I’ve had several conversations sparked by the same question a handful of times over the past several years of our church plant.
The question is not one asked by those who are on mission with us. It’s not asked by those who are being reached through our community. It’s a question asked by Christians who remain on the fringes. Typically, I’m not interested in answering questions like this because I have no interest in convincing the already convinced or winning someone over to “my style” for the sake of attendance numbers. However, I know that many of you have friends who you want to reach because you see them stuck in religion, and this seems to be a sticking point for them.
The question goes something along the lines of, “Why don’t you teach more classroom-style so I can learn something new?” or “Why don’t you teach more practical points so I learn what to do?”
On Sunday we had the privilege of baptizing 15 people – wow! Celebrate, church!!
Among the 15 that were baptized, 2 of them were children! These baptisms deserve some notice – not because they were special or sweet or sentimental, but because they were profound.
However, when I need to spend an entire sermon unpacking what baptismis and isn’t, and then staff our lobby with baptism counselors to help people understand the step they are taking, one can’t help but ask the question: how can a child possibly be ready to take that step?
I think almost every single person in our church desires to see our community grow. We want to see our friends and family experience the love and freedom we are experiencing, and this desire is stronger than ever – a beautiful sign of the work of God in our lives. Also, I am more and more certain that Jesus wants to see our community grow, and that He wants to touch the lives of our friends and family just like He has touched ours.
In light of this is, a tension arises: If we all want it, and Jesus wants it, then what is the key to seeing His will for His Church come to pass?
I grew up in Knoxville, but when I moved away for college I had no intention of returning. In fact, I told myself I wouldn’t. To me, moving back here would mean I failed. But all those things changed when God changed my perspective.
It’s officially mid-July, and we’re fast approaching the biggest day ever for our church: Party In The Park (www.knoxpartyinthepark.com).
And as we approach July 31st, it’s safe to say that word is getting out. Posters are up. 1000+ invites have gone out, with more behind them. People are talking, clicking, and typing about it. The press release is getting ready to be released. Anticipation is growing. Response is steadily increasing. It’s awesome! And with all this comes the question: “Why are y’all doing this?”