I remember my excitement three years ago when I first heard my church was planning to plant a new church in a new city. Almost immediately I enlisted in the future endeavor, though the location of the new church was not then known. Perhaps it’s just my cavalier nature, but the prospect of being a church planter stirred my soul. I started dreaming about what it would look like to help start a church from scratch. Having become familiar with the church I had been working for, I was ready for the unfamiliar, the unknown…
…Or so I thought I was. The few weeks have been a crash course of sorts in church planting. I have realized just how uncomfortable are the unknown and the unfamiliar. We leaders committed to not doing any advertising or large-scale events so that our church plant team would learn to live missionally- faithfully seeking to make Jesus known in the context of true relationships with people. In fact, our church doesn’t have any programs or events other than Sunday night worship.
Seeking to develop natural friendships with other students and young people at Kent has been my mission since everyone moved back into town last week. This has been one of the most unfamiliar things for me. I had become so accustomed to simply pursuing friendships within the church. But now there aren’t hundreds of people standing around at our services. There are no programs to connect me with others. There’s not much of anything…and it’s been the most gratifying place I’ve been in a long time.
Our entire church community lives with a real desperation for God. We need him to connect us with others, to reveal himself to others through us, and to grow our little church. We are missionaries gripped by the dream of seeing young people encounter Jesus. This dream makes the awkwardness and discomfort of it all bearable.