Left to themselves organizations…including churches, drift. It can happen to the best of us if were not careful. As organizations and churches grow they seem to naturally become more complex. There are more assets to allocate, decisions seem to have more far reaching consequences attached to them than they once did when you were smaller and more nimble, and those decisions seem to just keep coming faster and faster. It is easy to become consumed with the business of running the church. But just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re taking ground.
12 years ago, the dream of North Metro Church was birthed by God in the hearts of a group of people that took a risk and started “doing church” in a way very few had the courage or vision to do 12 years ago in the south. The payoff to their obedience has been literally 1,000’s of people’s lives that will never be the same!
And yet over those past 12 years North Metro Church had become busy. And for the past season of ministry the Elders of the church courageously had been asking the question, “Have we gotten away from what God put us here for in the first place?” What has ensued is a radical commitment to refocus on and refresh the original purpose, values, and approach of North Metro.
On Sunday of this past weekend I rolled out an overview of a refocusing on that dream and a sneak peak into a series that we’ll be doing in January to unpack our values at a deeper level. The conversation that we had this weekend was one that I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for. Leading North Metro Church…this is was what I was made for.
The following is the framework of that dream that God started 12 years ago and some of the nuts and bolts of our conversation on Sunday. To get the whole story you’ll have to listen to the talk from Sunday…I’ll tweet the link out once it’s up this week.
#1 Authentic Relationships:
God does His best work in the context of relationships
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’” Genesis 3:8-10
Ever since sin entered the picture in the garden we’ve been hiding and running from relational intimacy with our Heavenly Father and with people. Our natural inclination is to drift away from authenticity. For fear of if we were truly and fully known we wouldn’t be accepted…and that’s where grace meets us.
#2 Compelling Environments:
Setting the table for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of people
“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-7
We are declaring complete dependency on God for life change. We cannot manufacture life change. We cannot make people cross the line of faith or grow up in their relationship with God, we’re making disciples not Ford pickup trucks. Discipleship is not an assembly line. But what we can do is bring our best to the table and take every excuse away that we can in setting the environment well for an interaction to take place between a Holy God and a people that desperately need to meet Him.
#3 Neighbors & Nations:
Reconciling the people of the world to the purposes of God
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Matthew 9:36-38
Missions isn’t something that only takes place across an ocean on some foreign soil, but in our neighborhoods as well. In the next 5 years we are going to mobilize every adult at North Metro Church to serve on an international or local project. I guarantee we’ll begin reading the scriptures differently, praying differently, giving differently, loving our neighbors differently, and worshiping differently; because you never look more like Jesus than when you are serving and putting other people first.
#4 Next Generation:
Inviting future generations to discover their place in the Kingdom
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2
North Metro Church began as a worship service targeting the next generation…this is our unique wiring and DNA, the story that God has been writing in us. We have incredible Children, Student, and College Ministries here. But perhaps the most important generation at North Metro is the older generation. Because they’re the ones who are saying yes to God’s call on them at their unique stage of life to invest in, believe in, speak wisdom in, and provide the opportunity to experiment with leadership to the next generation!
#5 Eternal Perspective:
Today matters because tomorrow is forever
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
God has given us this one small moment on the timeline of eternity, and why would we leverage our lives for this one moment when we’ve been given the incredible opportunity to influence eternity? So we’re going to be willing to sacrifice today in order to win tomorrow. We’re going to be generous with what God has given us. We’re going to fully live out the truth that the church is a volunteer organization and we are going to be a serving people.
Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation