It’s amazing to see how the leadership at Renovatus has changed. I’m not talking about the actual turnover in leadership but rather I’m reflecting on our capability to understand mission and to live missionally. I’m talking about our understanding of community and our ability to cultivate it in small group type settings. I’m talking about our understanding of the difference between programs and discipleship.
Before Renovatus launched we were excited and passionate about reaching people who did not know Jesus. But the reality is that the furthest we could understand this “mission” was to create an atmosphere on Sunday mornings that we could invite people to. We didn’t really know how to be with people who needed Jesus. We didn’t know how to share our faith in real and non-creepy ways. So because of this understanding our Sunday gatherings used to be much higher quality than they are now (in my humble opinion). And they should have been! I mean we were spending all of our hours working on the Sunday gathering so it had better have been good! It’s all we knew to do. Few of us had been a part of a healthy small group especially one that included people who were not followers of Christ. I remember wondering how anyone who wasn’t a Christ-Follower would ever come to a small group in my living room. So missional communities were not a part of our practice. Our energy was spent doing things like renting out a gym to have dance nights, craft nights, and other fun things. These fun nights were filled with lots of Christians from a few different churches around town. We didn’t really know how to invite people from outside our circle. These “fun nights” were a lot of energy and a bit of money for no real purpose.
Everything was exciting…and very foreign. Much of it was forced…but we couldn’t do anything else…we didn’t know how to do anything else!
I’m not even going to spend time in this blog to tell you all the ridiculous stuff we did, the terrible stories we lived out, the awkward things that were said from a microphone. But needless to say we were stepping out into the unknown and I think that when you do that you either step immediately into a beautiful field of flowers or you stumble around bumping into trees, stumbling over rocks, and eventually because of the Spirits quiet whisper you find your way to to the place of beauty. I won’t say that we’ve got it figured out now ’cause anyone who spends any time with us can quickly ascertain that indeed we do not! But I wills say that the value of being a part of a church plant, of forging a path that no one in your circle is an invaluable teacher.
My hope and prayer is that the lessons we learn as we get deeper into planting another church bring us closer to our Savior and living more near those who need him.