Several years ago I heard David Platt say that we need to measure our churches by our SENDING capacity and not our SEATING capacity. I remember thinking – AMEN, I love that! Yet, as a church planter who over the last few months has sent out 10 people from a core group of 25 – I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t confess that it doesn’t sound as good to me as it once did.
I remember meeting with one of our guys who was soon moving away. As he left the room for a moment, Brandon, who I am training to be a disciple maker, looked at me and said these words…
”Man, Buff, we are sending more than we are keeping. How are we going to plant a church if everyone is leaving?”
This was a sobering question, but I praise the Holy Spirit for granting me wisdom and words for just the answer to a young disciple and leader in our Grace Falls Church. I said that we better get used to it if we are going to be on mission with God and be the Church that God is calling us to be. His question led us to an incredible hour-long conversation and teaching that I am still seeing fruit from today.
I love the text message I received just the other day from Brandon as he says:
“We’ve had a great week on mission! Had Ian over for dinner, took Adam out to dinner and got to speak the Gospel into his life, had our 5th grade neighbor over to hang…love what God is doing!”
A couple days later…
“Happy Resurrection Day! I am praying this morning. We recognized an area of unbelief in my mom and spoke the Gospel into her life this morning. The Spirit is moving!”
God encouraged me in these words and the lives of those we have here on this journey.
As a church, we have been excited to send out Ashley, Joseph, Jim, Donna, Chris, Gen, Robyn, Raafat, Hoda, and Shelby out to be His missionaries. They are going to places like St. Pete, Tampa, Holiday, Riverview, and Africa. They are going with an understanding that they are sent by God to be His missionary servants to the people God puts them with.
There hasn’t been a week that goes by that someone of our Grace Falls family doesn’t hear from one of them and the ways that God is using them in the lives of others. This is what the CHURCH is all about and why I am excited to be on this journey. Brandon and Andrea living on mission are an example for the rest of the church who are trying to BE GOOD NEWS here in New Jersey.
We had an Easter Egg Hunt on Palm Sunday and we encouraged all of our people to pray and asked who they saw God working in through their relationships and invite those people to come and be apart. We had 47 adults, with more than 20 kids, attend because one of our people had been investing in them.
I also challenged our folks to host and connect them with others in our family and to watch what God does. You see, we believe that HOSPITALITY and FRIENDSHIP are often the quickest paths to where believers and non-believers can experience God together.
We are going through a key study that will help lay a foundation of who we are as a church over the next several weeks. Please pray for us as we do this. Pray that God will speak clearly, our people will obey instantly, and God will be glorified in all we do.