Did you know that YOU are the church? Whether you are helping a church plant in North Philly, serving alongside a valuable local ministry like Hope All Day, or being good news with family and friends, this is what BEING the church is all about! It is being a family of missionary servants sent by God wherever He opens doors to go! This has to be our mindset every day because that is the GOSPEL.
One thing is vital for us to always remember as a church plant. Our calling is to help lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. This calling is paramount for us but we must remember a few things as we go and fulfill this calling.
We, the church, can’t assume everyone knows everything about faith and church. We see that everyday here in New Jersey as we talk with our friends, colleagues and neighbors. We, the church, also need to realize that many who don’t have a relationship with God, or had difficulties maintaining one, assume they need to know everything about faith and church in order to participate.
Did you catch that tension…our assumption and others assumption? This is why so many hesitate to walk in the doors of a church building. They let fear…fear of the unknown, fear of not having an answer, fear of being hurt again paralyze them from coming.
We, as Grace Falls, have to work hard to create a safe place for anyone to come and begin to ask questions that they have about God, life, and matters of faith. This safe place is huge to who we are and what God has called us to do.
This happens when we are willing to meet people right where they are and work on listening, and building trust by building a relationship and not a defense case. Not trying to have all the answers or fix every problem life presents us. You can’t do that, I can’t do that, and we can’t do that. This is why we say we are a GOSPEL CENTERED CHURCH. The GOSPEL is the solution to every situation or issue in life. This is why the GOSPEL = GOOD NEWS. So, our goal is simple. We want our Sunday Gathering to be a conversational environment where people can explore faith and experience community.
For this to happen, we must prioritize building relationships over simply handing off answers. Rather than the traditional teacher (preacher) to student (member) format of learning, group members journey alongside one another through a facilitated discussion. Exploring faith and inviting past experiences, current beliefs, and future ideals to be shared and heard.
As we begin to know and be known, we will begin to see we aren’t alone and get a taste of what a real authentic community is. This is when many will come to realize what we mean when we say Grace Falls is a FAMILY. A family that loves, forgives, accepts, encourages, believes, helps, and is there for one another no matter what. A GOSPEL FAMILY changed because of who God is and what He has done. This is my vision, my prayer, and my hope. This is LIFE CHANGING.
I shared all this as a reminder of who we are, why we do what we do, and what we hope to see. I hope this helps you see what you are apart of. I pray it gets you excited to be apart of something bigger than yourself. I pray you see how vital you are and why God did what He did through every story we have read, discussed, and learned from. He did all of it so that He could use you, me, us to help others know Him. Not just know of Him but truly KNOW HIM.
Well you did it…you read through all my words, but I hope you hear my heart. I believe God has great things in store for us. Will you believe with me?
Love you and thank God for you!