Practice is almost over…
Practice is almost over…
‘because there are still people in Arlington who are curious…”
As we prayed and gathered our launch team at the end of 2008, there was a united, concerted vision that we were being sent out from The Falls Church to be a missional community in Arlington. We had asked each other 2 questions…
- Do you have relational space to have new friends and welcome people into a new community?
- Do you know people in Arlington who might be far from God? People whom you might invite to experience a new community that is following Christ?
2008 was about praying, talking, and coming to a place where we had a team who said ‘Yes’ to these questions.
On Jan 18, 28 households were commissioned and sent out to practice for a couple months. We needed to get to know our building, get to know each other, build systems for children’s ministry, figure out how to serve communion, see if we had a worship team, try out small groups…
We have been practicing… and it’s gone very well. We have grown to about 75 households who are worshipping with us.
Now we are at one of our first crossroads. The ‘practice season’ is about to end: People are trained to serve, Sunday worship is becoming more ‘normal’ to us, small groups have thrived, there’s money in the bank, and we have teams of people ready to respond to needs as they arise.
God has been very good. Many people have worked very hard.
At this crossroads, I want to remind us of why we endeavored to start this new church.
Wherever you are reading this– look around. Look down your street, look out from your cubicle, glance up from your ‘wireless device’ on the metro, stare at the people on your grocery aisle. See ’em?
We did this because we felt called by God to be a part of His Restoration project. We did this because we felt called by God to create a community that would connect people to Him, to others, and to the needs around us. We did this because there are still people in Arlington who have not met Christ in a life-changing way.
I don’t want us to lose sight of that. We definitely have a church. I want us to be a missional community. We know we can do this. Now it’s time to open our doors to those around us.
As in all things that are ultimately worth it, this will require change and sacrifice.
- We need more physical space to invite our friends. The most efficient way to create this space is to multiply our services. The cost of service multiplication is ‘the loss of having everyone in the same room.’
- We will have many more opportunities to serve– more readers, more nursery volunteers, more small group leaders, earlier arrival times, more parking lot greeters, more coffee…
This Sunday we will finish our Lent series on ‘The Life Jesus Saves.’ We will have an important ‘family meeting’ after our worship service. If this is your family, please be there. This is the time for us to intentionally close the first season of Restoration Arlington and to intentionally turn our face to what is next.
Practice is over.
‘because there are still people in Arlington who are curious…’
March 26, 2009 @ 2:12 pm
Practice? We’re talkin about practice?
Maybe I’ll try and invite Allen Iverson to church, that would be sweet .
I’m excited for the ‘launch’…we’ve been prayin in our small group for sheer unadulterated awesomeness come easter.
March 26, 2009 @ 10:57 pm
I can’t believe it’s here!
March 27, 2009 @ 11:57 am
Scott– “sheer unadulterated awesomeness” — that’s, well, awesome.
David, thanks for this great reminder of what we’re all about. Often it’s easy for me to get wrapped up in the details and forget the bigger picture of who we’re doing this for. We’re not doing it for ourselves; we’re doing it for God, for his glory, and for those in our lives whom we want to know God and his glory.
Thanks for the big-picture check.
March 27, 2009 @ 1:13 pm
I am being honest here. My natural/sinful self reads this and my first reaction is, “I don’t like this. This will be change. This will be work. This will be loss.”
And then Erin’s words on Sunday come to mind. Give God whatever offering I have, even if it feels very small most weeks, and God will transform it to carry out His purposes.
That is where I am with this. I’m gonna do my best to offer up my time, treasure and talents for His transformation. And I am also hoping that God will take my struggling will to serve Him and TRANSFORM it for His Glory!
March 27, 2009 @ 2:01 pm
Thanks Kristen. Your response is one of the reasons I wrote the entry. The first two months have been so good. I recognize my own reticence to ‘go for it’. It is so easy for us to think we are ‘done’ and yet…
Personally I love being surprised and I can’t wait to see what God does through our community– as we push through our reticence and (as you put it so well…) do our best to offer what we got…
see ya soon