In almost every city across the US huge efforts are being made to plant churches. In the Greater Tampa area, there were close to 100 plants launching at the same time. Can you say Plethora? I’m not sure how much enduring fruit will be born from all of this invested time and money. The question now is no longer, “Can you plant a church” but “Is it possible to start something that will long-term change the city?” That’s what God has put on my heart. I suspect he has called you to the same.
How can we do something that will alter the eternal destiny of our cities? How can we introduce the throngs to Jesus?
1) Layer Your City With Acts of Kindness
Serve your part of the city with consistent acts of kindness. Define yourself with outreach projects that show generosity. Move beyond theory into practice.
I just spoke at a large church at their third annual “missional” conference. In planning this, I asked what they had previously done in terms of outreach projects. They said, “Oh we don’t do outreach at these conferences. We just study it.” They had never done outreach! This year we did it! Even though the participants were a little peeved at me for making them do it, we broke through their levels of fear.
2) Take A Vow of Stability.
Many Catholic sodalities vow to remain in one piece of real estate for the rest of their lives – a vow of stability. Come what may they are determined to remain faithful to serve Jesus in that location until their last dying breath. If we are going change the world many of us will need to take vows of stability where God has assigned us.
One of my mentors used to say, “Old marching orders are good marching orders.” What God has spoken to you is the current agenda until he speaks differently.
God is looking for people who are willing to spend the rest of their life in their city of calling. Buy a cemetery plot. Refer to that plot often when you speak.
3) Spin Off Daughter Churches that will be able to capitalize on the serving reputation of the mother church.
I’ve started several dozen churches using this approach. The planting cost is minimal. The response is dramatic.
Let’s move in strong love and truth. As they arrive, we must love them and at the same time bring the Gospel to them. Go and change your city.