When Joshua crossed the Jordan, do you know what their first task? They chose twelve men to pick up stones from the middle of the Jordan and carry them to their campsite. At their campsite, the stacked this stones making a cairns to remember where God had led them.
As I am holed away in the mountains working on a my doctoral thesis I am struck by the way God has stacked up the stones in my life. I am constantly driving and forward looking–as one of my performance reviews stated, “You are like a train that once it gets going I could take a baseball bat to your head and not knock you off the rails.” To which I replied, “Thank you.” In doing so, however, I can fail to see God’s deliberate plan.
As Waypoint has hit its 6 month of public worship, and a year of prayer for this community, and 2 years in F3, as well as 18months into my doctoral studies, I am looking over my shoulder to see how God has stacked up the cairns. The synergy of these realms of my life are incredible. My doctoral work is on Male Leadership within the Egalitarian Church, F3 is about reinvigorating male leadership, and Waypoint is about helping men and women experience the grace of Christ daily.
Yet, as I drive forward, I can see the downside, and it reared its head yesterday at Waypoint’s worship. Three people mentioned that clergy in town have referred to Waypoint as the F3Church.
While granted one of our inroads into the community is through F3, I am weary because it limits both the mission of F3 and the mission of Waypoint; and the opportunity for these other communities.
The mission of F3 is to reinvigorate male leadership in the community. This is why we do not start our own AA meetings, or Tutoring programs, or parenting seminars, or homeless shelters. We could, but we shouldn’t. Creating an F3Church would be counter to our mission. F3 wants to gather the dormant male leadership in our community and ignite it like a pile of dry kindling. So clergy be careful in calling Waypoint the F3Church because you may miss the opportunity to tap into the male leadership on your campus. With 72% of attendance by women, and 82% of personalities in mainline churches as passive; these men are the true minority (Had to throw in some of my research).
Secondly, the mission of Waypoint is to “Train, Equip and Send people to share the Gospel in their places of influence.” Therefore, we need to keep ourself in check as to whether not Waypoint is reaching into new territories (listen to Sunday’s message). If we keep gathering the same people in the same social circles our mission will be very limited in scope and fizzle within 12 more months. Iron can only sharpen iron so long until it becomes overheated and useless. Instead, we need to be looking at the people God has us come across as mission targets for the Gospel and invest in these relationships.
Now, the reason F3 and Waypoint so closely align is because they are both disciple-making engines.
When I came across the movement of F3, I had just finished a weekend seminar about Church Multiplication by Dave DeVries at Lake Forest Church. I was startled to see a movement–without clergy interference–that embodied the principles of Disciple-Making. When I met DREDD for the first time, he asked if I had ever read “The Starfish and the Spider.” Providentially, since I do not believe in coincidence, I had read that three years prior and was a major catalyst for my Doctoral Studies, my article entitled “Wikiterian.” So, I concur that the overlaps in mission and language are unavoidable: but they should be at all communities of faith who are seeking to make disciples.
However, as I told DREDD after a recent sermon, “As I am preaching I always wonder if you and OBT are thinking I stole that idea from F3; well I will argue that you all stole that idea from the Bible first, its just that the church has forgotten about it.”
Therefore, my prayer is that while separate, these to movements will harness a similar hunger within our city for a meaningful movements: (Fellowship–#GenuineCommunity), better (Fitness–#AuthenticWorship), (Faith–#DailyImpact)–this would be for the betterment of our neighborhood, city and world. And not just some temporary self-agrandizing business adventure for me.
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I never think you’ve stolen an idea from F3 because F3 has no new ideas. F3 is evolutionary, not revolutionary. We’re just putting (or trying to) the coals to the good ideas (of others) and throwing the bad ideas overboard.