Moving forward by looking backward

After being in Crown Point, Indiana for almost two and a half years, and working on the church plant for about one and a half, most of the key families of our first simple church are moving. We see this as a invitation from God to take a step back and reflect for awhile. We had our last celebration gathering a few Saturday’s back and two of the families moved that same week. (Well, one is coming back, then moving again, then coming back, then moving again…).

Thankful that we don't rely on "luck!"

Thankful that we don’t rely on “luck!”

Over the next several posts, I’m going to reflect on our experience of starting a church based on missional communities (or simple churches as we call them.) I want to share the awesome ways that God met us and moved in and through our community. I also want lots of space to reflect on and interact around what we’ve learned about starting a church  this way, our local culture, and even our own souls through the past few years.

We’ve been using the paradigm of STOP – LOOK – LISTEN and blogging will be a part of the LOOK and LISTEN. We’re working on going somewhere for July or so to better STOP. (It’s tricky because we’re on a budget with a baby on the way. Let me know if you have ideas).

A fellow MAGL’er with a similar church planting vision posted what he called a “Missional Post-mortem” a few years back. He’s taken his blog down. (Well, actually, just posted a pic of an astronaut floating above the earth in space…which really represents how I feel most days). I’m not sure if this is a post-mortem yet. A fellow Ecclesia Network planter friend and I are in very similar stages, both starting about the same time and in similar ways. He’s making modifications to his plan to start a church as a network of missional communities and having another go this fall. (He’s going to start with a regular worship gathering instead of a missional community). Maybe we’ll do the same? Maybe we’ll keep trying our current vision? Maybe we should do something completely different?

This is my first post in our season of reflection. If you would like to help us in this discernment season, you can subscribe to new posts via Mailchimp here. I’m going to find a way to make some of the posts more private and not published to the whole world, but I’ll give instructions on the Mailchimp updates.

Bottom line: I’d love to have your thoughts and perspective during this season!

What we know right now is that God is good, he is near, our identity is in Jesus, we have awesome friends, supporters and mentors, and that God is big enough to lead, provide and guide well. (It’s taken me a few months to really believe this! More on that later.) The good news about Jesus and his Kingdom are too good to sit back as the next generation disconnects from Jesus and the church. We still wholeheartedly believe this.

That’s a good start. In the next post, I’ll go all the way back and write about our original vision.