I have had my boots on the ground the past two days and I am excited about The Mission.
Having been called to plant a church, and having found a vehicle through which to plan, I had one final question: where would God want to plant a church?
That’s when I came across Acts 18:7 in which Paul leaves the synagogue to go next door to the house of Titius Justus a worshipper of God. Around that same time, a church member appeared in my office to tell me about F3, a men’s workout group in town that is seeking to reinvigorate male leadership in the community through fitness, fellowship and faith. Hearing about the group, I was hooked–F3 was the perfect convergence of my life, ministry, and passion.
In the early morning workouts, I began to meet Godly men in Charlotte who I’d never met before…and men who’d left large established churches because they were uninspiring, men who have no faith life, men who were hungry for a faith life that actually requires something of them, and men who tag along with their wives who make them go to church (like the guy clutching his wife’s purse at the Macy’s dressing room)–in F3 parlance we call them “Sadclowns” because while they may be happy and the life of the party on the outside, deep down they slugging through life lonely and wondering if there is more to life than gathering paychecks and longing to be respected.
My wife’s ministry in town has helped to define the female equivalent: the “PicturePerfect.” These are the women who appear to have everything under control and desperately want to be the best girlfriend/wife/mother/professional, to stay physically fit/calm/loving, and to prepare a home-grow delicious meal…while deep down wondering if there is more to life and having a hunger to be loved.
F3 opened my eyes to see I didn’t have to cross an international border to be a missionary. Like Paul, I just had to leave the existing church structure, the ritual of the synagogue, the tediousness of security, the comfort of the stability and I had to simply risk everything by going where the people already are.
So my mission is to “Equip men and women with the Gospel so that they may impact their places of influence.” Our mission is “to do less church activity and more Gospel living” so that faith is not just some passive spectator sport where we sit as “pew potatoes” but get out on the street living the adventure God has called us to. Faith is not another bucket in our life…like work, family, hobbies…faith is the Bucket that undergirds and guides these other parts of our life.
Our goal is to create a community that is “a church for the overburdened and overscheduled by changing lives through genuine community, Biblical teaching and authentic worship.”
We are looking to raise up 40-60 Trailblazers who want to commit the next 1-2 years helping to mark the trail, clear the debris, and set the path for this new church community. We will be hosting some vision dinners in September to begin this journey. I would invite the readers of this blog post to join our team, whether on the Prayer Team, as a Sponsor, or as a Trailblazer.