Things here in L-Town are going pretty well. I am finding, however,
that preparing to plant a church is really, really tough. Now I have no
problem working hard. Most know me to be a very driven person who
naturally sets very high goals and tirelessly works to achieve them. I
enjoy working hard to see God’s will be done. Indeed, it is what I
strive for each day and it is what keeps me up each night.
the thing that makes this particular season so tough is that my time
generally consists of lots of reading, studying God’s word, praying,
repeating all the aforementioned, and then (at least for now) rarely
coming to any conclusions. I love it because I love to learn, but it
can be really frustrating to work and work and work and feel like you
really don’t have anything to show for it.
Perhaps it’d be
different if I was starting a new business or something of a more
frivolous nature. But this is God’s church we’re talking about! We’re
talking about the body of Christ, the light of the world, the great
commissioned! That’s a big deal! And someday I am going to have to
stand before the Lord of Lords and given an account for my handling of
his church (among other things). Whew.
I think another thing
that adds weight to all this is the size of the mission that stands
before us. Lincoln is an aesthetically beautiful yet spiritually
devastated place. Indeed, even many of the churches seem devoid of
life. But even if they all were alive and well, those involved hardly
constitute a fraction of the population. There has been a whole lot of
teaching and very little reaching. As is true in most cities in
America, the majority of the churches are slowly dying with their
members, many of the growing churches grow not from seeing new people
come to Christ but from the transfer growth of church-hopping consumer
Christians, and the church continues to fail to engage culture by
meeting the real needs of real people and thus fails to have a voice
outside of its own christian subculture. The impact that the Church has
had on this city and its culture is hardly worth mentioning. The broken
and hurting are everywhere, and interestingly enough, they continue to
search for meaning and connection everywhere BUT the church. This will
always be the case until the church wakes up and realizes that it
doesn’t exist for itself.
It’s sadly amazing that after 2,000 years, in the land of ten thousand churches, Jesus’ words are still true: "The harvest is plentiful (and so are the churches), but the workers are few."