In my last blog post, I began to describe a series of discussions me and my staff have been having in order to solidify that we are on mission. We determined that our mission was the non-negotiable mandate given to the global church by Jesus in Matthew 28:19, to "go and make disciples." Once our mission was clear and we had started with "WHY" our church existed, we turned our attention to "HOW" we would go about accomplishing this mission. Our "HOW" became our vision.
I began the discussion by defining our vision as the contribution our congregation would make to the global church. What problem were we called to solve? What role would we play in the world-wide church?
As we began to discuss this, we quickly realized that our church has already made major contributions to the global church! We had released our founders and world-class leaders Drs. George and Hazel Hill, who have gone on to launch one of the world's fastest and most effective church planting organizations, Victory Churches International. VCI has planted churches in more than 40 nations, plus has started multiple Bible Colleges, orphanages, slum schools, safe houses, and much, much more!
Our church was also responsible for launching our nation's first and only 24 hour Christian television station, the Miracle Channel. And, played a major role in the launch of the Christian political organization the Canada Family Action Coalition. Yes, in our short 33 year history, we have had a major impact already on the global church. But was that it? Have we done our duty?
We emphatically answered, no! As we discussed what we had to contribute in the future, we noticed a clear theme from our past. When Drs. George and Hazel had planted this church, it quickly grew to be one of Canada's largest churches at the time. But it's growth was different than how other churches were growing. The majority of our growth wasn't transfer growth from other churches, it was a revival of new souls that caused this ministry to explode! We had a strong urge to go back to our roots. To recenter ourselves on the original mandate - to reach every available person, by every available means, at every available time with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We would verbalize this commitment to reach outsiders by saying "Our vision is to create a church unchurched people love to attend."
Why do we say it that way? Well, it's simple really. We believe that the natural gravitational pull on every local church is to become insider focused. Every church fights this pull. We felt the best way to keep our vision focused outwardly was to continually create environments that the unchurched would love to be a part of. Another way to say it would be simply, we desire to create environments that our members feel comfortable inviting their unchurched friends and family to. To us, this would be living with the same resolve James, the brother of Jesus, had when he declared to the early church leaders in Acts 15:19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God." In other words, we (the church) should not stand in the way of people coming to Jesus because we are only focused on ourselves and our wants and desires.
We felt, as a staff, that this was our contribution to the global church. This was our call and our anointing. We witnessed that last year when we held our first Redesigning Church Conference. Every church that attended boasted of immediate results in effectively reaching the unchurched. We know that we will see the same results at this year's conference for those who attend. God has given us strategies to share, strategies that gave us the ability to lead over 350 people to Jesus in 2012 and we are anticipating many more in 2013.
We're excited about the future, about creating a church unchurched people love to attend!
Question: If you have not registered for Redesigning Church Conference 2013, Feb. 1-2 - register now by clicking HERE.