This morning I’m spending some reading over my journal. Here’s some bullet points I jotted down after reflecting on our church planting endeavors here in Burlington. These thoughts are somewhat rooted in 1 Corinthians 3:5-17 and 9:19-27.
- When we think about building a firm foundation for the church, we need to remember that this is primarily about discipling people. The Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians, you are God’s temple. The Apostle Peter also refers to us as spiritual stones being built up as a spiritual house. Everything about our strategy and structure must lead to developing disciples who live out the mission and message of Jesus.
- Many church-planters in the Northeast, New England, and especially VT, who’ve taken a “GO BIG, GO FAST” approach have gone home fast. Although I’m a big fan of rapid reproduction, I’m more and more convinced that rapid reproduction is the byproduct of intentionally mentoring leaders with spiritually deep roots on the front end of the church-planting process. This means rapid reproduction will often happen later rather than sooner, but it will also produce fruit that lasts.
- There’s a constant temptation to focus on reaping or harvesting rather than tilling and sowing. It’s easy to forget when we see a person quickly say yes to following Jesus that someone (or many someones) exerted great time, energy, and prayer as they lived out the gospel to this person. The same applies to the Burlington community. We need to put in the time tilling and sowing if we want to see a significant harvest.
- Tilling the ground of Burlington will require “enslaving” ourselves to the different groups that make up this community. This requires taking the posture of a servant as we live out the good news of Jesus.
- We must continually return to a marathon mentality. This is not a windsprint. Running this marathon will require perseverance, persistence, disciplined training, and a lazer beam focus on Jesus’ mission.