“Wait, I thought you were a church for everyone.”
As risky as it may be to write something like this and as much as we would love to wrangle everyone up we can to be part of this new church, we also know there are some unique challenges to church planting on a hundred different levels. If I have heard one consistent thing about the challenge to planting a church, it has been that it never happens the way you expect(this can be incredibly frustrating for some). People often ask me what the plan is for Grace Harbor Church. I am able to respond to them with an exact plan of the dates and times of everything we have planned from June 21, 2017 to January 18, 2018. As someone who is not naturally a planner, this is extremely exciting to me. But if what I have heard about church planting is actually true, most of these events will not go as planned.
Brandon Cox, a good friend and mentor, recently shared with me a list of reasons why you might not want to be part of a church plant. I think he hit the point perfectly and I believe these fit extremely well with the vision and heart behind Grace Harbor Church:
- If you are looking for the next cool thing in town.
- If you just don’t like your current church(chances are you eventually won’t like something about ours either).
- If you have a track record of being unteachable and causing problems at previous churches.
- If you’re a consumer wanting to “go to church” once a week for a nice show.
- If you are pursuing religion over relationships, namely a relationship with Jesus and with His people.
- If you have an agenda. Read about our mission and values here.
- If you think this will be a nice little church that stays the same size, where everybody knows your name and things never change.
- If you think this will be easy and smooth (This will be hard and difficult; this will be a fight, a battle, a challenging mission).
- If you want to hold onto your comfortable life. We will consistently challenge Grace Harbor Church to do uncomfortable things and step outside of their comfort zone.
David Livingstone once wrote from his missionary post and asked for help. The return letter stated that quite a few young people were interested in coming, but wanted to know if there were roads leading to where David was serving. David wrote back, “I only want young men who will come if there are no roads at all.”
The truth is, many people are stuck in these patterns that are listed above. These reasons are in no way a disqualification for you to join us because I believe these qualities listed above are rooted in brokenness and sinfulness, and Grace Harbor exists for broken people to find freedom. If one of these points above describes you, we want to walk with you in your journey to freedom and you are welcome at Grace Harbor. It just might be a painful and revealing journey. We expect to discover some of our own pre-conceived notions about what church should look like.
So what are some of the reasons why you might want to be part of this new church plant?
- If you are ready to join God in reaching people who haven’t been reached before, don’t always act like “churched” people, and have messy lives sometimes.
- If you’re okay with the idea of starting with no building, few members, little money, and sparse resources. In other words, if you’re daring enough to take a big leap of faith.
- If you’re humble enough and teachable enough to put all of your personal preferences about what kind of church feels good to you on an altar to die.
- If your current church leadership is supportive of the idea and is willing to send you with their blessing into this new initiative.
- If God has specifically tapped you on the shoulder, leading you to be a part of expanding His kingdom through church planting.
Does this describe you? Lets talk about how you can be part of Grace Harbor Church.