The most exciting thing about my new position with the Peninsula Baptist Association is that I can already see the beginnings of a movement. I keep finding myself in conversations with people wanting to begin something new, pastor’s who are serious about revitalization in their churches, a desire for better connectedness between pastors, more concern for the welfare of the communities around our churches… I had lunch today with the staff of one of our strongest churches. The pastor said, “We are going to be a flagship church for the association.” He went on to say, in the presence of his staff, that their church is ready to do whatever they can to help other churches. I was having lunch after church yesterday with members of the church where I had just delivered the sermon. An older gentleman wanted to know why our churches aren’t more passionately supporting a local homeless shelter. Their church has adopted a local middle school with many underprivileged students, feed the homeless, provide uniforms for students in an overseas orphanage to attend school in, and on and on. I had coffee today with a young leader who is seeking to know God’s calling on his life. I am in coaching relationships with three men wanting to plant churches – two of them have entered ministry in middle age and are ready to give up careers to follow God’s calling. One of our older churches is in the process of planting a church within their church to reach the younger people who have moved into their community. They fully expect to one day hand the keys to the building over to the new church. I am working with another older church as they seek to discover God’s vision for their future. I could go on… and this is stuff I have stumbled into after only six weeks on the job. Did I mention that God seems to be up to something?
I had a great conversation with John Chandler from The Spence Network (www.spencenetwork.org) today about “Clusters” – small gatherings bringing people together for spiritual growth and accountability. Much of what John is doing comes from Michael Breen (http://mikebreen.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/huddles-huddles-huddles/) and Breen’s work with 3DM (http://www.3dministries.com).
This is very similar to the Pastor Clusters we are getting ready to begin in our association. It was good to be able to catch up with John and have him speak to our Pastor’s Fellowship today.
This is my first post. I recently became Director of Missions for the Peninsula Baptist Association. That is an odd title since I don’t “direct missions”. What I do is help existing churches get healthier and grow, support and network pastors, coach and train church planters, and oversee the work of the association. The focus of this blog will be on observations that come from doing this work.
I spoke at Rock 17 Thursday night (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rock-17/152863638064199) “fresh expression” of worship by a group of twenty-somethings from several different churches on the Peninsula. They meet on Thursday at 8 PM at the PBA building, 863 Cloverleaf Lane Newport New. This thing has the potential to reach young people looking for an alternative to Sunday morning church. All of the leaders of Rock 17 are involved in their own churches. They aren’t trying to “be” a church, but they certainly are “doing” church.