Here’s the thing…
When we started Multiply Church on June 25th, we said to ourselves that we would give ourselves six to nine months to learn, screw up, and really understand what it means to “do church.” This will of course, be a longer time, probably a lifetime. But this window has allowed us a lot of grace and patience from people who were waiting to figure out what the heck we were up to. (Because we had no clue.)
H and my paradigm of what Church looks like in our lives has shifted.
We have defined discipleship practically.
We have been able to process what it looks like to disciple our own family.
Even in the practical ways.
When we planted the seed of Multiply Church…. (or, more accurately, we believe that God planted it in our hearts a long time ago) we had this small vision of what it would look like to plant a church that plants other churches. For a few reasons:
- 5 million of the people in NC (Bible Belt) … and out of a total population of 10 million… are “congregational adherents.” this means they consider themselves a part of a church, somehow, someway. Statistically, even less are engaged in a community that exists as Church, any more than on a Sunday morning for an hour. That means that an enormous amount of people are outside of Jesus’ church and feel somewhat alone and hopeless to various degrees. And this is unacceptable.
- We want every moment of our lives to be a part of what the church is doing. I had a conversation about Jesus with a friend the other day, and I asked the question, “When did two people talking about Jesus become ‘less than acceptable’ for ‘accomplishing’ church or worshipping God?” This is a critique of myself and my own entrepreneurial spirit. In other words, when did it become necessary to add a third person to that two-person conversation in order to achieve greater worship and edification? This is an extreme of course, but a valid question.
- We have to be honest with ourselves that we don’t “make disciples” on our own all that much. We hope it all comes together, that people eventually know the Jesus I am passionate about… But when? And how? And do we care enough to do something radical?
- We don’t want to plant a church; we want to start a movement. And that starts with people who are willing to change their paradigms no matter what “type” of church they attend or a part of. We desire people to own their own discipleship in community. We want them (and ourselves) to be okay with doing the outside-of-the-box things that Jesus did… does… will do.
So 2014 is here and we have many plans, thoughts, dreams, ideas….
We have decided that we don’t want just to plant a dead Christmas tree in the ground. It just continues to wither. Eventually rotting away.
I watched a field near my house turn from a grassy landscaping to a forest on the verge. We want to plant a seed that produces seeds, that become other trees. That eventually becomes a forest. Over 20 years.
We want to give birth to a forest.