: living on mission in a post-Christian culture.
When I arrived, I met the two panel members who are not pastors: Lynda and Rebekah. To my surprise, I learned that they weren’t going to speak about their day-job as members of a Christian organization. They were going to speak about “living in a condo complex and learning some interesting things about developing community there and the gift of hospitality.”
So you have three pastors and two non-pastors talking. Can you guess who stole the show?
Lynda and Rebekah talked about developing deep friendships with others who live in the same neighbourhood. They discussed frequent meals with others who live near them, as well as writing groups and Bible studies. They talked about birthdays shared together and deepening relationships with those who are not “religious.” It became clear that God was up to something in that condominium as they developed relationships with people and just loved them as they shared life together.
That’s exactly what church planting is like.
In the coming months we’ll be planning some community events. We’ll attend the Liberty Village street party. We’re planning some community BBQs. We’ll send out the postcards and we’ll do everything we can to serve and bless the community.
But we’ll also just love people and build relationships, eating together and sharing life with others. Please pray for us as we do this. Pray that we will develop community, not just in the confines of our gatherings, but with those who live around us in the Liberty Village community.
By the way, Lynda and Rebekah will be coming to meet with our Launch Community on Saturday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. We’re looking forward to hearing more of their story, and you’re welcome to join us.
25 Things I've Learned from Church Planting
In 2008, God called Kyle and Christine Hoover to leave an established church and plant a church. Christine reflects on what she’s learned in the past five years of church planting. It’s a great list, and you can read the entire post here. Here are my top ten:
- Hospitality is essential.
- Church planting teaches two things more than any other: that God is faithful and that we must learn how to depend on that faithful God.
- Church planting happens one relationship at a time.
- Sometimes church planting feels like you're pretending to be a church. And then one day (after backbreaking work and lots of prayer) you realize God has built an honest-to-goodness church right before your eyes.
- You cannot church plant apart from the support and encouragement of others.
- The Word is living and active. When we let God speak through his Word, he changes people. Every church plant must gather earnestly around the Word and the Christ to which it points.
- Most people, especially outsiders, don't know what it means when you say you're church planting. And they think you're a little crazy.
- The calling to church plant must be sure since you'll need to return to it again and again in the face of discouragement, defeat, and uncertainty.
- Spiritual warfare is real.
- There is unimaginable joy and reward in sacrifice and service.
Read the whole list. It really is excellent!
Some updates on what is happening at Liberty Grace Church:
- Our Launch Community continues to meet on Saturday nights as we prepare for a public launch in September.
- This coming Easter weekend, we're meeting on Sunday morning to celebrate Easter for the first time as a young church. We will not be meeting this coming Saturday night.
- We are one of five churches meeting at Convocation Hall this Friday night at 7:00 for a Good Friday service. Please pray for us, and join us if you are able.
- We praise God for two couples who are currently looking to move into Liberty Village to live on mission here along with us.
- We are preparing for a busy Spring and Summer with a number of community events taking place.
- We finished last year having spent $434 less than we raised. Praise God that we ended in the black.
- I am continuing to speak to churches and groups about our vision. Please let me know if you know of any groups or churches who may be interested in partnering with us as we plant this church.
Please Partner With Us
Please pray for us. We need people to pray for this church plant, and we would be grateful if you add us to your prayer list and pray for us regularly.
Please consider joining us. We need good people who have a passion to help build a church community from the ground up, and to serve the wider community. Please contact me if you would like to join us, or if you know of anyone who may be interested.
Please partner with us financially. We are especially looking for individuals and families who will contribute monthly. In the life of an urban church plant, every dollar counts. Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry that will pay eternal dividends.
You're always welcome to join us at one of our Launch Community meetings. Details are at libertygrace.ca.
We’re so excited about what God is doing, and we appreciate your interest and support. Please let us know how we can pray for you. Happy Easter!