This past Sunday, I had the privilege to work with a church leadership team in Texas. They are passionately seeking clear answers from God about who He intends them to be as a church. As we are uncover how God has crafted them uniquely, we’re examining 3 overlapping areas to give us a better understanding of our church identity.
>>place: The distinctive nature of the area where God has planted a church has a lot of do with the kind of ministry that will thrive there. The people and needs in the area immediately around a church, give us clues to how a church can effectively reach out, how they should communicate and invite, what kind of community service they engage in, and a whole host of other implications. This particular church exists in an economically diverse (but declining), highly transitional area, where many people from all over the world come to live for 6 months to several years.
>>people: Who God brings to a church body is directly connected to what your unique strengths, resources, and potential capacity. In the heart of this particular church’s leadership team, I’m not sure how convinced they really were of their uniqueness. But as I worshiped with them and studied the data, an outsider’s strategic perspective brought to light the fact they they have more than 10 different nationalities regularly represented at their church. They have attenders converted from Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism! They have a vast range of economic diversity, from disaster refugees to CEOs. This church is so naturally comfortable being multi-cultural that they never considered it as a potentially unique opportunity. It is not a conscious effort on their part, it is a powerful natural expression of who they are. They are so used to it, they wrestled considerably to consider it as anything unusual. I actually had to pause all progress until we had truly wrestled through some of what it meant for them as a church.
>>passion: The excitement and burden that God plants in a leader’s heart tells a lot about the direction that He’s taking a church body. From Abraham to the Apostles, we see God directing His people through the heart of who He calls to lead them for a season. As we began unpacking the passions and heartbreak of these particular leaders, what God revealed is a relentless passion for missions and reproducing disciples. It doesn’t take a genius to see how God is setting up this church to have a massive impact for His kingdom where they are and around the world!
A diverse, multicultural church body with a passion for missions and discipleship in an area with a lot of international families transitioning in and out. I think God is connecting the dots for them.
It is an amazing, God-revealing blessing to navigate leadership teams through uncovering and articulating what God is doing, and how He has intricately prepared them to become epicenters of His redemptive movement. There is such a confidence and sturdy faith that comes from seeing with clarity, who God has made us to be – then we can begin wrestling through the unique expression of what He is calling us to do!
>>would your church benefit from an outside perspective in uncovering this with your team?