Monday, November 3, 2008

The Energy of a Church Plant

Peggy and I are in Lincoln NE. We are in the middle of a family situation. If you read my other blog you will get the story.

I wanted to connect with someone I could trust in case it was needed so the phone call to Barry was really worthwhile. He connected me with a man who is in the process of a Church plant in Lincoln. Word of Life Church.

We went. It was like old home week. I sat down next to a guy who I knew. Lee Veilselmeir. He owns a nursery west of Lincoln. There were about 50 people there. All set up and tear down every Sunday. The pastor is Larry.

Larry preached fine. But his heart is that of a Pastor. He's about my age. Maybe older. And he's about to be ordained. WOW. This gave me hope.

Something they do on line now in the LCMS.
This is his fourth career. Good move Missouri.

We have been part of 3 church plants. They are hard work and can be discouraging. But they are energizing. A person is in the middle of a blank sheet of paper in formation.

Now, what made this so wonderful is this is an LCMS plant. Yet, it looks like for all practical purposes exactly like every other church plant I have been part of.

The music was words on a screen. The leaders was 3 singers, keyboard, drums, guitar, bass and us. Very wonderful. They sang the same songs. The same spirit. The same freedom. I know it grates on the days of OLD but what works today is not found in the format at the front of a hymnal. It's freedom in worship, expression and ministry to needs. The word of truth proclaimed. I have blogged on this before. The future of church in this century is freedom and transparency.

Pastor Larry got up, not eloquent, transparent. Humbly in love with Jesus and inviting us to come along.

Then in the middle of all this, there were prayer requests. One was for Brandon who our nephew Luke's best friend. That he had lost his best friend and would be pray for him. It was amazing how small a world we all live in.

I have to admit, as much as I enjoy the work of the ministry in renewal for a large church, I do miss the raw unfettered energy of a church plant. Doing it out of whole cloth. No rules. No board. Just Jesus and the lost world.

And there is one other thing. A church plant will typically reach more unchurched and lost people than an established church can. I don't know why. But it's true.

I just don't know if I have the energy to set up and tear down every Sunday again. Who knows? I'm busy now, but the open frontier calls sometimes.

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